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I Belong

Movie Review: Battle ~ Los Angeles

Title: Battle: Los Angeles

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Producer: Jeffrey Chernov

Genre: Action, Science Fiction

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Series: N/A

Release Date: March 11, 2011

Format: Standard

Runtime: 116 Minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodríguez, Will Rothhaar, and Bridget Moynahan

Synopsis (Product Description):

A Marine platoon fights to prevent the city of Los Angeles from being overtaken by a race of highly advanced alien invaders.  After decades of speculation about life on other planets, the people of Earth discover that extraterrestrials really do exist when destruction rains down from the stars on cities all across the globe.  When the alien warships descend upon Los Angeles, however, the ferocious invaders discover that humankind won’t go down without a fight as a gruff Marine staff sergeant and his fearless troop of jarheads point their weapons skyward and make one last stand for the entire human race.

The Review:

Battle: Los Angeles looks to be staking its claim as 2011’s action movie to beat, largely living up to its super intense preview trailers.  While Battle: Los Angeles is not particularly original or daring, it is an incredibly well made sci-fi action movie in the same vein as Cloverfield and the much maligned Skyline.  But where Cloverfield and Skyline put the audience in the shoes of civilians during an alien invasion, Battle: Los Angeles embeds the audience with a group of marines.

Battle: Los Angeles jumps right into the action – opting to forego a long build up.  It’s present day Los Angeles and aliens are literally falling from the sky off the coasts of every continent.  These aliens do not come in peace. They have come to pillage our natural resources and have us severely outgunned.  The movie follows a group of marines on a search and rescue mission as the military plans to level a significant portion of the city to deny the aliens a beachhead for their invasion.

Now it’s a testament to how well made Battle: Los Angeles is, that it’s actually quite easy to suspend your disbelief.  This easy suspension of disbelief is thanks to Aaron Eckhart, who plays Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, the de facto leader of sci-fi fantasy’s answer to Band of Brothers.  Nantz has put in his twenty years and has seen a lot of tragedy.  Despite having all the trappings of a squared jawed action hero, Eckhart brings a lot of emotion and humanity to the role.  Yes, he kicks ass, but despite his seeming invincibility I was always worried about him and his marines.

Your enjoyment of Battle: Los Angeles will depend on your tolerance for the typical weaknesses in Hollywood disaster movies.  There will be a solid hour of ridiculous explosions.  At points I felt that I was watching someone play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  And you kind of have to leave your critical thinking at the box-office to accept some of the typical action movie ingredients, such as the countdown until something will be blown up to further the plot.  Ask yourself, why do technologically superior aliens feel the need to land and fight our military forces house to house when their technology gives them the ability to drop meteors on us from orbit?  Why does the lynchpin of their diabolical plan have an easily exploitable weakness which the enemy can take dangerous advantage of?

But all this is nitpicking.  Battle: Los Angeles does not aspire to be nor is it the smartest action movie, but it does set out to be an immersive, though somewhat predicable alien invasion movie.  And as much as one can get one’s monies’ worth for a $13 movie ticket, Battle: Los Angeles is worth the price of admission.  Think of Battle: Los Angeles as a 21st century take on the movie Independence Day.

FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Movie Review: Battle ~ Los Angeles, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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