Battle: Los Angeles
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo, Michael Pena Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins Rating: PG-13 Due Out: June 14, 2011
PLOT: The film follows a group of Marines as they fight their way through Los Angeles against an unknown alien threat.
WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of watered-down war epics might be able to stomach this one or die-hard lovers of alien movies might want to check this out, but Battle: Los Angeles doesn't offer too much else.
Battle: Los Angeles is yet another pre-packaged, pro-America propaganda film disguised as entertainment. For the "America, f*ck yeah" crowd, this might pass for a good time at the movies, but as somebody going into expecting an alien flick and instead getting an almost 2 hour video essay on "this is why America rules" I couldn't help but be a letdown. Without getting too political and completely ignoring my own personal expectations, Battle: Los Angeles is not without its own problems.
One of the most painful elements of the film is what passes for characters. The rookie? Got it. The guy one day from retirement before it all starts to go down? Got it. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a character with any more dimension than a cardboard cutout. But, as if the cliches weren't bad enough, Liebesman takes it one step further and asks us to care about them. When characters die, the story slows to an even more glacial pace, as if giving the time to mourn the loss of a character that was never given any depth and barely any screen time.
The one saving grace of the film is that it looks good. Granted, it isn't enough to sustain interest in the story or the people, but for fans of eye candy, Battle: Los Angeles certainly delivers. there are a couple camera issues which led to some minor motion sickness, but if you can handle that, Battle: Los Angeles certainly deserves a look based on its special effects alone. Still, it's going to take a lot more than that to make this film worth your time.
In the end, Battle: Los Angeles suffers from some very real problems, both on a personal level, but also on a cinematic level. I'll admit my own fault in expecting something from the movie beforehand, but the film has the same difficulty overcoming preconceptions as I had. It was marketed as a sci-fi film, but what we're given instead is a half-hearted war movie with the occasional flying saucer thrown in. That issue paired with the lackluster character development make Battle: Los Angeles one of the few times I've actually wanted the world to end faster, just so that I could put this beautiful mess behind me.
MOVIE SCORE: 3/10
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