Review: Battle: Los Angeles

THE SETUP: A group of movie-cliché marines, lead by Aaron Eckhart, are sent to battle ravaged Los Angeles to clear out a group of civilians (the usual “too dumb to leave” types) during a hostile attack by alien invaders. Yes, I think I played this video game too.

THE THOUGHTS: I think what Battle: LA was going for was a mix of Independence Day and Black Hawk Down. Unfortunately, it wasn’t cheesy enough to be as good as the former and not as engaging as the later to be interesting. So what did we get? Big, loud, and badly written. The director, Jonathan Liebesman, definitely went to the Michael Bay School for Directing. I was waiting for a pirouette camera shot…or Will Smith/Bruce Willis to save the day…alas, it never came. The reason directors like Bay and Roland Emmerich (2012, ID4) can pull these movies off is their understanding of balancing the absurd with cheese. This movie missed that memo. The action is OK, but we’ve seen it all before. The acting was card boardesque. And the writing. Oh dear God. It was such, over the top Marine cliché drivel that the audience actually laughed at scenes meant to be heart felt. You can avoid this battle.

1 ticket – don’t waste your time. This movie is a decent renter. Unfortunately, all the action is better on the big screen so you really have to weigh the big ticket price with the mediocre entertainment (or just buy a big TV).

Random Recommendations
Girlfight (2000) – Michelle Rodriguez’s first movie and the one that showed she was a tough chick. She’s been playing the same role ever since (Avatar, Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil). Catch her when it was novel.

In the Company of Men (1997) – Both recommendations this time are on the movies that made these actors. This one put Aaron Eckhart on the map. Want to see how mean and brutal corporate lackeys can be when their bored. Tada! Dark, well acted and one not many have seen. (WARNING: there’s a bit of bad language in the trailer)


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