Battle: Los Angeles

Despite their protestations to the contrary, Hollywood loves war films.  They also like science fiction movies and when a production combines both its movie makers go all out on ferocious spectacle.  Battle: Los Angeles sees this ramped at an accelerated pace with wicked beasties battling humanity’s finest protectors.  High art it isn’t but if one is looking for an absurd military shoot ‘em up they should receive a kick out of its wild extravaganzas.

Sworn to protect America at any cost the elite marine platoon headed by Sgt Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) is ready for action.  This they unexpectedly receive when an enemy no one could have foreseen invades their patch.  An alien invasion wasn’t on their job description when they reported for duty but Nantz and his fellow soldiers including Lt. Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) prepare to face off against the other-worldly menace with an armada of heavy duty fire-power.

It can’t be said Jonathan Liebesman directs Battle: Los Angeles as it heavily borrows from a multitude of computer games and movies.  The stoic hero is there, as are the tough soldiers willing to follow their leader to the end.  We’ve seen these clichés before and is a marker to how a film manages to present these in an original way.  Battle: Los Angeles doesn’t do this very well but is a decent action flick for those wanting to see an extra-terrestrial version of Black Hawk Down.

The characters are largely forgettable with Eckhart doing the heavy lifting in the acting department.  This he does with some dignity and anchors the awesome visuals one expects.   They special-effects certainly are eye-popping making one almost over-look some awful dialogue and poor characterisation.  It would have been better had the aliens been in centre of the action more as the element of suspense and danger is largely absent.  In its place are lots of noise and fire-power which gradually becomes tiresome.

Battle: Los Angeles is another addition to the sci-fi war genre although others have done it better.  Despite this it’s an ok time-waster with some dazzling sequences certain to ensure viewers remain alert until its explosive but predictable finale.

Rating out of 10:  5

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