Sunday, August 7, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman.
2010. Rated PG-13, 116 minutes.
Aaron Eckhart
Ramon Rodriguez
Cory Hadrict
Michelle Rodriguez
Bridget Moynahan
Michael Peña
Adetokumboh M’Cormack
Noel Fisher

Let’s not kid ourselves. If you’re interested in Battle: Los Angeles you’ve already seen it a dozen times or more. Random aliens land on Earth and promptly start exterminating humans. There is no “I come in peace,” or “take me to your leader.” They just land their ships and hop out shooting. We follow a small group of heroes who’ve been suddenly thrust into war with an intergalactic enemy. In this case, it’s a platoon of Marines led by Staff Sgt. Nantz (Eckhart), sorta. Lt. Martinez is supposed to be in charge and talks like it. However, he’s fresh out of school and apparently just recently stopped wetting the bed. The crew is made up the normal Hollywood band of merry men. There’s a few white guys, a few black guys, a couple guys of other nationalities. Of course, they each have their issues. One guy is stressed over helping his fiancée plan their wedding, another guy has anger management problems, and so on. Which guy is which is largely irrelevant. The only thing that matters, aside from some very grumpy extra-terrestrials, is that a bunch of Marines under Nantz’ command were killed the last time he was in a combat situation. Oh, one other thing: along the way they pick up a few random Marines, including a dad with two small children. That’s more than you need to know.

If you’re looking for non-stop action, this is the place to be. If plot is important to you, this is not. For what it is, it’s well done. Danger lurks around every corner, down every dark corridor and surrounding the outside of whatever our heroes are trapped in. They strategize, build each other up, tear each other down, strategize some more and still don’t always make the most logical decisions. It’s a fun time. Still, it is what it is: rehashed, predictable and far too lazy to bother with any reasonable explanation for what the aliens hope to accomplish. Well, there is a reason. Assuming they had to come from millions of miles away, it makes no sense. It’s basically equivalent to getting in your car and driving six hours to get gas. Watch it for the action. It’s an effective popcorn flick. If you think about what you’re seeing though, you’re asking for trouble.

MY SCORE: 6/10

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