Chris Kavan's Movie Review of Battle: Los Angeles

Rating of

Battle: Los Angeles

Black Spaceship Down
Chris Kavan - wrote on 04/04/11

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I was expecting the sci-fi action with plenty of shooting and explosions going on - but I have to say that aside from the action, Battle: Los Angeles does something unexpected - it actually develops its characters.

Not every character gets a fare shake - with a platoon of Marines, you have your basic stock characters (the rookie, the comedian, the family man and so on and so forth) but surprisingly, the main character, the just-about-to-retire staff sergeant burdened with guilt over a mission gone wrong, as played by Aaron Eckhart, is actually quite well developed for a movie that's about an alien invasion. Of course he gets put in the same platoon with the man whose brother got killed on said mission that went wrong, so he's not well liked. Luckily, a large group of cyborg/amphibian aliens help bring them together and save humanity from annihilation.

Oh, we also get the token bad-ass female, Michelle Rodriguez playing an airforce pilot with a chip on her shoulder and damn good aim. You also have a group of civilians, including Michael Peña and Bridget Moynahan along for the ride.

The movie starts off with a bang - then flashes back 24 hours before the aliens invaded so we get to know our jarheads a bit better - wedding plans, psych visits, working out - a glance at regular life before a series of meteor showers turns into a full-fledged war. The aliens themselves are kept under wraps - excepting for one autopsy scene where we learn where best to shoot the buggers. That's okay, in an urban landscape full of smoke and debris, it's better to be surprised by a sudden ambush.

The film is best described as Black Hawk Down with aliens - and I have to say, that's a pretty damn fine description. It's gritty and violent - don't expect too many characters to survive - and it's oppressive. This is a vastly superior force - apparently hungry for our water - who outgun, out-fly and out think us - well, except for our alert platoon who figure out how to bring down their control ship - with conventional weaponry - not futuristic sci-fi bull to bail the U.S. out.

As far as sci-fi action goes, this is a pretty good one. It's entertaining and has enough character to raise it above many other brainless sci-fi action films. If the mood strikes you, I say go for it.

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