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Friday, April 13, 2012

Battle: Los Angeles -- Movie Review


I remember a lot of people mocking this film when it first came out. And the reviews themselves were not that stellar either. But I'm a sucker for science fiction-- and I the idea of a war movie mashed with an alien invasion plot is very appealing to me. That's what Battle: Los Angeles is; a cross between Independence Day and Apocalypse Now. Yes, I said Apocalypse Now. That may be surprising to you...but not as surprising as the fact that this is a pretty damn good movie!

Now before anyone has a fit about how much a liked this movie, just know that this film is not going to win a Peabody Award, let alone an Oscar...or Golden Globe, or anything like that. This is not an award-winner, or critically acclaimed film. It is a fun, exciting sci-fi action film. Granted, the dialogue is stilted, and some of the pseudo science makes no sense...but, the again, does an epic global alien invasion ring true to you?

This film stars Aaron Eckhart as a staff sergeant assigned to a platoon of young soldiers on a rescue mission after an mysterious alien forces begin their attack on Earth. The platoon has been assigned to rescue a family trapped in a Santa Monica police station after the entire LA coast has been evacuated an hour before a mass firebombing is to wipe out what's left of the city while the aliens pillage it for some unknown reason (which I won't reveal here). As a viewer, you are left in the dark as much as the characters in the film. They are soldiers assigned to do a job, period. But that job has proven to be a great challenge, due to the unpredictable nature of the aliens, and the internal conflicts of the platoon-- particularly surrounding the staff sergeant's controversial past.

Battle: LA is a fairly conventional action film, until the last 30-40 minutes or so, when it goes in a completely unpredictable direction. After they find the family, it turns out that they are not going to make it out of Santa Monica before the fire bombing. From there, it gets REALLY interesting. They could have done some very standard stuff with this film, but screenwriter Christopher Bertolini makes some really interesting choices. Again, some of the dialogue is a little stilted and cliché...but you don't watch a film like this for dialogue. You watch it to see cool effects and some nifty storytelling. And this film definitely has that.

It's not the BEST sci-fi/action film ever...but it's a whole lot of fun, and will definitely warrant repeated viewings.

6 comments:

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