BATTLE: LOS ANGELES - Movie Review by WZMarch 12, 2011 0 Comments
A platoon of marines must rescue a group of stranded civilians behind enemy lines when a massive alien invasion force attacks Los Angeles
I headed out today for some good ol’ fashioned escapism. I went and saw BATTLE: LOS ANGELES. Walking into the theatre, I cynically said to myself, “Okay, this is going to be BLACK HAWK DOWN meets INDEPENDENCE DAY.” And I was completely right, but this movie is the good version of that…while I was expecting the bad. The movie also makes excellent use of Horror-style movie sequences, such as soldiers in abandoned houses having to check room by room.
We follow a Marine platoon sent deep into Los Angeles on a mission to retrieve stranded civilians. Along the way, they must fight street-to-street battles against the aliens and also absorb members of other decimated platoons.
Aaron Eckhart surprisingly carries the whole movie. Michelle Rodriguez plays her basic tough Latina archetype. The battle for Los Angeles plays constantly in the background, and the movie does a great job depicting it. Occasionally, our heroes get sucked into it, but for the most part, attempt to avoid it in favor of completing their mission.
Naturally, a movie like this is geek-fodder. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES has so many plot-holes in the eyes of geeks and nerds that pointing them out is like shooting fish in a barrel. After all, these are the kinds of aliens whose soldiers can use nuclear fusion power from seawater, but somehow don’t think to use weapons of mass destruction from orbit. Instead, the aliens choose to kill humans in the most tedious way imaginable, by chasing us around the streets. They’re also easily taken out by rinky dink NATO bullet rounds fired by standard M16 rifles. There are about 2-3 shots of a U.S marine and an alien shooting at each other toe-to-toe…and the alien loses. C’mon, you mean the U.S. army can create helmets that stop rifle shots, but the aliens don’t have armor much better than Kevlar?
The list goes on and on. However, the momentum of the battle will manage to suspend your disbelief. The battles are done so well, that it really does feel like BLACK HAWK DOWN quite often.
In the end, I really enjoyed this movie. It hearkens back to a day when movie heroes were good and movie villains were inhuman, evil and horrible. We live in such sensitive political times that Action movies often feel compelled to humanize the villains. Case in point, I watched THE EXPENDABLES yesterday and the filmmakers chose to do exactly that.
This is good popcorn fun for the guys. There were a few women in my theatre, and they looked involved in the movie. The movie contains quite a few Horror-style sequences, so quite a few were snuggled close to their dates.
QUALITY RATING: Worth Your Money
This move should be highly entertaining for most men. You won’t feel ripped off at the end. The movie manages to toe the right balance between the character drama against the massive battle in the background
SPEND RATING: Full Price
If you pay matinee prices for BATTLE: LOS ANGELES it’s a good deal. Full Price is still okay though, as the movie is fairly long. When you walk out, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth. Anything higher than Full Price is a waste. I’m not aware if there are any IMAX or 3D showings, but the frequent shaky nature of the camera work probably makes those effects pointless.