Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Movie Review: Battle: Los Angeles

The movie Battle: Los Angeles is almost a hybrid of Cloverfield and Saving Private Ryan. It depicts an alien invasion of the U.S. coastal city of Los Angeles (much like the Cloverfield creature ravaged the U.S. coastal city of New York). The camera work is intended to make you feel like a part of the action (much like Saving Private Ryan [1]) and you're treated to the horrors of war—whether the opposing combatants be human beings or extraterrestrials.

My verdict: The dramatic portion of the film could've been as easily accomplished without the sci-fi elements of the film. However, one scientific detail does eventually become a relevant plot point, but that doesn't change the fact that this could've just as easily been about the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan. The film suffered from poor writing and had several plot holes.[2] The acting left much to be desired, too. Lapsed Latter-day Saint Aaron Eckhart as a marine was utterly unconvincing. The fact that his teeth were shiny white when the rest of his face was caked with mud and blood was also unbelievable. The moment when the team suffers a crisis of faith in his leadership (which I think is inevitable in this kind of movie) is obviously meant to be stirring, but it fails to be so. Poor Michelle Rodriquez is irreparably typecast as the tough girl. I've only seen a few of her movies (e.g. Avatar [2]), but she always plays the same character. Even worse, she always acts tough, but she never seems tough. But perhaps its just as well. A lot of the other Marines were essentially the same character—there were only a lot of them so that a few of them could be redshirts.[4]


[1] Cloverfield takes this even further by making the entire movie seem as though it was filmed by an amateur with a personal video camera, not a film crew.

[2] At one point the claim is made that all other units of marines have been eliminated by the alien invaders and the forward operating center has been destroyed—the U.S. Armed Forces have retreated from Los Angeles. But that evening we still see bullets flying all over, alien drones whizzing around with their searchlights on, and explosions rocking the city. Why are the aliens putting on such a show if they've already taken control of that territory?

[3] Read my review here.

[4] If you don't know what a redshirt is, see (character).

Image attributions:

Los Angeles Skyline is by Brian Flemming, available at from window/.

No comments:

Post a Comment