Feb 232012
 

Director:  Jonathan Liebsman

Rating:  PG-13

Running Time: 1hr 56 m

Release Date: 3/11/11

Genre:  Science Fiction

Cast:  SSgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart),USMC 2ndLt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez), USMC Cpl. Lee “Cowboy” (Imlay Will Rothhaar),USMC Cpl. Jason “Cocheez” Lockett (Cory Hardrict) ,USMC LCpl. Peter J. “Irish” Kerns (Jim Parrack) ,USMC Cpl. Nick C. “Stavs” Stavrou (Gino Anthony Pesi) ,USAF TSgt. Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez)

When a freak meteor storm turns into a full blown alien invasion,  retiring SSgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) must  help a newly placed officer, 2nd Lt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) fight the aliens with the marines of  1st Platoon. They must protect civilians and find a way to defeat the Alien menace.  Along the way they pick up new tactics and get the help of some National Guardsmen and USAF TSgt. Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez).

The film does a good job at showing the chaos and total destruction an alien invasion would bring upon a densely populated city like LA.  It had great special effects showing the unique alien artillery and the first time people see the aliens coming out of the ocean. I also really liked the way that 2ndLt, Martinez looses his cool at one point and the veteran SSgt. Nantz must bring him back to reality and focus on keeping his men alive.

The way that the alien aircraft flew is also really unique.  They were non-aerodynamic heavy objects that were constantly almost falling, but a thruster would fire to counteract gravity’s pull and the all of the thrusters firing sounded like a high performance race car’s engine. It made the invaders seem like they weren’t so far ahead of us technologically after all.  I wonder if they writers wanted to show how the US military would handle and enemy that was as advanced over them as the US is over other places they have fought recently.  When confronted with more advanced technology, the Marines had to take a less straight forward stance and relied more on things like hiding and even  a suicide bomber.

At times the film was like a video game and the characterization was not very strong.  I had a hard time telling individual Marine’s apart. That might have to do with the uniforms and military speech, but usually I don’t have this problem with other military oriented films.

I had a few nit-picky issues with the film.  At one point there was a four legged mortar/missile  robot, and it seemed a bit pointless.  The thing took so long to fire and was so random with the things it shot at.  I don’t think it would have lasted long in real live, but I guess it looked pretty cool when it fired.  In so many movies with Aliens, the aliens take a basic humanoid shape with a head, 2 arms, and 2 legs and to me it just seems that the chances of this would not be very likely if they developed on an alien planet.  Even though the aliens have some sort of strange non humanoid biology, like a mashed up squid, they still are pretty much humanoid when they are wearing their battle gear.  That doesn’t make much sense to me.  There is also a scene where the Marines are riding in a huge bus and it takes forever for them to get attacked even though they are the only thing driving around for miles and they were just previously surrounded by aliens.  I just don’t find that plausible.

“Battle: Los Angeles” is an ok film with a few memorable scenes, but there were some problems with the portrayal of the aliens and there was very little memorable dialogue.  I would recommend this film if you don’t have anything better to watch and don’t have any 1st person shooters to play.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters 2
Story 3
Special Effects 4
Would Watch Again? 2
Average 2.75

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