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Cinema Review: Battle: Los Angeles

April 3, 2011

I have a few cinema reviews to post, but will do so gradually over the next few days, followed by my DVD round-up on Wednesday.  First up…


Battle: Los Angeles



Early spring is notorious for its paucity of decent films.  Most of the big releases tend to be average at best, with studios seemingly hoping to win audiences via the reasoning “Might as well, there’s nothing else on”.  However, sometimes a film comes along that is so bad, it sticks out no matter what time of year it is.

Now call me crazy, but on seeing the above trailer for Battle: LA, I thought it might be a fun watch.  The trailer was so overblown, so formulative and so ridiculous that I couldn’t comprehend the idea that it was meant to be taken seriously.  Maybe it was meant to be ironic, or maybe there was some hidden depth to the otherwise standard alien invasion story. 

How wrong can one girl be?


Battle: LA may just be one of the most pointless films ever made.  Aside from a few half-decent special effects, it has absolutely nothing going for it.  It is clichéd, loud, embarrassing nonsense.  The plot (what little there is of one) focuses on a platoon of US Marines sent on a mission to rescue a group of civilians during an alien invasion.  It’s a story that has been done a thousand times, and Battle: LA brings nothing new to the table.  What the writers have done is taken elements from those preceding films and lazily mashed them together into a horrendous single entity.  Every character has been pulled out of a box seemingly labelled ‘Movie Stereotypes’, and the dialogue may just be some of the worst ever seen in a major Hollywood blockbuster.  Outstanding lines include “We’re fighting for our country, goddammit!”, “No way!  It’s suicide!” and my personal favourite, a civilian woman offering to assist an alien autopsy with the words: “Maybe I can help.  I’m a veterinarian.”  It’s impossible to guess what an excellent actor like Aaron Eckhart was thinking when he signed up to star in the film.  The execution of the story is almost as bad, with director Jonathan Liebsman going for a shaky, ground-level approach that basically consists of a lot of quick, headache-inducing edits.  It’s horrible film-making, a desperate attempt to imitate infinitely better films like Cloverfield and Saving Private Ryan failing spectacularly. 

Battle: Los Angeles represents Hollywood at its worst, and it has been buried away into a March opening for a reason; avoid at all costs.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Jesse permalink
    April 3, 2011 4:54 pm

    Good to know…when I first saw previews for this, it did strike me as if they were trying to re-do all of the late ’90s films about alien invasions and military response…guess I’ll skip this one!

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