No…really. It is. There are so many explosions in this film it should have been titled Explosion: Los Angeles. But for some reason Battle: Los Angeles has a better ring to it and BOOM! BOOM! RAT-TA-TA-TA-TA-TAT: Los Angeles was taken apparently. This film was big explosions and whole lot of gunfire.
Just a heads up that the following may contain some spoilers. Although how you can spoil a movie that is nothing but things getting blown up is beyond me, but regardless….consider this your spoiler warning.
Still with me? Ok, so Battle: Los Angeles is about aliens attacking yup, you guessed it. Los Angeles. Well, they’re attacking all over the world, but for the sake of time and scale, this story sticks to what’s happening in and around the L.A. area.
Aaron Eckhart stars as SSgt. Michael Nantz. I actually just had to look that up because I don’t think his first name is ever said in the film. That sort of tells you something about this one eh? Anyway, SSgt Nantz is a Marine who’s on his way out of the service. The guy is on the cusp of retirement and ready to move on. But alas, the aliens have other plans. He’s told his retirement is put on hold and because of this big invasion he has to go out into the field (i.e. Los Angeles) to rescue some stranded civilians and get them to safety. I’m pretty sure that one can’t decide to retire and have it happen that quickly. I’m currently watching this whole retirement-from-the-armed-forces happen in real life and I have to say, it’s a process. But now I’m just nit-picking.
Nantz is a Marine’s Marine. All duty and honor and the job. Unfortunately on this mission he’s not the man in charge. He’s under the command of a fresh-out-of-officer-training-school Lieutenant. Yeah, you can see where this is going right? If you have an idea, you’re probably right. The unit goes out into the scary city, made even scarier now because of the aliens, to rescue the civilians and not only encounter, but overcome all sorts of obstacles.
This film is all formula and style and no substance. I love action and science fiction films more than any other genre, but when there isn’t anything to really sink my teeth into, I’m left wanting a little more. I’ll give the film props though for starting off right. It starts off with an action scene that is loud and ridiculous, but from there is falls a bit flat. The story tries to give you something to chew on with a really lame attempt at character development but it’s all window dressing. You have the soldier who’s planning his wedding, the soldier who lost a brother and holds a grudge, the soldier who just wants to get laid for the first time, the soldier who has a baby on the way and the seasoned veteran soldier who just wants to retire.
The difference here is you don’t really care what these guys have going on. I adore Aaron Eckhart and was excited to see him in a set of fatigues and wielding a gun. But this film was a bit of a let down. I think he was able to add to it because he’s got some pretty good depth. A lesser actor could have easily made this film really really bad. So it has that going for it.
I think he was the only character I really cared about. That’s not saying much for the rest of the cast here which is sad. Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan are also in this and they play their parts, but honestly I expected to see them more than what I did. Aside from saying a few lines here and there, they mainly ran around, covered their heads, and ran around some more.
I appreciate the inspirational speech in film. There have been some really great ones that just leave you feeling all hopeful and whatnot but the attempts that were made, and I can think of two, were really really lame. It didn’t leave me feeling inspired, it left me with sore eyeballs. As cheesy as Indepedence Day was, Bill Pullman’s speech was great. Yes I know it was 100% corny, but that’s one of those that sticks out in my head. And since we’re on the topic of Independence Day, when I watched the trailers for this before I went to see it, I though that they looked very similar. They are to an extent, but I think it’s mainly because they follow the alien invasion formula.
1: Approach Earth and make them think it’s a meteor…or something.
2: Enter atmosphere and really freak them out by slowing down
3: Make the humans think we come in peace. Since they are a curious creature they all gather really close.
4: Make our intentions known and point fingers and laugh as they start to freak out.
5: Destroy everything.
6: Make sure American soldiers stumble on our ridiculously huge command center that is underground but without much explanation on how it got there to begin with. (If there was an explanation, I missed it.)
7: Get defeated by small band of American soldiers so that word can be spread throughout the world on how to take us down. Thank goodness for the Americans!
You get the idea. It really downs my vibe too because I seriously wanted to love this film. It’s my two favorite genres and it was a let down. If you want to go see a movie that is nothing but explosions, gun fire and yelling, this is definitely the movie for you. I’m ok with those kinds of movies, but was hoping for a little more here. I’ll be honest though and tell you that eventually I’ll watch this again. It’s more than I can say about that other movie I saw this past weekend.
Battle: Los Angels was directed by Jonathan Liebesman, and was written by Christopher Bertolini and is in theaters right now.
Will you go see it? Check out the trailer if you can’t decide. Have you seen it already? Hit me up and let me know your thoughts. Comment down below or leave me a comment on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReelGoddess
Verdict: 2 out of 5 togasTags: Aaron Eckhart, Battle: Los Angeles, Christopher Bertolini, Explosions, Jonathan Leibesman, Michelle Moynahan, Michelle Rodriguez