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Battle Los Angeles
UKScreen Rating:

Battle Los Angeles – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Aliens, carried in a Meteors, land on planet earth and attack major coastal cities, incinerating everything in their way. Apparently, they arrived her to take our water, to fuel their monstrous machines.

Being a coastal city, Santa Monica bears the brunt of the Aliens’ attack rendering it a pile of rubble. The US army evacuates the city and prepares to carpet bomb it in order to wipe out the Alien infestation.

But some civilians are still stranded inside a local police station. So a platoon, headed by a 20-year veteran, Staff Sgt. Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), is dispatched to rescue them.

Trudging through the debris, the soldiers are met with ferocious fire from the well-equipped, metallic Aliens.

Reaching the civilians is relatively easy, but transporting them back to safety is another matter, as they are mercilessly hammered from the air and ground by the Aliens’ sophisticated, laser-guided machinery.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

There is so much chaos in this movie that you will most likely get a headache watching it. It’s packed with gratuitous action and ferocious battle scenes, yet it lacks the thrill and suspense of an action movie. There is no logical story to follow or interesting characters to care about. And the Aliens’ pathetically cartoonish look induces only laughter.

Initially the Aliens are presented to us as unbeatable super creatures, made of metal and armed with unbreakable sophisticated weapons. Buildings, bridges, cars, airplanes melt like chocolates under the showers of their ferocious fire. Yet they fall like bees and crack like biscuits when they are attacked by the earthly weapons of our heroes, who seem to be immune from the Aliens’ laser-guided fire. Some of our heroes eventually get knocked down, but at that point we so numbed by the ridiculously gratuitous action that we don’t care anymore.

Instead of constructing an emotionally compelling story with empathic characters, the filmmakers waste ample time on a kid convulsing in tears following the shooting of his father as the music swells to an unbearable levels.

We are neither introduced to the characters nor learn about their background or motives. And most the dialogue is limited to terse military jargon, such as “Incoming! Move! Look out? Fire?”…etc.

We don’t learn much about the lead character, Sgt. Nantz, either, who ostensibly had a shady record but that remains a mystery to us. We don’t see him battling the demons of his past or exhibiting any human fragility. He invariably acts heroically and bravely without a moment of a doubt or reflection. He seems to be a nihilist but we don’t know why?

Aaron Eckhart does a convincing job playing Sgt. Nantz, trying hard to give him some depth with his solemn looks and affable personality, though acting skills are not truly required in a movie like this as he spends most the time shooting faceless Aliens.

Perhaps there was a grand theme behind this movie such as humanity facing the adversity of an outside invader, but it fails to teach you anything about the good or the bad guys, leaving you feeling alienated.

Opens nationwide 11th March 2011

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