Battle: Los Angeles: Melodramatic Alien Invasion Film
- Aaron EckhartAaron Eckhart...
- Action & AdventureScience Fiction...
- Jonathan Liebesman
- In 1 Cinema
When a sudden alien attack strikes off the coast of California, the US army
is unable to stop it. As the fighting continues, an inexperienced army unit
is sent to rescue a group of survivors stuck somewhere in the city of Los Angeles.
The military group is led by Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Eckhart) and
commander officer Lieutenant William Martinez (Rodriguez), who’s higher in
command but lower in expertise. While trying their best in the line of fire,
they unite with other soldiers that have lost their units, including TSgt. Elena
Santos (Rodriguez) as the last survivor of her troops.
The plot of Battle: Los Angeles isn’t about the aliens or about saving
Planet Earth; but it mainly focuses on the personal lives of each character in
the call of duty. There’s the soldier with a pregnant wife waiting for him, a
leader who is haunted by the deaths of his troops in a previous military
operation, a civilian trying to protect his child, and another soldier who has
just lost his brother. The director’s attempt to profile each character makes
the film feel crowded with too many storylines.
Although the film is more of a melodrama than an action film, audiences may have trouble feeling compassion
and empathy for the characters due to the actors’ bland performance. Back in the 90s, alien invasion and other disaster films left us with inspiring quotes and great action scenes with little need
for special effects. However, this isn’t at all another Independence Day; it’s a melodramatic war
film with extraterrestrials thrown in the mix.
Just like any other war film, we’re exposed to a lot of intense firing,
big explosions and the usual hide-and-seek scenes. Apart from its plots, this
type of film’s success depends on how well it has been filmed, edited and produced.
In Battle: Los Angeles, the oldest and cheapest tricks in the book are
used, such as the ‘shaky camera’ technique, which is overused here. When the action starts, the filming fails, which is disappointing
considering the scenes had a more realistic production than that of the
CGI and blue screen effects used in most action films today.
Battle: Los Angeles isn’t a bad
film; but its main flaw is that it promises much more than it delivers. After
so many similar films in the past decade, it’s very difficult to make this exhausted
theme of invasion/war an entertaining and crowd-pleasing hit.
So this is one battle that you should go see with the lowest expectations if you’re hoping
to enjoy yourself.