Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Battle: Los Angeles

Grade: A

Early one summer morning in Los Angeles, a report comes in that a large cluster of meteors is heading toward Earth and will enter the Earth’s atmosphere within 24 hours. They are supposed to crash into the ocean just outside of several large cities around the world. The U.S. Marines scramble together in order to help with any possible flooding that may occur after the meteors hit the ocean. However, when they enter the atmosphere, the meteors slow down before hitting the water. Then, an army of armored aliens began an attack on Los Angeles, killing everything in site. A group of marines, led my Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, are charged with the task of going behind enemy lines in order to rescue a group of civilians trapped in a police station. Along the way, the group tries to figure out a way to take down the alien invaders.

I’m going to get right to the point, Battle: Los Angeles is the best alien invasion movie to come out in a long time, maybe since Independence Day. Yes, I can admit that the alien invasion story line has been used many times over the last several years, but what this movie does with that tried and true formula seems fresh and really interesting. To start, I like the fact that this movie really focuses on one group of people and keeps the story interesting. Thankfully, the movie gets most of the character development out of the way at the beginning of the movie so we don’t have another Independence Day like story where the aliens attack then nothing happens for the next hour of the movie while we focus on the characters. The aliens are somewhat different from previous movies like this and their motivation is simple. Overall, the story actually holds strong and the characters are written well enough that you grow close to them quickly and are on the edge of your seat cheering them on throughout the movie. The movie is gritty and feels like a war movie, which technically it is, just with a different enemy.

Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Thank You For Smoking) plays the role of SSgt. Michael Nantz, a Marine with a troubled past who was about to retire when the attack started. Eckhart is great and really pulls this role off well. He is a great actor and he definitely helps make this movie what it is. Michelle Rodriguez (Machete, Avatar) plays the role of TSgt. Elena Santos, an Air Force soldier who was part of a group trying to find the best way to bring down the aliens. Rodriguez did a pretty good job in this movie and was very enjoyable. The movie also features Bridget Moynahan, Ramon Rodriguez, Ne-Yo, Noel Fisher, Cory Hardrict and many more.

If you love sci-fi and alien invasion movies, then Battle: Los Angeles is the movie for you. It is a great and fresh take on an old formula. The action is great, the suspense is intense and the story is a blast to watch. It is an extremely fun and enjoyable movie to watch and it gets rid of the bad taste that the atrocious Skyline left in your mouth (if you were unfortunate to watch it).

P.S. I would just like to say that movies like Battle: Los Angeles are the reason that I despise the MPAA and there incoherent standards. Once again, the MPAA seems to be ok with showing people dies horrible and violent deaths but since there is no sex or language, it's perfectly ok for kids to see. Here seems to be the MPAA's views: "Well if Timmy sees a bunch of soldiers and other people shot by mysterious weapons, crushed by vehicles and blown up, no problem. However, if Timmy sees a boob or hears the word 'fuck' he will commit horrible crimes against humanity!"

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