Today: April 24, 2024

Battle: Los Angeles

Marines Vs. Aliens in this over-the-top fun adventure. Alien invasions are hot to trot right now. We have had Hoodies Vs Aliens in Attack The Block,

Marines Vs. Aliens in this over-the-top fun
adventure.

Alien invasions
are hot to trot right now. We have had Hoodies Vs Aliens in Attack The Block, kids Vs Aliens in the
upcoming Super 8 and Cowboys Vs
Aliens in this summer’s Cowboys &
Aliens
. Clearly Extraterrestrial life forms are causing us a bit of bother.
With this in mind Battle Los Angeles pits marines against aliens and while it
might not go down as an instant classic it certainly ticks the boxes for
popcorn movie enjoyment.

When a meteor
shower heading to earth begins to slow down it becomes clear something is
afoot. Before long earth is being overrun by aliens who are adamant in wiping
out the current occupants of earth. With numerous cities falling Los Angeles is
the next target. As the city is evacuated Staff Sergeant Nantz (Eckhart), who was on the verge of
retirement, goes back into battle to lead a platoon of marines in saving some
trapped civilians. However, with the city now a war zone they will have to
fight their way in and out in order to survive.

If the plot
sounds reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s
Black Hawk Down (2001) it is almost
certainly intentional. It becomes clear from early doors in Battle that this is
very much aimed as a Black Hawk Down with Independence
Day
(1996) style invasion heroics. Early on we are introduced, one by one,
to the platoon of men fully aware that most of them are unlikely to make it out
alive. Throw in some panicked civilians and you have all the ingredients needed
for a thrill ride.

It’s fair to say the
plot is wafer thin and the characters are very broadly painted. Eckhart, giving
a nice grizzled performance, is the jaded leader who has lost men in previous
engagements. Around him you have the plucky Marine who is about to get married,
the green soldier anxious to make it through alive without disappointing, the
tough Air Force officer, a typically hard as nail Michelle Rodriquez, and all other manner of characters to grow to
like before mourning their imminent demise.

For the most part
Battle pans out like a break-neck computer game. You’ve got the claustrophobic
street fight, the gun-fight on the bridge followed by a tank ride and a run
through the city sewers. But, and this is crucial to the appreciation of the
film, it is never anything less than fist-pumping fun. We get to like the
characters, it’s fun watching them obliterate the villainous aliens and it’s a
relief when they make a narrow escape.

Of course much
press was given to the lawsuit between this film and the other alien invasion
movie of Skyline. Supposedly the
directors of that film worked on the special effects of Battle and stole the
idea. The difference is that Skyline was schlocky and predictable without ever
really pushing the envelope. In hindsight they had little to worry about.
Director Jonathan Liebesman nails the kinetic hand-held energy of the piece. In
doing so he puts us firmly in the thick of it with the platoon and allows the
action to be constantly exciting.

It’s nothing you haven’t seen before but Battle: Los
Angeles is never anything but hugely enjoyable nonsense. Hurrah indeed.



To Order Battle; LA on DVD Click Here Or On Blu-Ray Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

Previous Story

Patagonia

Next Story

Mission Impossible…

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

The Cat and the Canary

The Cat and The Canary is a ground-breaking masterpiece of early cinematic horror, directed by the man who literally perfected the old, dark house trope. Paul Leni’s (The Man Who Laughs) seminal

Malum + Hunt Her Kill Her

In this nostalgia-fuelled cinema landscape we find ourselves in, it’s surprising we don’t see more of the big-screen double-bill. Back in the good old days of cinema, it was very common to

The Holdovers

The Holdovers was something of a dark horse at the 2024 Academy Awards, while the likes of Oppenheimer, Poor Things and Killers of the Flower Moon were vying for top honours The
Go toTop