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Confession of Murder

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Home · Articles · Movies · Science Fiction · Battle: Los Angeles
Science Fiction
 

Battle: Los Angeles


Plot? Who needs plot? Let's shoot aliens.

Rod Lott March 11th, 2011

One needs more than two hands to count the numerous other films from which “Battle: Los Angeles” has been cobbled: “Independence Day,” “Cloverfield,” “Starship Troopers,” “Transformers,” “Aliens,” “Predator,” “Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem” and any movie in which bullet casings fall to the ground in slow motion, to name just a few.

Battle-Los-Angeles-8-550x366
If the alien-invasion flick often looks like a video game, that’s because it’s written like one (as in barely), as a loose string of missions for its gung-ho Marines: Rescue civilians from a police station; take them to safety; destroy the mother ship. That’s the simple-structured path for our cardboard, interchangeable heroes, led by a stoic, ever-grimacing Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight”) as Staff Sgt. Nantz, after aliens lay waste to several locales around the world, La-La Land included.

As Billy Joel once sang early in his career, say goodbye to Hollywood.

Employing a shaky-cam style reminiscent of first-person-shooter games, director Jonathan Liebesman (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”) puts his cast through nearly two solid hours of rat-a-tat-tat and budda-budda-budda, all in a messy manner making it difficult to tell who’s who. When this sci-fi actioner says “Battle,” it means it, but at the expense of any kind of story. One doesn’t expect much from effects-driven efforts like this, but even I was astonished at how little it aims to tell. All it cares about it aiming to shoot. That quickly wears audiences out.

Bonus points if you believe it ends in a setup for endless sequels, from “Battle: New York City” to “Battle: Sheboygan.” Retreat! —Rod Lott


 
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