Battle: Los Angeles, the Cloverfield wannabe of the West Coast

If you’re into alien/apocolyptic/war/action movies, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is right up your alley. However, with all that’s going on in Japan, you might not need this. (I went to Thursday’s midnight showing and came home to news and video of the earthquake/tsunami aftermath.) But if you’re curious, here goes.

The film’s pretty simple. Aaron Eckhart debuts as an action hero, Marines never quit and aliens steal our water supply to power their ships. There were several nationalistic themes.

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES

The troops go in full force, against an enemy not yet identified, and with no idea how to defeat them. (Parallels?) The enemy turns out to be aliens (that look worse than M. Night Shyamalan’s in SIGNS) by a director with a die-hard crush on (THE HURT LOCKER’S) Kathyrn Bigelow. Poetic close-ups of rubble juxtaposed with CG alien spacecrafts, oh my!  Our soldiers discover a way to defeat them: by, you guessed it, destroying the alien mothership that is the base communication for the unmanned aerial spacecrafts.

At one point, I felt like it was the wannabe CLOVERFIELD of the West Coast with all of its many hand-held shots. This may just mean the director did his homework in regard to money-making war/alien/sci fi flicks — which seemed to do the trick. The LA times reported this movie won “the weekend count with an estimated $36 million.”

All in all, it was a very brief release from reality. I had issues with some of the plot points, dialogue and effects, but you can’t really go into a movie like this with huge expectations. It did a great job of personalizing American soldiers, for which it can’t be faulted. My heart ached for their sacrifice, and despite some of its inconsistencies, this movie made me feel pride for the U.S., and perhaps, that’s just the message the writer, director intended….or maybe I drew from it what I could. Either way, if you’re curious, it’s worth a matinee or a Netflix instant play.

Here’s the trailer.

5 thoughts on “Battle: Los Angeles, the Cloverfield wannabe of the West Coast

  1. I didn’t care for it. It seemed like an attempt to meld Saving Private Ryan with Independence Day. The action scenes were unrelenting in a bad way. It was often hard to know exactly what was going on. Patriotic stuff came off as hokey. I didn’t like the special effects. I must have yawned 10 times during this movie.

  2. I hear ya. I did some e-mail spring cleaning on my phone at one point. That’s a great comparison, Cam. I felt the Independence Day correlation too. The ending definitely got a little hokey: (spoiler alert) “We’ve already had breakfast, sir,” as they’re refilling their magazines, readying for battle, impervious to hunger or exhaustion. I think the screenwriter got a little carried away with the patriotism, and after two hours of drilling that message, it got me a little bit.

  3. I enjoyed your summation of the movie, probably more than the movie itself. Trying to wedge a love-letter to the armed forces into an action movie has not only been done to death (Saving Private Ryan, most war movies, even Aliens), in this case, it simply didn’t work.

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