"Battle: Los Angeles" Pits Shaky Cam Versus Water-Stealing Aliens

The shaky-cam is coming, the shaky-cam is coming! Jonathan Liebesman directs his alien-invasion saga Battle: Los Angeles as if he were having a violent seizure, wedding whiplash faux-war-documentary aesthetics to a Michael Bay cocktail of ooh-rah military romanticism, quick-stroke melodrama, and seesawing CG mayhem.

Called into duty after news reports of extraterrestrial warfare devour the airwaves, a John Wayne–type staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart)—on the eve of retirement and in search of redemption—leads a Marine squad into laser-demolished downtown L.A. to evacuate civilians. As they proceed block by invader-infested block, their mission suggests Iraq/Afghanistan parallels that are overwhelmed by bludgeoning cacophony (including a few brumfs! borrowed from Inception) and visual incoherence.

Matching the indistinctness of the human protagonists, whose pre-conflict intros fail to establish empathy for their future up-a-creek circumstances, the film’s mushroom-headed bio-mech invaders prove a featureless bunch out to steal the planet’s water supply. Not a single arresting image is found amid the sci-fi rubble, though unintentional laughs eventually arrive courtesy of a cornball motivational speech by Eckhart’s hero that he then immediately dismisses with, “None of that matters right now.”

Ultimately, it’s not clear what’s more nauseating: the Tilt-a-Wheel cinematography, the shameless second-act bid for weepy-child bathos, or the suggestion of an inevitable sequel.

 
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5 comments
Cappyfeist
Cappyfeist

A MOVIE FOR A RAINY DAY WHEN THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO DO.......IT IS LIKE A SATURDAY AFTERNOON SPECIAL THAT WENT STRAIGHT TO VIDEO!!!! NOT A VERY GOOD SHOW AT ALL......PAUL

Justinhoover123
Justinhoover123

Why don't they make an alien invasion movie where the aliens simply attack planet earth as a preemptive measure? I mean, it's believable that aliens would attack us to prevent us from spreading our warmongering terror across space. If we're so willing to kill ourselves, why would we remotely care about something else? And thus the intergalactic moral imperative assumes that the technological civilization of Earth must contained before it becomes uncontainable...

Bigflabear
Bigflabear

John, could not have said it better... But, that is why it's called fiction. Remember that Alice went down a rabbit hole too.

bryonwhite
bryonwhite

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John Smith
John Smith

Ok, so they are here to steal water? Never mind those planet sized balls of ice you passed in the Oort cloud on your way in. Here to steal metals maybe, silicon maybe, but WATER? there are a whole lot of places in the solar system where you can get water a lot easier. Probably the most stupid aspect of this is the amount of energy they would have to expend to lift all that nice water out of the earths gravity well, when all they have to do is pull up next to an icy planetiod out in the Oort cloud or Kuiper belt and melt it. If I am not even an alien and I can figure this out I would imagine some hyper intelligent space brothers would figure this one out.

 

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