At the start of Battle: Los Angeles, we meet Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz. He is getting older, and it is shown that he can’t quite keep up with his fellow soldiers any more, so he makes the decision to retire. He figures his best years as a soldier are behind him.He is given one last mission, and he is assigned to a group of Marines led by a young Lieutenant. Of course, the day starts out well enough, and soon goes to hell as aliens invade LA and start exterminating humanity.
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, Battle: Los Angeles is a thrilling, gritty action movie. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously, as it is, at its core, a dumb popcorn flick. It’s full of cheesy dialogue and overzealous patriotism, but if you turn your brain off for a little bit you’ll have fun watching this.
The whole movie in anchored by the perpetually awesome actor Aaron Eckhart. He is given a good amount of bad dialogue in this movie, but he somehow makes it work. You never cringe when he says a line that would be cringe-worthy coming out of a lesser actor’s mouth. He nails the intense stare and general badass vibe of an action hero. I would love to see Eckhart in more roles like this, preferably where he is surrounded by equal actors with a better script.
If you’ve ever played the Playstation 3 game series Resistance, you’ll instantly feel like you are watching a live action version of that franchise. I can see why the movie is being promoted alongsideResistance 3 (you can even catch a glimpse of a Resistance 3 billboard in the background of one scene). It’s basically Resistance mixed with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Like I said before, most of this movie’s problems stem from its script. The characters, apart from Eckhart’s Michael Nantz, are not very fleshed out, which makes it kind of hard to care about them later in the movie when they are in danger. The action in this movie is great and fast paced, however, and helps mask the flaws embedded in the script.
Michelle Rodriguez is in this movie, once again typecast as a badass chick who kicks ass. At least she always pulls it off. Ramon Rodriguez, who played Shia’s extremely annoying roommate inTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is slightly less annoying here. Ne-Yo is the only other actor I recognized, and I have to say his acting range is severely limited, which is all the more pronounced when he is around a seasoned vet like Eckhart.
Battle: Los Angeles would probably have been a much lesser movie without Aaron Eckhart. His great skill and careful subtlety really help ground the movie, when it would otherwise just spiral into absolute ridiculousness. If you know what you’re getting into, and adjust your expectations accordingly, Battle Los Angeles is worth picking up. The Blu Ray has a great picture, some decent extras, and an exclusive demo for Resistance 3. At less than $18 currently on Amazon, it is worth picking up in my opinion, if you are a fan of the genre.