This review contains some minor plot details but nothing anyone who has seen a few trailers or been keeping an eye on this film wont already know.
Battle: Los Angeles is a realistic, and gritty war movie (well as gritty as a 12a rated film can get anyway) where Aliens invade our planet for our resources and a squad of US Marines find themselves against all odds fighting an enemy they simply have very little understanding of.
It's more of a filler flick, rather than a summer blockbuster. It's not terrible, but it's not great. The characters you just don't really have much feeling for, other than perhaps one around the middle of the movie. There is little background or depth to them to give you a reason to care about them. Granted this is a war movie but some more development would have been nice because as it is you just want to watch the combat rather than the boring story filler that serves little purpose other than to move onto the next battle sequence.
And not just for the humans but also for the aliens aswell. There's just so little known about them. In one sense it's like gathering intelligence about them while watching the film (though maybe this was the intention, putting you in the marines shoes), but in another there's very little that shows how stuff actually works, how they exist, etc. It's more "here's your aliens, now just watch them get blown to bits". Any explanations that are given are very short and to the point, almost to where you might even miss picking up on it entirely.
I think the biggest issue I had with this film though is Aaron Eckhart. For some reason I just kept seeing him as Harvey Dent rather than the character he plays in this film. Maybe a different lead may have helped immerse me into the movie better. Michelle Rodriguez wasn't too bad though she probably wouldn't have been my first choice for casting either (and I actually like Michelle Rodriguez).
Story and plot aside Battle Los Angeles does have some good action sequences. The aliens are not treated as stupid, and are generally quite advanced and an equal to the humans in terms of combat prowess. It also has some genuine jump out of your seat pieces (at least in cinema anyway) which are actually done quite well. It sets the atmosphere well for the most part but is let down by being a bit too easy to read. The marines act very realistically for the most part, maybe perhaps too realistically as it seems more documentary like than movie like, though perhaps this is what the director intended.
Special effects are done well, and the aliens are pretty awesome to watch in combat. Some of the designs seem a little weird, but overall I have no issue with how the film looks. It sounds pretty good too. especially when everything starts kicking off. There are some genuinely good set pieces which the visuals only help to immerse the veiwer within.
It's decent, but it needed perhaps more time fleshing out the characters and aliens to be better. Worth watching at least once for its set pieces though if you like war movies. The audio and visual, coupled with the action sequences save this movie from being totally terrible.
Overall I would give this film a 6/10 for its story, 8/10 for its action, and 9/10 for audio and visual.
Please note articles posted on my blog are solely the opinion of myself, and myself only. Please do not take anything as literal fact.
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