Battle: Los Angeles

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

I don’t think many filmmakers spend much time, money, and energy on a movie they think people will hate. If this is true to the creators of “Battle: Los Angeles”, then they must have scornfully assumed that most people are dumb suckers with short attention spans whose approval can be easily bought by the sight of nonsensical explosions and shoot-outs shot in an incomprehensible mess. I hope that the reader of this is not one of those who encourage such assumptions.

Los Angeles is enjoying a normal, beautiful, quiet day. But then, meteorites start falling from the sky, and inside them are aliens who immediately start shooting at poor, innocent civilians at the beach. This massacre is viewed way up in the sky through a television with a lot of static. This requires less editing than usual, since we can’t really see what’s going on anyway.

Prior to this unfortunate invasion, we are introduced to a small group of soldiers. They say six, maybe seven, lines of dialogue while their names are flashed on the screen. Next thing we know, they’re exchanging gunfire with the aliens. Would we care if any of them die? After all their names have been flashed, we can almost be sure that the loser will do something unexpectedly heroic, that the guy who has a letter prepared for his wife will die, and that his last words will be him making sure that the letter gets to her.

Also, we can rationally guess that the only girl in the team will be badass, and that the guy who seems like a jerk will do something completely unselfish, and that the leader who doesn’t have the respect of his team will redeem himself in the end. We could be sure of these things because the only time we get to spend with these people without their guns are the set-ups that will lead up to such obvious happenings. Game show contestants are given more characterization than these brave Marines.

On the other side of the battle are the pesky, world-invading aliens. Funny how they are smart enough to use meteorites for space travel but lack the necessary common sense to take cover when they are being shot at. Take away their weapons, and they’d be useful for target practice. From a news coverage heard in the background, we learn that the aliens might want our water, and then we go back to the action. These aliens are neither intimidating nor interesting.

The action scenes themselves could have been some kind of consolation to the boredom brought to us by the citizens of both Mankind and Non-Mankind, but no luck. Marines and Aliens are either crushed, or shot at, or blown up, or crushed by an object that blew up after being shot at. All of this is senseless enough, but director Jonathan Liebesman adds to the mayhem by choosing to hold a rolling camera the same way a cheerleader holds a pompom. The resulting images will blow your mind. *wink*


  1. So agree…. We all hoped for much more…

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Battle: Los Angeles