Battle: Los Angeles is an Epic Winner!

Are you ready for me yet?  Please press record on the tape deck for me.  Thanks!  Are we on?  Okay, good!  My name is Brian White and I wanted to go on record by saying that Battle: Los Angeles has been my most anticipated film this year ever since I saw the panel at last year’s Comic-Con (see here).  Is that hardcore or what?  Okay.  You can stop recording this transmission now.

Battle: Los Angeles is a science action film directed by Jonathan Liebesman and stars Aaron Eckhart, Michael Pena, Ne-Yo and two of my favorite sirens, Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan.  Eat your heart out Sean (over Rodriguez)!  Strangely enough, I read that the film’s events were actually inspired by a falsely suspected air raid of LA during World War II to give it an authentic feel.  I guess I can buy that.  Hell, who cares really?  Are any of us that old to remember World War II anyway?

No time is wasted in dumping us into the heart of the action right from the get go.  Things slow down a bit after the film’s introduction to bring us up to speed on how the world suddenly fell under attack from hostile alien invaders, but other than that, Battle: Los Angeles is a non-stop action vehicle.  Make sure you buckle up.  And if you can’t have fun with this one, there’s something wrong with you.  Where’s your sense of adventure?  Oh you found it?  Great!  Let’s move on.

Battle: LA focuses on a platoon of Marines assigned to rescue civilians from a police station after a series of meteorites are reported to have rocked the West Coast and other regions of the world.  Meteorites my a$$.  Those are MF aliens!  LOL!   The platoon is given a three-hour window to rescue the stranded civilians before a planned airstrike will level and destroy the entire area in hopes of containing the hostile situation.  It’s on this rescue mission that these soldiers will face an enemy like none other they have ever encountered before.  And thinking back, I think that statement is a pretty fair representation of the alien invaders, but more on that later.

I can go on and on and tell you why I loved this film and write until my carpal tunnel flares to the point of no return in order to convince you not to listen to these big time critics trash this film today.  They just don’t know how to have a good time.  Obviously!   If I had to I summarize Battle: LA in seven words or less I would state the obvious.  It’s Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day.  But wait!  I know when you hear the word Independence Day your mind instantly drifts to cheap thoughts.  Hold it right there!  Don’t you remember how visually stunning Independence Day was back in the days?  Come on!  Don’t trash a movie you haven’t seen yet (i.e. Burlesque).  Quite honestly, I feel as giddy writing this as the hot summer day I experienced Independence Day theatrically.  It’s a wonder they didn’t save this action flick for a summer release.

Here’s what Battle does right.  It’s not a cheap action movie with a ridiculous script and wooden actors.  It has heart and it has soul.  And best of all, it’s a war film!  It was shot like a war film, documentary style.  Picture yourself playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but battling rogue alien forces in the jungle that will stop at nothing until they kill you all.  Now picture that jungle as the streets of LA and you’re in the heat of the action as the war is not fought on a battlefield, but amongst homes and stores you frequent daily.  This is modern warfare, but AMPED!  Remember the sense of comradeship and pride you had when watching Black Hawk Down?  Well, that’s all here too!  The human race is being exterminated folks.  This is no laughing matter.  You want to know what it’s like being part of a Marine platoon smack dab in the middle of a combat, then look no further than here.  And what’s most surprising is Liebesman accomplished all of this with a PG-13 rating.  That’s simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Let’s not forget those pesky aliens either.  Unlike other movies where the aliens just come down and attack like mindless zombies, these aliens have a rhyme and reason for everything they do.  They have leaders and officers in their armies just like we do.  And they have some of the most sophisticated weaponry and vehicles ever seen.  In other words, these aliens are hell bent on wiping us out with a purpose/endgame in mind.  Yep, that’s right.  There’s a reason they are here.  How many alien invasion movies have you ever seen in your life where there is truly no explanation as to why they are so eager to exterminate us?  I know I have seen my quota of those films.  Well, not here.  They are here for a reason and I won’t spoil anything more.

Now with all that being said, what I like most about the film, and have hinted about it earlier, is the overall sense of realism and comradeship on display here between the soldiers.  Everything just felt authentic.  Whether real marine life is like what I saw on the big screen or not, my suspension of disbelief was as tight as a rubber band throughout the film’s runtime.  Not once did I ever check my watch.  I was always on the edge of my seat.  Moviegoers mourned the loss of onscreen characters nearby.  I heard crying.  I heard cheers.  It was a roller coaster ride that I did not want to get off.  Sure, Aaron Eckhart delivered a few awkward speeches here or there, but I never felt more patriotic this year than I did watching this small band of soldiers singlehandedly make a difference in the city of Los Angeles.  This is what dreams are made of.  They are the real dream team.  You hear that Lebron?  You are NOTHING.  Make sure your weekend includes plans to duke it out and experience Battle: Los Angeles at any cost.  I know the year is young, but for me, this is the film to be beaten.  Let’s see how Sucker Punch (my second most anticipated film of the year) does in a few weeks.  Enjoy!


9 Responses to “Battle: Los Angeles is an Epic Winner!”

  1. Sean Ferguson

    It looks and sounds good! I really want to see this one in the theater!

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Independence Day is my go to flick when it comes to popcorn alien invasion movies. Tonight we’ll see about this flick, but as long as its better than Skyline, I don’t see myself feeling bad afterward.

  3. Tina

    Great review! I want to see this now and it’s not even my kind of movie!

  4. Scott T. Morrison

    Brian, I have to agree with you. I loved the film. I felt like I was in the field with all those guys. Fighting right with them. The hand held camera style was perfect for this type movie.

  5. Mike

    Thanks for the review, Brian.

    After that abomination that was ‘Skyline’, I thought I’d stay away from any alien orientated films for awhlie. But you have me convinced Brian, I’ll have to give this a go!

  6. Keith Thomas

    Looks like a great movie! Want to see this soon!

  7. Gregg

    I enjoyed it! It got a little slow in the middle but that didn’t last for long. The whole “Independence Day meets Blackhawk Down” is the best description possible!

  8. Jiminy Critic

    Sorry, Brian… didn’t like it much… to each his own though…

  9. Aaron Neuwirth

    So one of my co-workers informed me that her husband (who has been a marine for years) thought that the work done in this film on that aspect was incredibly well handled. I found that interesting enough to make me like the movie more.