Friday, April 1, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles *

Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez
Ramón Rodríguez, Michael Peña, Ne-Yo, Bridget Moynahan
Cory Hardrict, Noel Fisher, Jim Parrack

How can a movie where things explode very two seconds, be so freaking dull? That might be the biggest mystery in Battle: Los Angeles, and not why the leading characters never get hit by bullets, why the virgins die first and why are the aliens bothering with physical combat when they have such amazing weapons.
The film is essentially a handheld version of every war movie made during the last decade. Only difference is that the Middle Easterners have been replaced by aliens who have come to Earth to steal all the water (yes, a thinly disguised allegory for water replacing oil as the ultimate element of survival).
The characters include all the usual suspects, including Eckhart who plays an officer who just happens to announce his retirement the day aliens invade, Ramón Rodríguez as a newbie with a pregnant wife at home, Fisher as a geeky virgin and Michelle Rodríguez as a tough, butch chick with a heart of gold i.e. she plays Michelle Rodríguez.
The film was supposedly inspired on a WWII episode concerning mysterious lights that appeared above Los Angeles and watching this torturous film, you honestly have time to think that maybe filming that story would've been a much better idea.
The action scenes in the movie are deft but shockingly forgettable, the characters are under developed and other than Eckhart and Peña (who are always reliable) everyone else seems to not even bother with putting on a show.
Perhaps what results more vomit inducing about this movie is how biased it is about the idea of military forces being the families of the future.
We always wonder what keeps this people together as they travel the streets of the city trying to find civilians. Why aren't they more interested in their own lives? Since the performances are so poor, the only thing that bonds them is the actors' contract.
This forced love for the army the characters talk so much about comes off looking as a silly, even subversive method of drafting, not very different from what people in the 1940s would've thought.
At least this lack of soul, makes it easy to believe that no intelligent extraterrestrial force would bother with conquering a bunch of mechanical beings.


Tom Clift said...

Wow, I think you hated this movie even more than I did. At the very least, I did think some of the action was entertaining - the first scene was quite suspensful. But man was it stupid. Allegorically it was a total mess, and the characters were just awful.

Jose said...

Haha well, it wasn't hard to dislike this one, right? It's so insanely dumb.

InsomniacSoleil said...

Great review. I haven't even considered the fact that the Aliens had superior weaponry. The fact that they mastered the ability of space travel shows just how advanced they are in comparison to us. You would think the comparison would be like us going to war with Napoleons legion of honor. That would be over in no time.

How did you manage to sit through the whole thing despite the terrible editing and cinematography?

I commend you!