Here’s some examples of the mundane dialogue that plagued what could have otherwise been an average alien invasion movie.
Aaron Eckhart is comforting an injured soldier on the ground, “You’ll be surfing soon enough, Simmons…”
A different injured soldier on the ground is talking to Aaron Eckhart, “Give this letter to my wife (*cough* *cough*)… That’s an ORDER, staff sergeant…”
A different soldier is moving an injured soldier on the ground into a helicopter, “Everything is gonna be alright! Everything is gonna work out! See you soon, buddy!” (helicopter explodes 10 seconds later)
I think it was Richard Roeper who said watching Battle Los Angeles is like watching someone else play a video game. That’s pretty accurate. I actually like watching people play video games, though. That is, video games with interesting story in combination with the action. Battle Los Angeles is like watching someone play Call of Duty online for two hours. It’s interesting for a little while, then gets freaking boring. Because it’s the same crap over and over again.
The action in the movie was fairly decent, there were scenes of quality suspense mixed with loud explosions. It was nice of them to spend the first 10 minutes introducing characters that you assume will all be dead by the end of the movie. They had the mix of likable and dickish, rookies and veterans, the foreign guy and the hillbilly. The first actual scene of the film started out right in the action, which was awesome. Then they went back in time a little bit and gave us some annoying back stories of people I don’t want to know about. The main back story is that Aaron Eckhart was on a mission previously that he let some of his soldiers get killed on, one of which is the brother of a solder he has to work with now. I figure standard military procedure wouldn’t pair the two of them up like this, but I guess it was special circumstances, with the aliens and whatnot.
But these needless back stories helped contribute to the pacing problems that haunted Battle Los Angeles. There would be an almost decent gunfight scene, but then it would be followed by 6 minutes of characters bickering about how Aaron Eckhart is a coward who killed his soldiers a few years ago. He just saved your life, asshole! Quit bringing that up!
As much as I’m moderately praising the action in this movie, it technically overall wasn’t really that great. But it’s satisfactory, I suppose. It felt like the same action scene over and over again, and it eventually got tiresome. This movie made me tired. I went home and took a nap afterwards.
Remember those Army commercials from several years ago where the marine is like fighting a dragon on a bridge, being all badass, trying to get people to enlist? This is basically the two hour version of that. I was expecting this to come up when the credits started rolling:
I wish it was rated-R, though. Not for more swearing, nudity, or gory violence (PG-13 violence has proven to be pretty graphic nowadays anyway). But since it was PG-13, I had to endure a theater filled with families. And loud, annoying children. I had no idea this was going to be a family film. And further more, the lady sitting right behind me started shaking her popcorn bag every two minutes. You have to be some kind of sociopath to knowingly cause that much noise in a movie theater. If she started choking on herpopcorn, I wouldn’t have helped her. UHHHHHGG.
Overall, this film is a step up from last year’s Los Angeles alien invasion movie Skyline. But i wouldn’t really recommend either of them, to be honest. Especially Skyline.
5.5 out of 10
*The best part about seeing Battle Los Angeles, though, was the trailer beforehand for Super 8. It looks awesome! It’s like a mix between Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, and a kick-ass monster B-movie.