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Battle Los Angeles

Battle Los Angeles

What She said:

She

They’re coming, and they want our natural resources!  Battle: Los Angeles follows a group of marines charged with saving Southern California from the wrath of evil invading aliens.  The movie opens with a brief introduction to each character, and you get to see their dynamic as a pre-battle group.  Then they are, rather quickly, thrown into the action, getting blasted to bits while trying to figure out how to bring down their foe. 

This movie is action, action, action, with very little character development, so I think unless you’re a straight-up action junkie you may not enjoy this.  People are dying left in right, bodies strewn all over the place.  Don’t get attached to any of our characters because, spoiler, a lot of them perish.  In fact, I was a little miffed by the number of battalion members who died compared to the number I thought were originally in the group.  Part way through, I noted that I thought more people had died than existed in the first place.  I guess they sort of operated like shark’s teeth.  One died, and then they just rotated in a lookalike until they, too, met their demise.  Another gripe I had was the fact that the military managed to evacuate the entire city in a matter of hours.  I guess the aliens killed half the civilians, so there were less to ship out, but it just seemed a bit unlikely. 

Ok, so seeing past some of my pet peeves about the movie, I was with this one for a good solid hour.  And then I started to get bored.  The storyline, as basic as it was (kill aliens/escape city), seemed to drag on and became quite repetitious.  In my mind I kept saying, “Oh, here we go again,” or “Oh, now what?”  There was too much of that, “We did it!  Oh no wait, no we didn’t,” stuff going on.  I think you can only do that a couple of times before it gets old and your audience begins to expect it.  Once it’s expected, it’s not effective. 

With characters that I honestly didn’t give a crap about (I hardly knew you all aside from the brief intro), I found myself not caring who lived and who died.  As long as I was safe in my living room, away from the alien terror.  Once I started to get bored, I think the most exciting part of this movie was when a shockingly brief, yet intense thunderstorm struck my house.  At one point, I stared at my cat for 15 minutes while she licked herself—that’s how disinterested I got.  It’s a shame, too, because things started off pretty good.  They should have done more with the characters or ended this film at least 45 minutes earlier. 

Thumbs down.

What he said:

He

Battle Los Angles wasn’t very well received by most critics. It generated some extremely negative reviews. There was some downright hate on various internet forums.

As time went on though, I found the initial criticism died down. I even saw some praise for the movie. It was pretty much the exact opposite of what I saw just a few months earlier (this movie was only in theaters 4 months ago). I even saw a critic or two say some nice things about it, so my hopes higher than just a few months prior.

There not a lot to cover as far as the story goes, but I’ll give you a quick rundown. Essentially and not surprisingly, this movie is about an alien invasion. They kick our asses, humanity is forced to dig deep, yada, yada, yada, and you know the story.

The group is led by veteran soldier Sgt. William Nantz (played by Aaron Eckhardt). Nantz is a veteran amongst a group of soldiers who appear to be little more than a bunch of tough-talking, inexperienced kids. Nantz has a past that haunts him, the group thinks he’s a washed up liability, but before the end of the movie…oh who am I kidding, I think you see where this is going.

The movie starts out ok. There was some intrigue, decent action, you name it. But as time went on, everything seemed to start to go backwards. The action was no longer as interesting, the drama completely gone (there was some painfully bad moments where they were trying to be all emotional), and everything became a little too easy for the good guys.  It was almost as if they shot the movie one half at a time, but with a completely different crew the second time around.

It wasn’t as bad as the extreme criticism, but it didn’t grab me after a certain point. When it was all said and done, I didn’t develop strong enough feelings to care about it all that much, but I simply didn’t care enough about it to hate it either. The movie has kind of a bland existance. It's not the worst thing I've ever seen, it's just flat and unoriginal. Battle Los Angeles could have benefitted from a little more effort. It’s “passable” if all you want is action, but the details of the storyline and characterization felt rushed.

Rating: Thumbs down.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on July 14, 2011.

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