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Starring:
Aaron Eckhart
as SSgt. Michael Nantz

Ramon Rodriguez
as 2nd Lt. William Martinez

Bridget Moynahan
as Michele

Michelle Rodriguez
as TSgt. Elena Santos

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Netflix, Inc.

Written by Christopher Bertolini

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

Running Time: 1:56

Rated PG-13
for sustained and intense sequences
of war violence and destruction,
and for language.

C-


THE OPENING

Battle: Los Angeles was a non-stop action/Sci-Fi film that had characters I didn't care about and virtually zero story.

THE STORY

Aliens have attacked a number of major cities around the world. We follow Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz in Los Angeles as the humans try and fight to save their cities.

THE REVIEW

Yeah that's pretty much what's happening in Battle: Los Angeles. Aliens attack, we fight back. And it goes on for 2 hours. The movie starts in the middle of the battle, we see a little flashback about 3 hours earlier, and then the movie just goes on for a couple of hours with no real ending. So if you're looking for a District 9 type story, don't hold your breath. There is the minor story of trying to get to a specific part of Los Angeles before a bomb drops. I suppose that's something. We get introduced to a number of characters, none of who meant a thing to me. We see a tiny history of a couple of them but not nearly enough to feel any empathy for them, so whether they live or die, it doesn't matter. Nantz is the main character and we hear one story from his past that carries into the present, but when the whole story came out the audience literally laughed out loud. Not because it was funny, but because there with this big clich├ęd story in the middle of a war. I mean, the entire sequence could have been written by anyone who had seen 3 war films in their life. It was absurd. Especially after speaking for 5 minutes he ended with 'none of that matters.' If it didn't matter, why did you say it? So to recap, there's no story and no character development. I guess the filmmakers thought they could just make a movie that was non-stop action and that would be enough. And it might have been, if the action was exciting. But it was very repetitive and never built up to anything worthwhile.

The special effects were actually pretty decent. But we saw almost everything from the human point of view and their weapons weren't very special. How many times can you see someone shoot a machine gun before it gets boring? The aliens had a couple of cool weapons, but we didn't see them very often. Most of the time we saw the humans hiding from the aliens. There was a sequence where the soldiers took a bus and were trying to escape that ended in a big bang. And then there was the 'final' battle where the soldiers managed to knock out a major alien power supply. But everything in between was just loud. I had a serious headache once I left the theater. And all in the fact that the entire movie felt like it was shot by a drunk 12-year-old and this is the kind of movie you'll need to take Tylenol for afterwards. The shaky-cam has its uses sometimes, but not all the time. When two people are sitting in an office talking, I don't need the camera to be moving around constantly. If they had played this movie District 9-style as a documentary, it would have made sense. But extreme shaky close-ups of two people discussing a file is unnecessary. In the middle of battle, it kind of worked because it made you feel like you were right in the middle of everything. But the non-stop barrage of gunfire and explosions was irritating, especially since I had no interest in whether these people lived or died.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, I wasn't a fan of Battle: Los Angeles. If you're into movies that are non-stop battles with no story and no characters, then this is for you. If you'd like something you can hang your hat on, then this isn't worth it. Though I imagine if you wanted to test out a new sound system, this might be a good choice.

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Reviewed 03/09/11

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