World Invasion:Battle Los Angeles (2011)
I was a fan of ID4 (1996). The movie blew me away when I was still in college...
District 9 (2009) was remarkably brilliant and caught me off guard...
Skyline (2010) was promising but utterly ruined by bad acting and a poor ending....
So, understandably Battle LA trailers and sneak peaks did not peak my interest. Unless it was Roland Emmerich or Steven Spielberg at the helm and producing the movie, I was skeptical to say the least. As Forrest Gump would say, "life is like a box of chocolates..."; you know the rest...it takes guts and lots of imagination to make an earth-invasion movie to suit the palate of audiences. Cliched scenes and predictable outcomes always make it an uphill task.
Jonathan Liebesman directed this 116-minute flick with Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez starring. Liebesman, I remember from Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A New Beginning. The theme was laid on the USMC (United States Marine Corp). For me, that was a good way to do things. After all, most situations calling for the defence of the nation would befall the USMC. Regular army will pound, but the USMC are designated for special operations and specific mission parameters. Think about this movie as a sci-fi version of Blackhawk Down (2001).
Needless to say, the premise was not original - CNN reports imminent meteor strikes, but turns out that the projectiles coming from the heavens appears to have mechanical structures and moving at slower speeds as they near - it's always the eastern seaboard which gets it- you see loads of terrified citizen being evacuated but which good invasion movie won't see the brutal deaths of a few dozens or hundreds to make a point? Aliens? Well, what else? Immense ships, superior firepower and ugly forms. Action and ammo always sell. These things crashes into the water just off the coast of 16-17 countries and make their way inland, blasting all and sundry in their wake.
The movie progressed to focus on a unit led by Lt. Willam Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) with the more senior Staff Seargent Michael Nanz (Eckhart) shadowing and counselling the young Lieutenant. Their mission was to secure an overrun police prescient, rescue any civilians and get out before an aerial bombing commences to "drive the infestation back to the ocean". Along their way, they pick up Rincon and his children at the police prescient and a separated USAF Tech Sergeant Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez). The suspense ala Blackhawk Down starts from here- fighting out of alien territory to make it to an FOB (forward operating base), the next safest place to be when the Air Force commences their assault.
The entourage knows how to kill the aliens more effectively when they dissected one alive to find out where its heart is. The aliens incidentally run on water and so, they bleed water. They invasion force has come to drink us dry. The engagement of a freeway between the Marines and an alien party seems to mirror the final show down in Saving Private Ryan. The aliens in this movie control un-manned drones to kill and maim humans from command ships placed in major cities and locations.
Just the luck they needed when the Marines come across an RF distortion which hints the presence of a command ship. It was underground. I liked this part of the movie - the infiltration battle scene and the final show down when they laser-in guided missiles into the command ships. Much like how they do it in ID4 after they discover how to down a mother ship effectively. Once the command units are down, all drones drop like flies and the foot soldiers retreat.
The action packed movie certainly was worth the time and money. After being disappointed by Skyline, Battle LA is certainly a refreshing invasion movie.
I'd give this one a 7.5 out of a possible 10.
Labels: Movie Reviews