Thursday, March 17, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles

It's been a while since we've been treated to a straight out alien invasion popcorn blockbuster. And in the true spirit of films like Independence Day, Battle: Los Angeles is all about kicking some alien butt (or a similiar alien counterpart for this body part).

Honestly, there's not a whole lot to say about this movie, as the title already gives you a good idea of what to expect. Things you shouldn't however expect is an involving storyline, breakthrough performances and fresh dialogue. But all of these are mere nice-to-haves when the world is being attacked by 'little green men' and that is exactly why this battle only focusses on the bare essentials needed to make a movie watchable.

With more than a few similarities with the hit TV series, Friday night lights, especially the score and camera technique used, Batlle: Los Angeles attempts to draw you into the action as much as possible. And for the most part, this really works, as you feel like your playing a Playstation game with really nice graphics and awesome sound effects. Aliens are creepy and scary, without however feeling unrealistically powerful or clever.

"And for the most part, this really works, as you feel like your playing a Playstation game with really nice graphics and awesome sound effects."

Without giving too much away, the film is also quite unforgiving for the type of genre it steals shamelessly from. This might be due to the film's lack of different perspectives, as you only see the drama unfold from the eyes of a military squad of misfit soldiers that might or might not have a history with each other.

But even though the film lacks a chewy, emotional centre, director Jonathan Liebesman (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The beginning) has tried his best to imbue his film with a slight shred of resonance, but this fails quite obviously. Nevertheless, one can at least identify with characters' dilemma, as Michelel Rodriguez and protagonist Aaron Eckhart (Dark knight, The Black Dahlia) as a hardcore staff sergeant try to give all the destruction some point.

So, if you need a break from the troubles of office politics, then Battle: Los Angeles is a good way of seeing people's heads get blown up without the repercussions of getting fired or sent to prison. 

Don't worry, things are worse than they seem...
Highlight: When things get a bit gloomy, leave it to the Staff sergeant to brighten things up with some petroleum and a unlucky alien droid in the middle of things.

Rating: 2-and-a-half Meerkat Tails