Monday, March 14, 2011

Movie Review - Battle: Los Angeles

Battle: Los Angeles - *

Directed by:  Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriquez, Bridget Moynahan

Review:  ‘Battle: Las Angeles’ has too many problems for me to mention in just this single one review.  I am gonna start this review by listing out some of the issues I have with alien invasion movies in general, but that this movie takes to a whole new level:

1.       Unnecessarily Hostile Aliens – With the exception of a couple recent movies (‘District 9,’ ‘Monsters’) aliens are always extremely and violently hostile when they reach Earth.  Never is there any sort of explanation or attempt at communication or anything of the sort, the aliens just arrive and start killing people.  Perhaps I have a poor view of this situation, but follow me on this one.  I would assume that if a civilization was advanced enough to find their way to Earth from wherever they are from, they would have reached a level of enlightenment to where they would understand that the best method would not be to come in guns blazing.  If they were going to come in and fight you would assume at the very least that they would do some recon missions and find a better way than to attack from the ocean or something.  You could argue that they have been running recon missions for thousands of years, but they don’t mention any of that in the movie.

2.       How would any alien civilization have the resources to launch a full scale invasion and try to take over an entire planet?  This would mean that an entire civilization would be united and they would have an entire army with artiliary and fighting machines that they could uproot and send light years away to fight.  If we discovered life on another planet, and decided that we didn’t care about it we just wanted to destroy it, would we even be able to?  We would have to take millions and millions of people because we would be able to call reinforcements that quickly.  This would be an incredible endeavor and there is no reason to believe that any civilization could do it.

3.       Would an alien civilization go about their business the same way that we would?  By that I mean, how would we even know that aliens would know that what we do is violent?  Would they have any concept of violence?  Would they have the same way of violence that we do?  Movies instantly assume that aliens would come to earth with guns and projectile weapons.  Perhaps they would come and attack stealthily or with telepathy or something much more advanced than a supped up shotgun. 

4.       Movies automatically assume that aliens are humanoid in nature.  We know from our research that humans could not exist on other planets, not just because of no oxygen, but because the terrain on other planets and other atmospheric conditions would be preventative to habitation.  Wouldn’t a species from a different planet that has a different gravity level and different atmosphere have a completely different body structure?  Would they have organs that look like ours such as ‘Battlefield: LA’ suggests they would?  No, they wouldn’t, but people don’t want to see original looking aliens on screen.  Take a movie like ‘Monsters,’ here are interesting looking aliens that obviously have a purpose on their own world but find themselves trying to make it on ours.  These were not well received but ‘Battle: LA’ was tops at the box office this week because originality counts for nothing in movies these days.

This is just a few reasons that I think most alien invasion movies struggle.  These are only a few of the main reasons this movie struggles.  The other is that it just plain sucks.  I had high hopes for this.  A war movie that focuses on ground battle.  With some development of storyline this could have been great.  Perhaps they could have had more leadup to the alien landing.  They could have had more developed characters in that leadup and then we would have cared more during the fight scenes because nobody cares anything at all about any of these characters.  There is also the stupid addition of civilians that do nothing other than gives the marines and parent civilians children to scream for, try to protect and have emotional speeches about.  Speaking of emotional speeches, this is a war movie, so you better believe there is someone who dies who has a letter he has written to his wife that others have to get to her.  Such a plot device has never been thought of before.

This movie was simply a waste.  A decent idea, some decent actors, decent special effects, and absolutely no storyline with horrific dialogue makes this an awful experience.  This movie is not worth your time.

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