By: Andy Chruscicki
Rating: 7 out of 10
Battle: Los Angeles is like Christmas come early. It is a summer-caliber blockbuster and a nice little surprise amongst mediocre spring releases.
The film centers around Michael Nantz (played by Aaron Eckhart), a Staff Sergeant in the military on the precipice of entering retirement. However, when massive amounts of meteors fall off the coast of Los Angeles, Nantz is called on for one more mission. When these meteors unleash an alien race bent on destroying all of mankind, Nantz and his fellow soldiers soon find themselves in an all out war to save the human race.
Aaron Eckhart again proves why he is one of the best Hollywood has to offer. His portrayal of the perplexing and enthusiastic Nantz is one of the better performances in a science fiction film. The supporting cast isn’t that bad either. It’s littered with numerous actors that one would know from another movie but don’t know their name but all give decent performances given the situation of the film.
Director Jonathan Liebesman (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) puts together a pretty suspenseful and entertaining film considering it is his first venture into science fiction. He implements the use of a shaky camera to give the film a very real feel. This doesn’t work in his favor for a majority of the film though because sometimes the camera shakes so much, you might lose track of what’s going on. Think the first Transformers film, just not as shaky and close-up.
Battle: Los Angeles is over-stuffed with science fiction and war themed film stereotypes. So much that it may cause some to not take the film seriously. You get the feeling though that Liebesman and crew aren’t really shooting for the stars and trying to make a masterpiece. It is a blockbuster film, plain and simple. It doesn’t shoot to be anything it’s not dropping which drops it to mediocrity.
The special effects feel mediocre as well. The alien race in the film is very cool to look at with their half-machine/half-alien bodies. However, this doesn’t make up for the lame and B-rate look of Los Angeles when it is being attacked or on fire. Those are very disappointing and make the film look second rate. What redeems that are the intricate combat scenes. They are very intense and filled to the brim with explosions to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
If you are looking for a fun, intense science fiction film that is entertaining from beginning to end, Battle: Los Angeles is for you. However, it is far from perfect and will more than likely be forgotten come summer time.