“Battle: Los Angeles” is a very mixed bag. This is like “Black Hawk Down” meets “War Of The Worlds”. Normally I down right loathe lines like that but this time I just can’t think of any other way to describe it.
The plot involves a global invasion by extra terrestrials. At first they appear as meteors which are heading for earth, but when scientists figure out that they slow down just before entering the atmosphere. They land off the shores of many major cities. Soon after alien drones walk on to the beach and begin attacking. This is when the military is sent in.
Most of the movie takes place from the ground level as platoons of soldiers engage the enemy face to face. The enemies themselves mostly appear as robotic blurs that rain down bullets and fire. Eventually the aliens bring in ships to provide air support. The problem here is that the battle scenes are sliced and diced and edited together in to visual chaos. If you walked in half way through you wouldn’t even know there were aliens in the film.
Scene after scene assaults us with incomprehensible mayhem that is about as fun to watch as a tornado ripping through your own house. Is this really the style that action directors find appealing these days? What happened to the times when audiences enjoyed being able to make sense of action sequences? How do these movies keep making so much money?
The movie does slow down for a few minutes to jam a few character traits down our throats. Leading the main platoon is Aaron Eckhart, as a retiring Sargent with a mysterious past involving the death of men who were under his command. Eventually the truth comes out, which leads to some heartfelt speeches about defending America and liberty or something like that.
The director of this film is Jonathan Liebesman, who I learn directed one of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remakes and “Darkness Falls”. His next effort will be the sequel to last years “Clash Of The Titans”, and will be shot in 3D. I’m overjoyed that “Battle’” was not in 3D, but I’m terrified to think of Liebesman’s directing style in the third dimension.