Los Angeles versus aliens: Who wins? Who cares!

A film that won't confuse you with plot twists and multi-dimensional characters. Battle: LA is mindless fun.

Arsalan Faruqi April 19, 2011
Battle: Los Angeles is a film that won't confuse you with plot twists and multi-dimensional characters.  The 1 hour 56 minute film is a straight-up, military-oriented, alien invasion film powered by the basics: tension and heroics.

It may not be an original concept, but director Jonathan Liebesman (Texas chainsaw massacre: The beginning) and writer Christopher Bertolini (The General’s Daughter) put together a film that is a thrilling ride.

The plot

Alien beings have invaded major cities across the globe. Only this time, the battle field is Los Angeles. A squad of marines is busy evacuating civilians from Los Angeles, which the military is about to nuke.

There are some high powered performances with emotional appeal and intensity when the group leader initially fails to create an impact on the rest of the team and differences of opinion lead to confusion in the ranks. The aliens are strong, ruthless and equipped with advanced weaponry. They have wreaked havoc on the town and it is upon this small band of soldiers to save lives and fight back.

Best scene

A scene in which a young marine is separated from his squad and finds himself on 'alien territory'  has been shot to perfection. The director has placed the camera as if in direct line of fire, creating realistic effects that keep the viewer feeling like a part of the movie. Uneven shots and muffled sounds add to the entire drama.

The bad

Firstly, it is predictable. Viewers know that when everything seems perfect, it’s a fake-out; we’re only seconds away from a supposedly 'unexpected' attack. The second problem I found in the film is that it is a little monotonous. It lacks twists and turns. There are just skirmishes and when the guns go silent, there are more skirmishes. By the end, Battle: Los Angeles becomes somewhat tiresome.

Aaron Eckhart (Erin Brockovich, Nurse Betty, Paycheck, Dark Knight)

Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3The Wannabe)

Cory Hardrict (Never Been Kissed)

Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T, AvatarLOST).

You'll like it if you like

CloverfieldSkyline - Saving Private Ryan - Black Hawk Down

What the critics say

Rotten Tomatoes: 34% rating
"Overlong and overly burdened with war movie clichés, Battle: Los Angeles will entertain only the most ardent action junkies”.

Lorri Hoffman (Atlantic City Weekly)
“A war movie that is dressed up like a sci-fi film to sneak in a message about Iraq and Afghanistan”.

Jim Schembri  (The Age, Australia)
“...mediocre and strewn with the type of plot inconsistencies and lazy dialogue all-too-typical of today's post-content blockbusters”.

The verdict

Despite its run-of-the mill plot, Battle LA is sheer entertainment. Watch it to escape from the bleak existence of an alien-less world.

Check out the trailer.
Arsalan Faruqi An entrepreneur with a degree in computer engineering and an MBA from IBA Karachi. He tweets as @arsalanfaruqi (https://twitter.com/arsalanfaruqi)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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