Thu 28 Feb 2013
Everything is clear from the first to the last of the shots (and there are many shots of all kinds) of Battle Los Angeles. The aliens are here (having arrived under disguise of a rain of meteorites) and they are after mankind. Mankind fights back and the US marines are on the front line. Chances are slim, but marines, the US and mankind will prevail.
The story is so simple that there is almost nothing to tell. While Earth seems to be losing most of the battles with the invading aliens, Los Angeles is one of the last remaining battlefields. A group of marines is sent in a semi-suicidal mission to save civilians and bring them to what looks like a safe zone. The commanding officer is young and inexperienced, the sergeant (Aaron Eckhardt) with an Iraq war record and appropriate traumas will soon prove to be more capable of leading the fight. War of the Worlds (like in H.G. Wells, including finding the vulnerability of the aliens) meets Iraq war movies. Even the graphics of the film mix the alien movies monsters with urban guerrilla a la Iraq – and they actually look quite good. The rest of the story does not matter.
While Aaron Eckhardt holds the lead role of the tough marine sergeant whose destiny is to take charge and save mankind, it is the performance of Michelle Rodriguez that I most enjoyed in this film directed by Jonathan Liebesman, a director who specializes in action movies. Rodriguez also made a specialty from playing muscled and sexy young women that bad guys should avoid upsetting. She may ask herself what will happen after the age for such roles will pass (it happens to everybody) but this is her personal concern. I love movies that are what they claim to be (I also like the same kind of humans actually) and this is why I liked in the limits of the genre Battle Los Angeles. To Liebesman’s credit it must be said that he does not try for one moment pretend that this film is anything else than what it is, there is no characters evolution (in humans as well as in aliens) and no tentative to make anything else but a good action movie. To a large extent he succeeds, or at least nothing is bad in what resulted.