After walking out of one theatre I had a short wait for Battle: L.A to start. Like Red Riding Hood I had not read anything positive about it. I had seen the terrible, awful, and atrocious Skyline last year and heard that this was not better, so it was with the utmost trepidation I sat down to watch.
First up it is NO-WHERE near as bad as Skyline. It isn't great but Skyline was the pits and it is always with disgust at myself in knowing that I sat through it!! Battle: L.A is fairly much the same premise, aliens invade. humanity gets it butt kicked, but hey luckily America has the Marines, and they eventually prevail, no retreat, ooo yah, semper fi!! And that pretty much sums it up.
The problem with Battle is that when the battle scenes stop the awfulness starts, and unfortunatley it is the usual Hollywood characterisations that make the rest of the world cringe. It all but rubs our faces in how great the U.S is and that without the Marines and their patriotism the world would be lost, aren't we the greatest, our dicks are bigger than yours cliques. I am not anti-American, but this Hollywood bullshit rubs me the wrong way and is a false representation of the American people. The problem being is many outside of the States watch this garbage and believe what they see. I'm a firm believer in loving your country but Hollywood takes it too far and for me as one of only four million Kiwis this shit grates on my nerves.
Ok, so in between the fighting there is alot of cheesy nonsense to deal with.That is the bad part of the movie and I personally fidgeted and groaned at how bad it was. If you can survive it then Battle isn't too bad. The fight scenes are plain awesome and the CGI spectacular. It is a pity the whole movie couldn't have been one long running scrap between the ooo-rahing Marines and the aliens. The aliens here are really nothing but a disguise for Iraqis as this is a blatant attempt to depict the 2003 invasion and what combat was really like.
For all its awfulness the combat depiction is superb and realistic. I was in a cinema and felt scared at the amount of ordnance being thrown around!! Soldiers do actually get killed and aren't indestructable Rambos, buildings are stunningly destroyed, freeways recieve the same treatment, it is just brutal warfare and L.A isn't spared! I haven't seen a combat movie that has shown the fierceness of combat like this since Saving Private Ryan. Sure they face aliens but put that aside and watch the tracer bullets fly and tell me you would want to be under that sort of fire. The thing I most rememer about Ryan was the sound of the German bullets pinging off the steel girders on the beach. In the theatre it was realistic and down right frightening. Battle L.A may be fictional but I feel it is as close to real combat as any of us would want to get ( just watch those tracer bullets because they are scary angry little hornets! ).
It has the usual clique moments where the Marines defy the odds and stand around yahooing and slapping each other on the back ( all but blowing each other in their wonderfulness!! ), which is pure crap because do you honestly believe soldiers do this during battle or that bullets stop flying just so they can do so?! Ah Hollywood you have done it again!! So as much as it is realistic there is some serious unrealism that lets down the good. Again Hollywood kicks in and the spectacular and stupid takes over and combat is reduced to a stroll in the park.
Battle: Los Angeles is a reasonbly acted movie ( but I am geting sick of Michelle Rodriquez playing the same role ). The battle scenes are superb and this alone makes the movie worth seeing on the big screen. If you can tune the awful crap from between the battle scenes out then you'll like this movie more. The premise isn't original and can be only described as Black Hawk Down meets War of the Worlds.
There is some truely awful Hollywood moments and dialogue that does jar but boy when the action starts it is full on and you'll forget it until it stops. Worth a watch for sure but nothing new and done before. All you really get here is to see Los Angeles laid to waste ( watch Collateral instead and glory in L.A at night!!! ), and some marines spouting the usual ooo-rah cliques. It is a 50/50 movie, if you see it you have seen, but it if you don't then you haven't really missed much.
Entertaining but with some real painful cheesy moments, you have been warned!!
Click here for a synopsis and more, ooo-rah, semper fi!!