Saturday, 17 August 2013

Battle: Los Angeles DVD Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Christopher Bertolini With Uncredited Rewrites By Shane Black
Directed By Jonathan Liebesman

A Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Original Film Production

Science Fiction, Action


Aaron Eckhart as Ssgt. Michael Nantz
Ramon Rodriguez as 2nd Lt. William Martinez
Will Rothaar as Cpl. Lee Imlay
Cory Hardict as Cpl. Jason Lockett
Jim Parrack as LCpl. Peter Kerns
Ne-Yo as Cpl. Kevin Harris
Bridget Moynahan as Michele
Michelle Rodriguez as TSgt. Elena Santos

Certificate 12


Witness the end of civilization unfold as hostile alien invaders attack the planet. As people everywhere watch the world's great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected.

Now it's up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they've ever encountered in this epic sci-fi action film. 

Special Features
  • Behind the Battle
  • Aliens in L.A.
  • Preparing For Battle
  • Creating L.A.


I'd heard a lot about this movie, some good and some bad.  A few reviews said it was a less polished version of the Will Smith movie 'Independence Day' and others said that it was a fun and well paced action movie.  As a massive 'Independence Day' fan, I've always been fond of watching alien invasion films in general too so I was quite eager to  get this one home to watch.

While I can understand some of the criticism leveled at the movie itself, I found it to be an interesting, exciting and gripping action movie with some really good set pieces that came alive.

Some of the criticism aimed at the movie seemed to concern how cliched the characters were and to that extent, I do agree with that.  Some of the characters appeared to have come out of the 'action movies for dummies' handbook.   You had the grizzled veteran on the verge of retirement.  The soldier that  has mental problems because of past missions.  The young soldier about to get married.  The female soldier wanting to prove herself as equal to the male marines.  The soldier about to be a father and so on.

While the characters aren't original in the slightest, it's the performances that raise them above the normal level of quality that these kinds of movies have.  A lot of that is down to Aaron Eckhart's performance as the grizzled veteran.  He brings such a subtle, sympathetic portrayal of the character that I was absolutely hooked in to wanting to see what was going to happen next to him.  I especially liked how they showed the scene where he told the other marines about a past mission was very well done and emotional without being melodramatic.  Eckhart really is an under rated actor that always manages to bring a level of quality to a movie that wouldn't be there without his subtle portrayals of the characters.

Another performance that surprised me the most was that of the rapper Ne-Yo.  I'm always dubious when a rapper or singer etc appears in a movie because a lot of the time they don't really act anything to the movie and  sometimes even take away from the movie with their bad performances.  Here, that's completely different.  He gives such an assured performance that I would actually quite like to see him in another movie.

I liked the special features to some extent but I really feel they missed an opportunity to really do in depth about the special effects that they used here.  The devastation of the cities is massively impressive on a visual level and really looked downright scary in places because of just how much damage these beings could do with their weapons.  They do touch on that in the special features but I would have liked to have seen a little bit more in the way of information but that's more of a personal taste for me really than a flaw.

While this wasn't an original movie in the slightest, I actually really enjoyed it and like the large scale of devastation showed on the screen.  I was expecting just explosion after explosion but they really did a good job of showing the aftermath of the attacks and the effect that they had on the people involved.

Well worth picking up considering how cheap it is and in my opinion, it's worth every penny for Eckhart's performance alone.

Movie 3.5/5
Picture 4.5/5
Sound 5/5
Special Features 3.5/5
Overall 16.5/20

Battle Los Angeles (2011) on IMDb

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