World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles: Movie Review
Battle Los Angeles
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Marines, Aliens,
Explosions, Space ships
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Do you like alien invasion films?
Do you like plenty of shooting?
Do you like a minimal plot which sees a leader looking for redemption after
the loss of troops in former combat?
Do you like stuff blowing up?
If you've answered yes, then move along, this review won't matter to you.
Because right after you've read the title, you'll be in the queue for the
ticket. And waiting for the inevitable video game release.
For the rest of you - strap in.
World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles (to give it its title outside of the USA)
centres on a platoon of marines recently returned from combat, who've suffered
the loss of their own thanks to the decisions of Aaron Eckhart's staff
24 hours later this crew of gung-ho grunts (including one who's about to
marry, one who's got post-traumatic stress, one who's a marine on the brink of
retirement - just the regular collection of cliches) is heading into battle when
a series of meteors land at strategic points around the world.
Pretty soon, it's clear this is an invasion force - and the marines are one
of the last lines of defence in the war against this unnamed extra terrestrial
World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles does what it says on the tin.
As I've already said, it's got the tenets of a B movie, a war film and an FX
spectacular thrown in - as well as the predictable Iraq allegory (the aliens are
after our resources; they use water for fuel ... subtle it may not be).
But visually, its style is impressive - it looks like a war film with its
handheld cameras, verite style following the marines as they try to save
civilians from behind enemy lines (which resemble wartorn streets of Iraq). It
really gets you into the heart, paranoia and uncomfortable nature of battle.
The opening works well - the suspense as the aliens arrive and simply start
shooting does enough to set the scene (even with the obligatory last night out
of the marines before being shipped out).
But towards the end, all semblance of plot goes out the window - previously
unassailable aliens are able to be run down with humvees; gung-ho statements
like "I'm ready for payback" really destroy what atmosphere there was. It's the
kind of film that should be shown to Marines to hype them up before combat - the
whole thing is akin to a major recruitment drive film or a PlayStation game (get
the marines to the city, steal the bus, shoot the aliens, save the civilians
The other major problem is that outside of Aaron Eckhart and Michelle
Rodriguez, I couldn't really tell you who's who - the other actors all blend
into a camouflage goo and don't stand out in the slightest.
Having said that, World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles is a reasonable
adrenalin-filled spectacle for two hours, full of bullets, bangs and boys (and
slightly dodgy alien FX) - ultimately, it's not adding anything new to the genre
but is distracting enough.