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Battle: Los Angeles

The film is inspired by the real life incident known as the Battle of Los Angeles, during World War II. On the night of 24-25 February 1942, unidentified aircraft were allegedly spotted in the airspace above Los Angeles. Suspecting it to be the Japanese, a blackout of the city was ordered and over 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition was fired. Upon finding no evidence of the existence of any enemy aircraft, the incident was declared to be a "false alarm". The event has since been chalked up to as being a result of "war nerves", likely triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining anti-aircraft batteries. ~ IMDB

Since early 2008 fans have been speculating weather or not this recent alien invasion picture, Battle: Los Angeles, was going to be another alien picture mish mash of all the previous films we’ve seen on the subject. Terrible idea’s like Independence Day meets Signs hit blogs and after Skyline came out people really became afraid of what was coming next. After sitting down in the theaters to watch Battle: Los Angeles let me be the first to say that this film takes the alien invasion picture into a league of its own. Put all your fears away, grab some popcorn, and get ready to be blown away (somewhat literally).

Okay so what we do know is that Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight Returns) is part of a group of Marines who have been called to duty to help thwart an alien attack. Writer Chris Bertolini (The Generals Daughter) is a little heavy handed with the clichés and military stereotypes. Aside from what you already know the film first follows the lives of some of the Marines that battle alongside Eckhart in the film. You’ve got one guy who is the kid whose never done anything and is the baby of the group, another guy about to get married when all hell breaks loose, and another guy whose married with a baby on the way. Despite these little hiccups in borrowed dramatics the films flow is just so brutal and fast that your not given much time to think about these things until they come into play. You get a little back story and then its off to the races and the pace at which the film moves, with the imminent threat the Marines are constantly in, is just enveloping.

The first thing that comes to mind when the battles begin is that the film takes the action and drama ideology from projects like Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan and throws in a very dramatic soundtrack that helps to set itself way apart from its peers. While a lot of the lingo spoken by the Marines in the film might be lost on some people, especially in some of its delivery, it equals up to a lot of laughs as well as a lot of very near tear jerking moments. Its nothing unexpected in a film like this but when they hit you the effects are felt because your being dragged through the film so quickly. The only real slowing down of the film is when the Marines come across civilians. Really the civilians could have been omitted from the film completely. Another aspect that makes the film so well received is the aliens themselves. These aren’t little green men or oddly shaped acid spitters. These aliens are unique and somewhat reminds me of The Clone Wars, but trust me there is more to them then you see initially. Just when you think you’ve seen the extent of these lethal aliens threat your hit with the realization that you haven’t seen anything yet. Its a very near complete picture, very well acted, and action packed. By far the best action film of 2011 so far.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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