Los Angeles and other cities around the world are being bombarded by meteors that seem to be slowing down once they hit the earth's atmosphere. The earth is suddenly being invaded by space aliens that have landed off the shore of LA, and who begin killing everybody along the beach. The military is ordered into action. Marine Staff Sergeant Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), who was about to retire, is reassigned to a new platoon. The platoon, flown by chopper to the forward operating base at Santa Monica Airport, is being led by a new 2nd Lt. Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez). They are sent on a mission to rescue some civilians who are trapped at the police station within alien territory. They only have 3 hours to complete their mission and get out before the Air Force bombs that zone.Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
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 as 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. See more »
When 2nd Lt. Martinez gives himself up to save the others and blows him and the alien force to bits with the C4 on the bus, the scene after the explosion shows the middle of the bus blown out with the front of the bus still intact. The amount of C4 in the bag and surrounding the bus would blow out the entire bridge from around the bus, not just the side of the bus. See more »
Reporter on TV:
...an unprecedented meteor shower falling off the coast of Tokyo. The entire city is mesmerized by this incredible sight. Two hours after the first contact, an unidentified enemy has reached our coastlines in a swift and militaristic attack. Right now one thing is clear: The world is at war.
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There are no opening credits, except for the film's title. See more »
2011 hasn't left an enticing first impression for films, both released and upcoming. With a record broken for most sequels, combined with re-releases (Conan the Barbarian) and spin-offs (Puss in Boots), finding something original in cinemas seems to be one more challenge to face for the year. That said, even though Battle: Los Angeles might not have direct relations to previous films, it doesn't avoid being dissimilar. The good news, however, is that it at least functions enough to be enjoyable.
We get a fairly brisk introduction to some of the cast before being thrust into the fight at-hand within the film. Down time is in short supply as the conflict with an invading (or as is referred to within the film, "colonizing") extraterrestrial force reigns over the runtime. Battle: Los Angeles stays in relation to its name as it takes place entirely within the city, but these Californians aren't the only people facing a new threat. A number of other areas throughout the globe deal with the same issue, though we never see anything on their end beyond brief TV broadcasts. As a result, the film takes on a feeling of being a smaller part of a potentially bigger conflict.
Since the vast majority of Battle: Los Angeles is action, the standards it's held to aren't terribly demanding. And thankfully, we're treated to some good scenes, namely the final fight just before the end which, though not epic or revolutionary by any stretch, does feel nicely built up towards. Other stretches, primarily the first few, don't hold up quite so well; suffering from the all-too-familiar Michael Bay-esque directing style of quick cuts without showing much, if anything. Fortunately, by the time the antagonists have been revealed full-well, things are seen in a far more cohesive manner.
When looking at how the film stands up on a more fundamental and less action-oriented level, the cracks begin to quickly show. Probably the easiest issue to pinpoint is that everything here is incredibly derivative of other films (and even videogames). Independence Day, District 9, Terminator, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Modern Warfare, Resistance, Battlefield; the list of friends goes on. Another shame to find is that little-to-nothing is revealed about the invaders themselves. Most of the supporting characters also come and go without much development to find. Needless to say, this isn't much of a thinker's film, especially since most of what occurs on-screen is predictable.
Battle: Los Angeles is an easy film to figure out. If you like what you saw in the trailer(s) and are fine with getting 2 hours of that, then you should be content with what's present. But a detailed story and question-answering with regards to who, what and why are MIA, unfortunately. This is a shame since the film does show potential and even gives hints at being something more elaborate, but they're never delved into. Everything here is fundamental or, if you prefer, shallow. As an action film primarily judged on the on-screen conflicts, it suffices and holds up better than most of its typically-average precursors. Thus, junkies of the said genre will likely get what they're looking for while everyone else is better off waiting until the (good) summer releases.
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