Battle Los Angeles

In Battle: Los Angeles, the United States Marines Corps goes up against a large technologically superior alien invasion force. The result is almost two hours of Blackhawk Down like action as one unit tries to get a group of civilians to safety and figure out how to defeat the nameless, faceless baddies at the same time. It’s black and white, good vs. evil–an old-fashioned Saturday afternoon matinée, and pure processed American cheese. You can read anything into it that you want. In the reviews I’ve seen, critics have suggested it’s an allegory for faded imperialism, and propaganda for the military. It’s all those things, but in reality it’s really the kind of film that doesn’t let things like theme or characterization get in the way of the visceral spectacle of blowing up a major American city. And if you ask yourself why you have some deep psychological need to see a major American city being destroyed, you have already given this project far more thought than it requires.

The plot isn’t so much a roller coaster as it is a rocket. You are propelled through the story so fast you don’t have time to think about how ridiculous it is. The whole movie is shot with hand-held cameras providing that shaky documentary feel. The action feels realistic or as much as it can be since the enemy is a race of nine foot tall bipeds who seem to float rather than walk. The acting…really who cares?

My advice: fork over your nine bucks and salute.

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