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Battle: LA = Battle: Lame

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Reading a review is hardly necessary for a film of this nature. Let's face it, if you were able to watch the trailer for 2 hours, then you would have had the same experience as seeing the whole movie. There are random gunfights and explosions, dramatic news footage from various televisions, and soldiers you will never bother to care about.

The plot is simple and familiar. Aliens invade earth's major coastal cities, and as you would expect, the Marines are immediately sent to fight them. These armor plated aliens have about the same weapons as humans, so its possible for the Marines to escape an ambush, or to have a fair firefight with the creatures. Luckily for our Marines, the aliens have apparently spent all their scientific resources inventing space travel and never bothered with nukes or any weapon stronger than a grenade. And you thought the Nazis were stupid for invading Russia without winter clothes! Basically these beings just walk around with giant missile launchers that can blow up cars, instead of wiping out entire cities with their UFOs like in "Independence Day".

Oddly, with such a bunch of weak invaders, the earth still gets beaten down severely until our hero, "Sarge" Aaron Eckhart, gets into the melee. The reluctant leader of the soldiers we follow throughout the film, Eckhart plays the quiet "lead by example" veteran. His performance is decent enough, but he is handicapped by the dialog, which is mainly rah rah military gibberish straight out of "300". The other actors are just anonymous cannon fodder, not much different from the aliens themselves. You will hardly care who survives or who dies.

The directing is extremely weak. The "shaky cam" is overused and sabotages any hope of decent cinematography by making everything blurry and incomprehensible. Seriously, Cloverfield looks like an Ozu film compared to this! I doubt that doing about 10 shots of tequila and then being caught in an actual ambush by mysterious aliens with unknown weapons is even as confusing as watching this movie. Having said that, the special effects do look convincing in this kind of drunken haze.

Overall this isn't even a real narrative film, but rather a series of military battles much like a typical war video game, except with dizzy toddlers controlling the cameras. Between the messy battles there is a lot of military babble and rah rah speeches. The biggest thing missing from this film is fun. There is no humor at all, and everyone is stoic and resolute the whole time. Thus without any sense of fun, this film even fails as spectacle.
Added by Film Ninja
7 years ago on 14 March 2011 17:18

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