Review of Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Score: * (1/4)
The preview pretty much told me everything I needed to know about the film: It has aliens. and soldiers. And they fight. That's pretty much all you need to know.
But for the sake of this review, I might as well explain more. One night, a meteor shower strikes down at various points on Earth. Guess what the meteors really were. Come on, just one guess. Assuming you guessed correctly, the rest of the story consists of a group of soldiers duking it out with the aliens on the streets of LA before they find the mothership and save the world.
Well, that's the story. Original, right? Deep, ain't it? Really, I haven't seen anything like this since War of the Worlds. Or Independence Day. Or any other non-Spielberg film about aliens. Not to mention, it has the deepest, most thought-provoking plot since the last Michael Bay film.
Oh, and the actors. Special praise must go to the actors. Granted, the script gives them little to do other than spew out badass military dialogue and pause for the occasional syrupy speech about how brave they all are, but they do a darn good job of that. You better like it because, aside from the occasional helpless bystander, the only character you'll get is the military badass.
And, of course, there's the special effects. Basically, there are two CGI imags used throughout the film. These are the generic alien and the generic ship. It's obvious that they're reused throughout the whole film, which gives it a cheesy B-movie feel. So, basically, if you like cheesy 50s B-movies, this is perfect for you!
All joking aside, though, it goes without saying that I loathe pretty much everything about this film. Maybe it's just my inexperience with invasion films, but I personally feel that a film, any film, needs an actual plot and characterization in order to function. As it stands, Battle: LA is about as hollow and empty as Hollywood filmmaking gets. It's still pretty early in the year, but Battle: LA already has a shot at "Worst Picture of 2011."