US Marine Staff Sergent (apparently abbreviated SSgt.) Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) has a severe case of Roger Murtaugh Syndrome.
|He's getting too old for this shit.|
|Yeah. I know. Aliens. Shit.|
With all the explosions and aliens, I wasn't really expecting much from the actors in this movie. They didn't give me much, but I was surprised that the acting was decent. Aaron Eckhart was fine as the conflicted lead, even if this part was written more for someone with the acting range of Jean-Claude Van Damme than a Golden Globe nominee. Ramon Rodriguez was predictable as the cocky noob leader that loses his composure when things start to go wrong. Michelle Rodriguez (no relation) played against type by taking the part of an Air Force strategist (or something); of course, it turns out that she's a total bad-ass. The rest of the cast is pretty inconsequential. Michael Pena was okay as a concerned father, Bridget Moynahan was a tough lady veterinarian, and Joey King cried a lot as a frightened little girl. The military
|Does this mean that Two-Face was a result of PTSD?|
I was shocked to find that this film was directed by the incompetent Jonathan Liebesman. While this isn't French New Wave or anything fancy like that, I thought this movie was shot well enough to tell a story. That might not sound impressive to you, but being mediocre was far from his grasp in the last film of his I watched. No, the acting isn't great, but it suits its purpose. This is a movie with mostly unemotional soldiers being attacked by aliens. Do I need feelings and fancy camera work, or do I need cool-looking alien stuff and lots of explosions? You're damn right (assuming you went with aliens and boomsplosions)! The special effects are solid, the action is dirty and gritty, and the aliens don't make me laugh. There aren't many moments that will wow you, but it's still a solid sci-fi flick.
For what it is, Battle: Los Angeles is a surprisingly decent movie. It's not intelligent, ground-breaking, or totally awesome, but it tells a story and provides some brainless entertainment, especially for fans of military movies. Battle: LA spends a lot of time on the bond of trust between soldiers and their leaders, and even if some of it is a little cheesy (and it is), it is effective, in a testosterone-filled, never-speak-your-feelings sort of way. Maybe I just came into this one with super-low expectations, but I'm going to say this was better than average.