Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Battle: Los Angeles is so loud, moronic and soulless that it almost makes Independence Day look better and better in retrospect. Yet another alien invasion movie set on the extraterrestrial-decimated streets of the City of Angels, this shooter video game disguised as a movie is all relentless shaky cam, faux Hurt Locker-esque “documentary” footage, groan-inducing dialogue, goofy performances and run-it-up-the-flag clichés the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days when the king of the gung ho action flicks was John Wayne, that hyper patriotic chest-thumper who was a war hero only on film.
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) as if he were in the throes of a grand mal seizure, the plot has aggressive, unsightly aliens landing off the coasts of major international cities in search of water. With no cliché left unexploited, we have lantern-jawed Aaron Eckhart (who deserves way better) as the veteran Marine sergeant With A Past, Ramon Rodriguez as The Raw Recruit and Michelle Rodriguez as The Hardass the Air Force sent to rescue civilians stranded in a police station in what remains of Santa Monica. But, hey, they’re only avatars as the flick lurches slowly and dully from one game level—oops, we mean action sequence—to another.
If Battle: Los Angeles, or last year’s awfully similar Skyline, can’t kill the endless wave of aliens-are-among-us movies then surely it must finally be crowned as The Genre That Would Not Die.
About the Author
Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written many Playboy Interview and 20 Questions features. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2012. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.