A review of the 2011 film Battle: Los Angeles by Jonathan Liebesman and starring Aaron Eckhart.
We recently rented Battle: Los Angeles on blu-ray. This is the new film by Jonathan Liebesman and starring Aaron Eckhart. It follows a set of US soldiers, deployed to evacuate civilians, from a downtown Los Angeles overrun by deadly aliens, focused on wiping out the entire human race. The reviews of the film have been pretty dire, which, from my perspective, are a little harsh. In this review, I want to give an accurate and balanced account of the film.
Firstly, the way the film has been marketed seems pretty accurate. Liebsesman has obviously seen the relatively good success of War of the Worlds and gone for a modern science fiction film, focusing heavily on good computer graphics. Think Independence Day meets the non-stop action of Black Hawk Down as a good summary of the film. But does it actually work?
Well, partly. What the film does well portraying, is setting the picture of a normal western city, with it’s daily life and rituals, suddenly being torn apart by an imaginable event. The image above of LA’s surfers, watching aliens attack, with stunning computer graphics seems to reflect this well. To an extent, this is continued throughout the entire film.
What the film cannot continue to do well is continue the fast, action packed scenes, witnessed in films like Black Hawk Down. That’s not to say the action scenes are bad. They’re just average. It’s just a good B list action movie action, and probably the reason it attracts the negative comments elsewhere. The film isn’t bad, there’s just a lot of hype, suspense, and build up. The end result is a watchable action film, but not to the same standard as Avatar, Independence Day or Alien.
So there you go. A solid B list science fiction film, with great computer graphics, and a relatively chilling tie in with modern day-to-day life experiencing a unimaginable disaster. Just don’t expect a classic. Why not check out the trailer below.