BATTLE LOS ANGELES - CUT-AND-PASTE-FILMMAKING
Blackhawk Down + District 9 + Cloverfield + War of the Worlds + US Military recruiting films + faint character sketches does not a good movie make. All in all Battle Los Angeles is entertaining but if you get that feeling you've seen it all before - you have. I was never much of an Aaron Eckhart fan, but he won me over in this film, since he carries nearly the whole thing on his shoulders and does a fine acting job. Think Kurt Russell in Soldier and you get how he played the part of Staff Sgt. Nance - all clench-jawed internal suffering and heart. Handheld cameras shake us through the story of a rag-tag bunch of Marines plus others picked up along the way as they battle an alien invasion from the moment the film starts. A brief flashback lightly sketches out our caricatures, er, characters, and then we're caught up to realtime and in the fight. Mix a healthy dose of cliches with a heaping helping of implausibility and you have the plot which culminates with our hero, Staff Sgt. Nanace, doin' some real "John Wayne shit" and the tide against the alien invasion is turned and the Brain Bug, er, Command center is taken out. As far as aesthetics go, pretty lame aliens, spaceships and weapons. The CGI was fine, but nothing interesting, and ships looked way too much like District 9 junkers, and the weapons were just screwy tracer-type ballistics. The aliens looked a lot like paler versions of those from Independence Day fused with flattened Robocop uniforms. This is the sort of film SyFy Channel makes three times a year.