Thus it was that my Odeon Premiere club loyalty card picked up the tab for my ticket so I could sit there gorging myself on popcorn. Battle Los Angeles was the picture of choice this time, getting us ready for the hardcore alien action of the 40k game this coming Saturday.
The movie reminds me a little of Cloverfield as you follow the antics of a small group of people making their way from one place to another and dealing with whatever is going on and generally knowing little about the enemy at the gates. You do get to see some of the alien menace threatening everything but not long glimpses even during the combat, the camera flicks back and forth in pretty rapid succession. The effects are very well done and seeing a ruined LA is quite a sight.
What is admirable about this film is the lack of traditional A-list talent, Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez being the two people you are likely to have ever heard of. This actually helps the suspension of disbelief and probably had a sizable effect on the budget too.
The story revolves around a group of US Marines tasked with rescuing some civvies who are trapped after a sudden strike by extra-terrestrial gunslingers. Shockingly things don’t go quite to plan and you see the evolution of that mission play out on screen and multiple combats with an adversary who fights just as hard as the Marines.
There is a lot of combat in this movie, hence the Cloverfield/documentary like feel to it, you are following the Marines rather than really getting any glimpse of the global events that are alluded to in news reports from TV stations. You don’t really form much of a relationship with the protagonists though and that is probably my biggest criticism, even though you are introduced to them right at the start and they are all named. For all they go through there isn’t really much attachment, they’re kind of like Stormtroopers in Star Wars, cool enough but you’re not shedding a tear when they get blown apart.
It does a good job of being believable though, when things start to unfold you can happily disconnect from reality and accept what you are seeing. It’s a well put together movie, sure it’s probably not going to be up for any Oscars but I like my movies as a bit of escapism and this ticks all the boxes.
I’d give it a 4 out of 5, well worth going to see if its your kind of thing but not a must-see by any stretch.