Wednesday, March 16, 2011

World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles [2011]

Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ramon Rodriguez
Genre: Science Fiction/War
Rating: Teen (horrific images)
Comment: "It feels like it's a war movie first, and science fiction second..."

It begins as a series of meteorites crashing into the face of our planet. But it turns out to be the least of our worries as extraterrestrial lifeforms emerge from the dust, and they made their intent clear; they are on a mission to annihilate all that inhabit this planet. As every other nation in the world suffers from the same crisis, the movie shifts its focus to the battle taking place in Los Angeles.

What to Expect
1. A slow start
2. Intense battle scenes
3. A very human alien invasion movie
4. To shed a few manly tears

What NOT to Expect
1. Retarded alien weakness(es)
2. CGI masturbation

Remember my first impressions about the movie? Well, I was right to a certain extent and it wouldn't be too much to say that this is a pretty good alien invasion movie. Especially if you put into perspective that the previous movies of similar nature were, at best, a waste of time.

What made it work was basically because they took a step in the right direction. I mean, we have seen too many of those alien invasion movies where the story revolves around a group of civillians; there's always the calm, collected and morally ambiguous hero, his love interest, a couple of bimbos and a few more morons with no survival skills to speak of.

There will be none of that in this movie.

Nope, this is primarily a war movie so we'll be seeing soldiers in action, and that made all the difference. Aaron Eckhart wasn't exaggerating when he compared this movie to The Dark Knight [2008] in terms of its grittiness and the closer-to-reality nature of it. Feel free to read that last sentence a second time because no, I'm not freakin' saying that it is as good as that second Christopher Nolan Batman movie.

However, that is also not to say that this is a one-dimensional movie. They wouldn't have cast Aaron Eckhart if all they needed was an action hero. In many ways, they injected some life into the characters by not neglecting that soldiers are too of flesh and blood. This is where those manly tears come in. I shall not give away too much details here, but trust me when I say that you'll care more about these characters than... say, those from the likes of Skyline [2010]?

Then there's also the main strength of the movie; the battle scenes. No John Woo or The Matrix shit here. Remember Saving Private Ryan [1998]? They're kind of like that scene in the beginning when the Allied forces stormed Omaha Beach. And again, I'm not saying this is as a monumental film as Saving Private Ryan [1998] was. I'm not comparing any two movies together, I'm just illustrating so you'll get the picture about the feel of this movie.

Another highlight of movies like this is of course, the aliens. I shall not say much on this matter either, but rest assured that the aliens did not spend 90% of their time showing how superior they are compared to us, only to die at the end of the movie over some retarded weakness(es), due to a hilarious oversight by the alien R&D department.

So what is it that I really am saying? Well, I liked it. I wouldn't say this is one for the ages, and I know non-fans of the genre won't enjoy it. But if you ask me, it was definitely worth my time.

More Screenshots:
Special thanks to Nuffnang for their invitation, and for providing the press kit!

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