That’s like asking if it’s okay to put out fire with gasoline – something’s bound to blow up.
In ‘Battle: Los Angeles’, an invasion is happening at the heart of modern-day LA and at first response, the US marines believe it’s another country invading their territory. Wrong. It’s really extra-terrestrials invading Earth for reasons unknown to everyone. But the threat is here, the mission is clear, and what you get is an explosive war of the worlds.
‘Battle: Los Angeles’ is directed by Jonathan Leibesman who was inspired by the filmic, documentary-style of ‘Black Hawk Down’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, and ‘United 93’; now take that and throw in humungous CGI aliens, riveting action, and a lot of firepower, you get ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ – another humans versus aliens movie in the vein of ‘District 9’. The difference is, ‘District 9’ portends to humanity, the type which pierces through the heart with quiet sentimentality, with aliens and alien invasion as its incidental backdrop (think Steven Spielberg’s ‘E.T.’ or Shia LaBeouf and Bumblebee in ‘Transformers’). The equivalent to this in ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ is how the marines led by Sgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) put a premium on camaraderie and sense of duty. But at the end of the day, it’s essentially movie popcorn gold that’s more concerned with producing Ka-Boom.
Aaron Eckhart, although playing an action-hero (his first), does not break away from his character acting – his forte, really. Within the bizarre setting, getting thrust in the most violent/ridiculous situations against aliens, Eckhart manages to keep a straight face through it all. And for good measure: he plays a marine old-timer with emotional baggage surrounded by rookies Michelle Rodriguez and singer Ne-Yo, his total opposites. They’re willing to kick ass for the sole reason of kicking ass. Eckhart’s character seeks redemption and for some reason, a close quarter battle with war-freak aliens is the answer.
The movie ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ is a watered-down version of alien invasion tropes. It’s a case of doing too much and saying very little.