August 5, 2011

Movie Review: Battle Los Angeles

As a general rule, I am not a fan of alien invasion movies. In my opinion they lost their originality a long time ago, so I really had no interest in seeing Battle Los Angeles. But alas, both my brothers saw it and loved it and drove me nuts until I agreed to watch it with them. So, since I had to watch it, I thought I might as well write a review. : )
In a lot of ways, Battle Los Angeles was no different than any other alien invasion movie--the aliens invade, thousands die and millions flee in terror, in come the heroes to try to save the day even though the odds seem hopeless, someone manages to discover the otherwise-invincible aliens' weak point and attack it at the last possible moment, and we win after all. Really nothing new to offer here. One unique aspect of it was that the movie didn't focus on the world-wide invasion. Rather, it was centered on the soldiers fighting to take Los Angeles, California back from alien control.
Quality-wise, it scored several points on my scale. The graphics were amazing. The large-scale shots were very well done, but the smaller pieces were very well done as well. Normally if only one character or item in a scene is a CGI (Computer Generated Image) and the rest is real, it sticks out pretty badly. Not so in this case. The alien monster in the back yard looked just as real as the fence it tripped over and the swimming pool it fell into.
Second, the soundtrack was excellent.
Third, the main plot and subplots of the story had better balance than many stories of this scale tend to. For instance, in the movie Signs, the subplot revolving around the main character's spiritual journey basically drowned out the main plot. Not so with Battle Los Angeles. The main plot (aliens invading to take over the world) was nicely balanced with the characters' personal struggles.
The language was a bit of a problem. It got pretty strong in several places, usually during intense combat sequences. And of course, there was quite a lot of violence, and an impromptu alien autopsy performed by a veterinarian in an attempt to learn their physical weaknesses.
The major disappointment for me, however, was the fact that they showed a shot of an entire airfield covered with parked A-10 Warthogs, but then never showed said A-10s in flight! (For those of you who may be wondering, the A-10 Warthog is an extremely cool fighter jet with which I am slightly infatuated. I know, I'm weird.)
On the whole, Battle Los Angeles was a decent movie as far as its genre goes. Not necessarily one I would want to watch again, but certainly the best alien invasion movie I've seen in a while.


  1. Thanks for the review.
    Kind of wanted to see it but my sons weren't impressed so didn't recommend it to me. I'll probably slip it in on the side some time.

    True, alien invasion movies have very little variation from each other.
    Still, I think I like them better than you do.

    My brother (a Major in the USAF who flies F-16s) and his wife don't like alien invasion movies at all. In fact my sister-in-law is a Jodi Foster fan and loves movies like Contact and thinks invasion movies are short sighted and prejudice against life 'out there'. Not her words. Just my summary of what I think she's saying.

    I can go either way.
    The sky is wide open.

  2. Oh, the consparicy stories you can dream up regarding aliens in movies...

  3. Indeed, Galadriel. I suspect aliens will always be one of those conspiracy-riddled topics.

  4. Nice review! Alien invasion movies aren't my favorite either, but it sounds like they did a decent job with this one. Though I'm actually more intrigued by your mention of the soundtrack than the movie. :)


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