international title: World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles

116 minutes

You might be forgiven for thinking Battle: Los Angeles was going to be another alien invasion movie in the wake of Independence Day, War of the Worlds or Skyline. But that is actually merely an outer shell surrounding a core of Marine Corps recruiting poster heroics, professionally presented but seemingly assembled out of tried and true (and occasionally hoary) war-movie clichés without any distinctive personal features. Chris Bertolini's heavily signposted script sees a combat-ready but untested Marine platoon, led by a rookie lieutenant (Ramon Rodriguez) and a grizzled sergeant (the ever-excellent Aaron Eckhart), head out on a civilian rescue operation after a biomechanical alien armada lays waste to Los Angeles. There is the occasional background nod to the complex issues of the contemporary military (more than one of the characters are scarred by Iraq memories), but what Battle: Los Angeles is interested in, really, is watching Marines kick alien butt and, duly billeted, South African horror-genre stalwart Jonathan Liebesman carries out the mission with minimal frills. Technically proficient but anonymous in the extreme, Battle: Los Angeles (flagrantly retitled for its overseas release to try and hide the extent of its American-centric plot) is really an old-fashioned, cookie-cutter flagwaver for the U. S. Marines disguised as science-fiction.

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo; and Michael Peña.
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman; produced by Neal H. Moritz, Ori Marmur; written by Chris Bertolini; music by Brian Tyler; director of photography (DeLuxe prints, Panavision widescreen), Lukas Ettlin; production designer, Peter Wenham; costume designer, Sanja Milkovic Hays; film editor, Christian Wagner; visual effects supervisor, Everett Burrell.
A Columbia Pictures presentation, in association with Relativity Media, of an Original Film production. (US distributor and world sales, Sony Pictures Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), April 11th 2011.


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