Battle: Los Angeles is the kind of movie where you need to switch your brain off when you sit down to watch it. If you do, you will probably enjoy it (as long as you enjoy action movies) but if you try to keep it on and thinking about everything which happens in the movie then you’re going to come out frustrated.
The special effects of the movie are good although they are not at the level many movies have reached in recent history. Although trying to compare the special effects to a movie like Avatar would be fruitless; after all so much of Avatar was purely special effects it may as well have been an animated movie. But this isn’t about my intense dislike for Avatar but what I thought about Battle: Los Angeles.
As I said before, if you left your brain at the front door and viewed purely as an action movie then it was passable. It wasn’t one of the best movies I’ve ever seen (I don’t think it’ll make my Top 100 or perhaps even Top 500 list) of movies EVER seen. But it was enjoyable and had those stand up and cheer moments in their clichéd glory.
The movie kicks off with some action before throwing the viewer back to 24 hours before the whole shoot-out started. I believe they wanted to have the best of both, starting in media res while also being able to provide some depth to the characters. There’s the soldier who is getting married and is being dragged around by his future-wife to organise the wedding. The soldier who has been mentally scarred by his tour in Afghanistan and the staff sergeant who lost his last platoon and has handed in his resignation; which would make the invasion his last hurrah as a soldier. But then as the action kicks off, it’s as though all of the back-story they had put in disappeared. The soldier who was going to get married mentions his fiancé once the whole movie and never seems to worry about what he was doing. The soldier suffering from his mental scars is never troubled by these things while he is in battle. The staff sergeant’s past is brought up a LOT but that is only because of the fact that he is the main character portrayed by Aaron Eckhart.
The aliens came to Earth using this fantastic technology and then had a brain fart and never use it again. Their weaponry is not too fearsome and they may as well have been invading Russians/Chinese/North Koreans. They start out as near invincible and nothing seems to be able to effect them but then halfway through the movie they become incredibly vulnerable and normal bullets are able to kill them again, without any sight of shields having been destroyed.
The ending to me also felt as though it had been lifted directly from Independence Day and pasted into the script.
Final Verdict: While not the best movie, it is watchable, as long as you turn your brain off and try not to overthink the story. After all, the writers didn’t do that either.