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March 27, 2019

Battle: Los Angeles (2011) --- "It's Not A War. It's Survival."

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) and written by Christopher Bertolino (The General’s Daughter), Battle: Los Angeles (2011) is an edge of your seat Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down kind of film. For years, mankind has been obsessed with UFO sightings around the world and every year more fuel is added to the fire. In 2011, mankind learns the truth the hard way when aliens start a worldwide invasion on Earth. As the world's greatest cities begin to fall, Los Angeles quickly becomes the battleground for mankind's last stand. With the military ordered into action, Marine Staff Sergeant Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), who was just about to retire, is reassigned to a new platoon and asked to assist 2nd Lt. Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) on a mission to rescue civilians trapped in a police station in the midst of alien territory. Nantz and Martinez have only 3 hours clear a section of L.A. of survivors before an air strike levels area. Will they complete their mission in time? Is there really no way to defeat these invaders?
     The story had a lot of good elements in it. It presents a plausible situation where the military might be the only solution. The filmmakers could have easily taken the alien invasion element out of this film and it would have been about another war but it serves as the backdrop for the entire film. While the alien invasion in this film took inspiration from other films like Independence Day and War of the Worlds, the alien aspect was toned down and slowly incorporated as the film moved along. Despite the sci-fi element and all the action on display, this film does not focus much on what kind of tech or weapons the aliens are using. The film doesn’t waste any time on the building action and ironically this makes it that much more realistic. Not to mention it allows the film to focus on the core of the story, which is about ingenuity, determination, duty, honor, and respect.
     Performance wise, the actors gave good and solid performances. Aaron Eckhart (Olympus and London Has Fallen) is one of my favorite actors and here he gave a great performance as Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz. Michelle Rodriguez (Furious 7), who fits into military roles superbly, also gave a superb performance as TSgt. Elena Santos. The rest of the supporting cast - Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot), Michael Pena (12 Strong), Ramon Rodriguez (Iron Fist), Will Rothaar, Cory Hardrict, Jim Parrack, Gino Anthony Pesi, Ne-Yo, Bryce Cass, and more – gave good performances as well.
     Overall, Battle: Los Angeles (2011) is an edge of your seat Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down kind of film. There is a lot of action and the effects are good but they are not the focal point of the film. There is no unnecessary build up towards the action, which allows for it to be more realistic. Not to mention there is more emphasis placed on the core of the story, which is about ingenuity, determination, duty, honor, and respect. The cast performances were solid with the most noteworthy being Aaron Eckhart and possibly Michelle Rodriguez. If you are a fan of Black Hawk Down but you wanted some added elements of sci-fi then this is the film for you.

Final Vote --- 7.9 of 10 stars

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