Saturday 19 March 2011

Battle: Los Angeles (2011) - Jonathan Liebesman

"Agh, my eyes!"

No, not a line from a marine shot in the face by an alien, but my thoughts after just a few minutes watching this film.  It's filmed entirely with a handheld camera, meant to boost the sense of realism and create a visceral, intense thrill-ride.  Instead, it's a headache inducing two hours that's like watching a game of Call Of Duty minus the enjoyment and interactivity of actually holding a controller in your hand.  The action is relentless and frenetic, though the close shooting disguises the poor special effects.

Then there's the "story".  You already know it well: alien invasion, America saves the day.  The battle boils down to a small group of multicultural, jarhead marines who encompass all the classic cliches.  I actually found myself siding with the aliens, hoping they'd put an end to the toil.  Any attemps at heart appear contrived and melodramatic, whilst the script (when not merely grunts and shouting) is totally laughable.  It's mildly entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons.  Even the teenage lads in the audience, this film's clear demographic, shouted "turkey" at the credits.

"Marines never give up".  In this case, I wish they would.