Battle: Los Angeles (Review)

Effective, committed cast helps this sci-fi thriller feel real

Mar 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Having been the subject of advance teasers that drew comparisons to the horrific box-office Skyline invasion, Battle: Los Angeles finds itself engaging in a tough ground game to convince audiences to sign up for this tour of duty. But for those looking for a grittier take on Independence Day, Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) extends himself beyond his horror roots into the boots of soldiers in the biggest fight of their lives.

This Battle is nothing short of an all-out war as an alien army descends to lay waste to human life and steal one of our most precious resources (water). Coastal cities all over the world have been decimated and a small battalion led by Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), a battle-scarred retiree, seeks to secure civilians and Los Angeles. There’s no time for the heartstrings tugging of Independence Day, which means that Liebesman and screenwriter Christopher Bertolini (The General’s Daughter) aim for the shaky-cam, you-are-there feel of Black Hawk Down and surprisingly achieve a real measure of success.

Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan and Michael Pena treat the sci-fi premise with a striking degree of precision and execution that makes it feel like the real deal, even when the story is simply breezing along its familiar path to glory. Grade: B

Opens March 11. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.