It’s almost as if Independence Day is a spoof of Battle: Los Angeles, a dead serious take on the end of the world brought on by an unexpected alien attack.
While the movie is obviously fantastical, the historical elements that inspire Jonathan Liebesman’s vision of the future make it all somewhat unnerving. The teaser posters asked us to report a threat, while displaying actually photos of UFO sightings over the past 60 years. And any conspiracy enthusiast will tell you that the movie itself, penned by Christopher Bertolini, carries an array of real-life references that make it feel all too believable, albeit absolutely ridiculous.
Taking character cues from James Cameron’s Aliens, Battle: Los Angeles follows a Marine platoon – Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Will Rothhaar, Cory Hardict, Jum Parrack, James Liao, Ne-Yo, among others – who end up in the middle of a worldwide war between man and invader. The film focuses on our main group, while offering small-references to what’s going on globally.
While the idea of an alien attack in absolutely terrifying, Battle comes off more like a summer action movie with a massive scope and insane visual effects. Spectral Motion’s alien creature designs brought a new spin on the otherworldly by taking to account “better” technology, while also addressing the concept of vulnerability (I’m going to keep this vague to avoid ruining it).
Simply put, Battle is like a wicked mix between the “Call of Duty” and “Gears of War” video games; it’s absolutely intense, face-paced and relentless. Liebesman’s filmmaking style, although a bit too shaky at times, carries a unique first-person approach that’ll have you wanting to jump right in and join the cause. The movie plows through, even breaking right through a few walls of over-exposition and cheesy dialogue (you’re gonna die when you hear one of the stars exclaim she’s a veterinarian).
Engaging until the very last frame, Battle: Los Angeles earns it’s biggest brownie points for raising the stakes vigorously throughout, and being bold enough to completely skip on an epilogue (I absolutely despise epilogues). You want a summer movie in March? Battle has a little bit of everything – ‘cept the popcorn…