List Price: $19.99
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Actors: Michael Peña Ne-Yo Aaron Eckhart Michelle Rodriguez Ramon Rodriguez
Size: 6.7000" x 5.3000"
Weight: 0.2000 lbs.
Language: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Battle: Los Angeles is a war movie first, science fiction second. It's got it all: a burned-out retiring sergeant who gets drawn back in because, dammit, the Marines need him; the guy who's about to get married; the guy who's still a virgin; the guy suffering from shell shock and who just might crack; the newbie officer with a lot of book learning who you just know is going to freeze under pressure and have to be shepherded by that burned-out sergeant, who learned his lessons on the battlefield… and so much more. There's not a moment in this movie you haven't seen before--the only twist is that the enemy is alien, so whatever shred of concern you might have for raining heavy artillery on a fellow human being can be cheerfully cast aside. But clichés are clichés because they are efficient and effective, and despite the profound familiarity of Battle: Los Angeles, there's no denying the movie rips along (though two-thirds of the way through you may have forgotten who was the virgin and who was the shell-shocked guy--but really, does it matter?). The look owes a debt to District 9, a hand-held, vérité grittiness, with most of the CGI carefully given a dingy, dirty look so that it meshes with the urban landscape. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) does an impressive job of spitting out ham-fisted dialogue like he really, really means it, while the rest of the cast is suitably generic. This is an unrepentant love letter to the military; many viewers, faced with the unsettling chaos and moral ambiguities of real wars, will find this mythologizing not only soothing, but even moving. --Bret Fetzer