Movie review: Battle: Los Angeles

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Hollywood's fascination with aliens has always been more in favor of the "militaristic takeover"/"Independence Day" side than the "cute-and-friendly"/"E.T." side.

It doesn't take long to figure out where "Battle: Los Angeles" stands. Please see: title of movie.

Things get rolling with a standard-issue news montage about meteor strikes near major cities that turn out not to be meteors after all. It's an alien invasion!

Flash back 24 hours, and we're introduced to a cavalcade of U.S. Marines, most notably Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), a grizzled vet who is - wait for it - about to retire.

Of course, his retirement is postponed by a terrifying and well-coordinated attack by aliens. I hate it when that happens.

A snazzy Super Bowl commercial left people frothing for this movie. Hell, I had high hopes. I got Michael Bay Lite.

Not surprising, considering director Jonathan Liebesman also did one of those awful Bay-produced horror reboots ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning").

After 20 minutes of cliche introductions to the Marines (one is engaged, one is about to have a baby, etc.), things go all shaky-cam documentary style. And the bloodless combat and Marines that use only PG-13 language doesn't really feel real.

It'll scratch your itch if you're looking for an early jump on summer popcorn season, but that's about it.

Battle: Los Angeles

Opens Friday

2 stars out of 4