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‘Battle: LA’ takes aim at high thrills, engaging plot

By Brett Mejia ’13
THE ROUNDUP

2nd Lt. William Martinez (Ramón Rodríguez) and his platoon of Marines will

A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles in Columbia Pictures' action thriller "Battle: Los Angeles." (Courtesy Columbia Pictures/MCT)

travel to the location of the mysterious meteorites that crashed all over the world in the new movie “Battle: LA.”

Although “Battle: LA” was full of enough action and explosions to keep me entertained, it seemed too long because I could already guess the outcome.

Among Lt. Martinez’s platoon is Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) who just got back from a devastating Iraq tour in which he was blamed for the deaths of his soldiers.

Before they begin the battle, Staff Sgt. Nantz asks to retire, but is quickly reassigned to Lt. Martinez’s platoon after reports of alien and hostile attacks.

Once the platoon flies to the Forward Operating Base, they are quickly briefed on the current situation and are commanded to go to the LAPD police station because of reports of survivors.

The catch is they only have three hours to get there before the Army levels Los Angeles.

“Battle: LA” stars a few big names such as Ne-Yo, Bridget Moynahan and Michelle Rodriguez.

According to IMDB.com, “The film is inspired by the real life incident known as the Battle of Los Angeles, during World War II. On the night of 24-25 February 1942, unidentified aircraft were allegedly spotted in the airspace above Los Angeles. Suspecting it to be the Japanese, a blackout of the city was ordered and over 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition was fired.”

Although the man vs. alien factor isn’t new, “Battle: LA” puts its own twist on how mankind can react to an alien invasion by incorporating a sense of realism.

The aliens aren’t all big and bad. Sure they have bigger ships and body structures, but they aren’t bulletproof.

The aliens have a sense of weakness. They are much like the platoon of soldiers that are fighting them because they have a fear of dying and they don’t want to be overtaken.

But not everyone thinks “Battle: LA” is what it was hyped up to be, including film critic Roger Ebert.

“Battle: Los Angeles’ is noisy, violent, ugly and stupid. Its manufacture is a reflection of appalling cynicism on the part of its makers, who don’t even try to make it more than senseless chaos. Here’s a science-fiction film that’s an insult to the words ‘science’ and ‘fiction,’ and the hyphen in between them. You want to cut it up to clean under your fingernails,” Ebert said.

I don’t agree with Ebert. Although the film lacks originality, it at the same time keeps viewers interested in the plot.

I really had no idea that “Battle: LA” would end the way it did because throughout the movie I kept guessing how the humans would defeat the alien force.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of the great special effects and the fact that it is still an action packed movie that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.