Thursday, 17 March 2011
Battle Los Angeles
It’s Independence Day for a Grunts-eye-view
Lover: Taken from IMDB
“The introductions to the character are short, some characters have such a small role before dying. However, you get the necessary information for character development by way of quick military-style preoperative intros before being dragged along for an amazing action ride as the Marines take on the enemy in Los Angeles. The producers don't pander to over introduction to anything, in fact the movie begins in the midst of the battle, before backing out to the 24 hours before the alien attack. It's now, it's news-breaking; you get a sense of urgency throughout the entire movie. Spoiler: I rarely need to see the 'monster' to enjoy a movie so I was more than satisfied that this was a movie that didn't become about the 'monster'...it's about the battle to save human life from an alien invasion. If you're paying attention to the news reports and conversations, you'll understand the 'monster' in this movie, and the desperate need to defeat 'it'; they are alien, they are built for battle, they want our water, they're here to take what they need. I truly enjoyed this movie; don't let critics keep you away! It's a sci-fi/action/adventure/drama bomb waiting to be dropped. You're in for a great ride. My only advice is - use the bathroom before the movie and don't drink too much 'cuz you'll be glued to your seat; you won't want to miss anything!”
Quite right however it’s hard to watch all of this great action and it is great action when you don’t really care about any of the characters, which of course is because of the distinct lack of any real characterisation. I will say I went to the loo during this movie, I was able to pick a part I didn’t think I would miss anything and I didn’t miss anything; I never go the toilet during a film!
Hater: Taken from IMDB
“This movie made Skyline look good! Maybe I missed a key part while I was completely baffled that this is the movie they decided to make when they had millions of dollars to spend. Why? Completely predictable, a cast of characters nobody cares about, and we're required to suspend belief time after time just to move the story along. Aliens arrive and invade, but it's OK, they don't have air support. How did they get here then? They have very advanced weapons, but apparently have spent no time learning to aim. It takes lots and lots of bullets to kill the aliens at first, but after a while just one will make them explode. And any time our marines make a significant kill, all action stops so they can Hoo Raa each other and dance a bit. Nevermind the firefight, the aliens will wait. Add in shaky camera work and this mess was virtually unwatchable. Maybe I still have a well developed attention span, so I need more than 10 minutes of action, some filler, 15 minutes of action, more filler, action, filler, lather rinse repeat end. It's movies like this where I think we should be able to ask for refunds! Maybe punitive damages!”
This review is quite right but a bit harsh, the action set pieces come thick and fast enough for the running time to trickle by quite well, it’s a film that will be ruined by repeat viewings but worth watching if it’s your bag baby!
What I thought:
The idea in this film seems so obvious you can’t really believe no one has come up with it before? Just imagine a run of mill Alien invasion flick of worldwide warfare from the eye view of the regular army. Sure it’s been sort of done before but not with kind of kinetic camera work that has been a regular fixture in war films since the like of Saving Private Ryan and of course Black Hawk Down. The latter being the ones this film itself has referenced, you can see why the modern combat is very much in line with that film.
Despite some of the misgivings above I quite liked the effects and I thought they were no better or worse than say District 9. I also quite liked the design of the creatures though how they are brought down in the end is almost as ridiculous as Independence Day’s computer virus. There’s that film that I just had to mention and it has more in common than paper thin plot devices and cardboard cut-out characters. It worse crime is that it’s basically a recruitment video for the American armed forces, the kind of stupid male bravado you see in this film I’m almost certain you would never see in real combat, though I’m not a soldier so you be the judge.
There are some things to enjoy here, like Independence Day again the action set pieces and building of tension for a threat to humanity is done well. In this film more in patches of news reports and exposition from characters but it works well. It’s just those characters that you have no time to get to know let alone feel sorry for when they are blown to smithereens, Hoorah!