Ed reviews: 'Battle: Los Angeles'

Aaron Eckhart stars in 'Battle: Los Angeles,' a tiresome, clunky movie with barely any saving graces.


1.5 stars

Battle: Los Angeles is a combat

movie. A lame combat movie. The combat happens during an invasion

from outer space, but that really doesn't matter. This is a “you

are there” combat movie and the fact that the enemies are

aliens is incidental. If you want to see a visceral combat movie,

rent Black Hawk Down. If you want to see a sloppy, cheesy, but

entertaining alien invasion movie, rent Independence Day.

Unless you feel an intense need to watch a new group of actors shout

their way through a bunch of war-movie clichés, skip Battle:

Los Angeles.

Aaron Eckhart is the star of the show,

along with his chin, which has a dimple deep enough to collect lint.

Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo and

Michael Pena play soldiers or civilians who get caught up in the

battle. I'd go into detail about who's who and what their backstories are, but none of that really matters right now.

What matters is that the most

emotionally intense scene in the movie is immediately followed by a

sentence straight out of Airplane! It drew a good laugh from a

number of moviegoers at the advance screening I attended. Others in

the audience looked around with confused expressions, wondering why

people were laughing after such a stirring scene. I'd explain why

there was laughter, but that really doesn't matter right now.

Oh hell, I'm going to go ahead and

spell it out, since — hopefully — most of you won't see

the movie. Eckhart has a face-off with the soldiers under his

command, including one grunt who holds him responsible for the

death of his brother during a combat mission in the Middle East.

Eckhart goes into a long, impassioned monologue where he makes it

crystal clear that every one of the soldiers he lost — every

one! — mattered deeply to him. It's a cathartic moment for Eckhart

and a bonding moment for the whole group. For the audience, it's the

first scene that — ham-handed though it may be — actually

carries some weight.

Then, right after Eckhart's character

has touched the hearts of everyone around him on screen — and

most of us in the audiences — he abruptly says, “But none

of that really matters right now,” sounding just like Leslie

Nielsen in Airplane! Sure, I know he was indicating that it

was time for the group to return to the fight, but the choice of

words and the way they were delivered was really funny.

I should add that I'm probably not

quoting Eckhart exactly — I was laughing too hard to take


I should also add that this is not one

of those so-bad-it's-good movies. Battle: Los Angeles is just

tiresome and clunky, like its title. After an overlong set-up, the

oh-so-serious movie is merely a series of noisy battle scenes. Out of

its 117-minute running time, there's maybe five cool minutes, and

that includes the unintentionally funny part. Don't spend your money

on crap like this when there's much more entertaining crap you can



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