UK Release date: 11th March 2011
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 11th February 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember seeing trailers for this and thinking it looked interesting; but then it got released and was slammed by the critics so I put it on the “Watch when it lands on TV” list. Well, it finally landed on TV and I have to say it was nothing like as bad as I was expecting it to be. It is far far batter than the other film of this ilk that came out around the same time “Skyline”, which I gave the lowest score I’ve ever given to by the way. I will tell you more about this one after this brief summary.
When strange meteors begin falling into earth’s oceans it seems a little odd at first that they weren’t detected. But when scientists realise that they are slowing down before they hit; they soon discover that the earth is under attack. Of course the film focuses on the battle for Los Angeles and in particular efforts of the platoon led by 2nd Lt. William Martinez who has the veteran Sgt. Michael Nantz as his stand-in second in command. They are tasked with reaching a police station in an occupied zone where it is believed several civilians are trapped. To add to the tension, an air strike is due to hit in less than three hours. After some fierce fighting with the alien invaders they finally reach their objective, only to find that a helicopter evacuation is impossible after the aliens bring in their own air support. These are controlled by a central hub that the marines make their next target. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Alien Invasions Division) will have me probed (again).
A very well made film with some really excellent CGI and special effects. The aliens, in particular were very well thought out. As far as performances go, well I thought Aaron Eckhart did an excellent job as Sgt. Michael Nantz; as did Ramon Rodriguez as 2nd Lt. William Martinez, neither part was as cliché as they might have been. Also worthy of note were; Michelle Rodriguez as TSgt. Elena Santos, Will Rothhaar as Cpl. Lee Imlay, Cory Hardrict as Cpl. Jason Lockett, Jim Parrack as LCpl. Peter Kerns, Gino Anthony Pesi as Cpl. Nick Stavrou, Ne-Yo as Cpl. Kevin Harris, Bridget Moynahan as Michelle and Michael Peña as Joe Rincon.
The filmmakers begin with a section that, not only, sets the scene, but also introduces and gives a little back-story to some of the characters. I quite liked this because it gave the audience a little something extra that they might draw upon when these characters were in danger. And, believe me, there’s an awful lot of danger out there! The film does suffer a little from, what I call, ‘First Person Shooter Syndrome’ during some of the action sequences. That is, it’s kind of like watching someone else playing a First Person Shooter video game. The use of hand-held cameras during these sequences just adds to the effect I’m afraid. As a whole, though, I quite enjoyed this film; not entirely original, I could see many parallels with ‘Independence Day’ here, but then again, that’s not so bad. I could easily see myself watching this one again someday… Recommended.
My score: 6.8/10.
IMDb Score: 5.9/10 (based on 73,299 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 35/100 (based on 193 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 49/100 (based on 81,598 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Sgt. Major: At 14:46 Pacific Standard Time, 12 different locations around the world were breached, in what appears to be a coordinated attack by an unknown enemy. All breaches were along the coastline, in what is a campaign of rapid dominance. This is a textbook military invasion. There are massive casualties in New York, defensive lines are being setup in Boston, and at 13:15 Zulu Time we lost communications with San Francisco and San Diego, their status is unknown. What we do know is that we are the LAST offensive force on the west coast, we can NOT lose Los Angeles.
SSgt. Michael Nantz: Stavro, Harris, the lieutenant needs recon on a bus. If it runs, bring it back here... Either of you know how to hotwire a bus?
Cpl. Kevin Harris: Um, Stvrou can. He's from Jersey, sir.
Cpl. Lee Imlay: [looking at map] This map shows where all the units were deployed... what do all these red marks mean?
[map is covered with red X's]
SSgt. Michael Nantz: It means they're gone.
Cpl. Lee Imlay: You mean the units got moved...
SSgt. Michael Nantz: Wiped out.
Cpl. Lee Imlay: All of them?
SSgt. Michael Nantz: All of them.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/battlela/