Battle: Los Angeles has had mixed reviews since its release. Some found it enjoyable and entertaining while others were swaying towards ‘terrible’. For us, it was just good old fashioned sci-fi fun with a good dollop of action, explosions and aliens!

Starring Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Staff Seargant Michael Nantz of the Marines who was blamed by fellow soldiers for the loss of lives in a former tour, the film starts off with a small platoon of Marines heading into battle in a chopper over the Los Angeles skyline. In the distance we see the carnage and devastation that is being wreaked while explosions detonate in the sky.

Zipping back 24 hours, we then see Staff Seargant Nantz requesting his retirement from duty, planning a bit of time off and relaxation while news reports of a meteor shower heading for Earth is likely but posing no danger.
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As the news continues to report events of meteors and aliens in the background of every scene for the next 5 minutes, the tension starts to build and the Marines are called into action to meet the alien forces on the Los Angeles coastline, neatly bringing us back up to the chopper scene.

Nantz and his crew are tasked with a search and rescue operation of a small band of civilians reported to have taken refuge in a Police Station within the enemy radius. With 3 hours to go before the US Army levels the entire Coast line with a massive airstrike it is a race against the clock to find the civilians, face the aliens and stay alive!
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Along the way a number of familiar faces crop up. Michelle Rodriguez (Machete) and Bridget Moynahan are just a couple. Meanwhile the action is thick and fast with a feeling of despair and overwhelming when the alien forces keep pinning the Marines down with heavy fire power.

We were impressed with the special effects – some scenes clearly better than others but the aliens were very well done. Looking like a cross between the early clones from Star Wars episode 1 and the robot from Lost In Space (if anyone actually remembers that!?), they are hard to kill and hunt in numbers.

There are a couple of scenes that bugged us a bit – it always seemed to revolve around Staff Seargant Nantz and his leadership which was down to experience but also questioned by other soldiers because of his past record. Also there are a couple of things that were either not really explained or they would go down as possible bloopers. For instance the Marines end up going into a sewer under the cover of darkness but after a few minutes they emerge back in glorious sunshine!

The explanation given by Rodriguez’s character for being where she is also came across a bit weak and glossed over too quickly – something that we felt should have been explained a bit more even if it was later on somehow.

During our review of Battle Los Angeles we couldn’t help but be reminded of the classic Independence Day starring Will Smith. Although there are massive differences between the two films, the concept is the same and fits into a modern-day mould of the 90′s classic.

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by Battle: Los Angeles in more ways than one. Yes there are some cheesy moments and over the top explosions but in terms of entertainment it has done its job well. We know this is a film we will watch again and again.

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