Battle: Los Angeles: A Film That Exists.

Day 3 and things are still going okay. Splat and I have resolved our differences, and we’re both now working as a team. Neither of us have starved yet (I’ve done some nice meals for myself, while Splat has accepted the food I give her), and we haven’t suffered any accidents, which is always a good thing.

So, what have I been up to? Well, not a lot really. You could sum up my daily activities in 4 bullet points:

  1. Writing
  2. Eating
  3. Sleeping
  4. Watching The Killing

Now, I was going to do a review of Season 1 once I completed it, but I soon found myself deep into Season 2 before I could get round to it (Vanna was going to blog yesterday for me). No big deal;  Seasons 1 and 2 are closely linked, so it would make more sense to write something after I’ve finished both of them.

Yeah…I finished Season 2 last night, and then started Season 3 straight away…so, um, I’ll blog once I’m done with that. But as I watched The Killing for 6 hours yesterday, I don’t think it won’t take long.

In the meantime, I suppose I can do a review of Battle: Los Angeles, the film I watched this weekend, so you don’t miss out. I’m just that kind of guy.

Well, I say review…in reality, I’m going to have one small paragraph where I try to praise the film, and then several further paragraphs where I mindlessly nitpick things that were ultimately inconsequential to the film’s plot…because they, um, really annoyed me (that, is the kind of guy I actually am).

…but, uh, close enough, right?

So, the “good”. Battle: Los Angeles, a sci-fi film where a unit of U.S marines try to repel an alien invasion in L.A, is decent enough. It’s enjoyable, and I didn’t regret watching it. It, uh, ticks some all the action movie boxes; plenty going on, gruff protagonist, a powerful, nigh on unstoppable enemy, sacrificing heroes, designated moments where you are supposed to cry because this film isn’t just action packed, its deep man, dramatic music, and a climactic finale. You know, the usual. The cast had some familiar faces (that female cop from Lost, that woman from I, Robot…well-known actors and actresses), and they all performed all right, I suppose. Overall I’d give Battle: Lost Angeles a 6.5/10. Solid, but it had the potential to be far better given the concept.

NOW, onto my issues. Minor points, but I’m going to moan about them regardless. Starting with…

1) Hero saves the group, and I don’t get how.

Right, Aaron Eckhart (the hero) and his team are in a bus. A load of unmanned drones go overheard. Suddenly, one stops and starts looking around. Eckhart stares at it for a moment, and realizes that it is attracted to their radio signals. So he turns them all off, and takes one outside to lure the drone away. Long story short, he saves the day.

Umm…what? First of all, how did he figure out these drones were attracted to the radios? All the other drones went by without stopping, and It’s not like they switched on their radios only for that one drone to immediately take notice. There was no link.

Also, these drones are highly advanced, yet have no motion sensors, or infra-red? They have only one tracking device, and that’s radio signals? Really? When this attack was planned, they surely must have discovered humans don’t operate by radio waves. Hell, who has radios nowadays? What a load of nonsense.

2) One minute they are in danger, next minute they aren’t.

The team is trying to get beyond the FOB (Forward Operating Base) before the bombs go off. They have around 40 minutes, and the bus journey will take at least 30. Oooh, that’s going to be close. Lots of suspense there.

And it gets worse! They are under attack by ground troops. They fight them off, but this takes time. And they no longer have the bus. Oh man, they aren’t going to make it!

But wait…the film cuts forward a scene, and they are in a shop to take a rest. But they can’t stay there, they’ll die if they don’t get past the FOB! What is going on?!

Eckhart then speaks. His line is something like ‘okay, we’re past the FOB. We’re safe now.’

Oh. Well, that was a suspense killer. How did they manage to cover that distance with all those enemies? And with three kids in their group? Humph.

3) They get past the FOB, but don’t notice it is destroyed.

I’ll try to keep it vague here, so I don’t spoil it, but uh…something goes wrong. They go outside to check, and see that the FOB is in bad shape. This is a surprise to them. Um, how can it be? To get to your shop, you had to get past the FOB. How did you not see it was destroyed?

Dear me.

4) Dark on minute, bright the next.

Here’s another inexplicable timeshift. They all get off this helicopter at 3 in the morning. It is pitch black. They walk along an underpass, go down into a sewer for ten minutes (not actual minutes, film minutes), and then return to the surface….and it’s broad daylight.

Uh, what? I get they can’t document everything (it would be a very long film if you watched them walk around for hours), but where the hell did those 9 hours go? It was too bright to be early morning, so what happened? Ruined the moment, I tell ya.

5) The Command Center is huge, yet they are surprised.

The marines have to destroy the alien command center that is controlling the drones. They target it with a laser and destroy it, only to learn that the thing they targeted is only a tiny part of the center. The rest of it is underground, and when they hit it, it emerges. It’s huge. And it flies. The marines watch it, open mouthed and horrified. What are they supposed to do know? How could they have known it was so freaking huge?

Well, because they saw it earlier. In the sky, flying. One of them even pointed to it, and said what it was. Even I, who had stopped paying 100% attention at this point, looked at the spire thing they hit, and said ‘that isn’t the command center, the command center is bigger than buildings.’ So I don’t get how they are surprised. Did they all forget or something?

Tip to all the producers/directors out there; don’t make your big twist something we already know. It kinda ruins the point. Even if you do make all your characters amnesiacs…

Bah. Is it too late to give a lower score?








2 thoughts on “Battle: Los Angeles: A Film That Exists.”

  1. Lol, I enjoyed that film, erm think he figures the radio, when a drone stops when one bloke starts broadcasting on a radio in the bus. Other points valid however.

    1. Hmm, I still found it a bit tenuous (mostly because of the other reasons I mentioned) but that would explain it.

      Not a bad film, just I think it had the scope to be much better. A more action based District 9 perhaps.

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