Review of Battle Los Angeles

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Aliens attack several heavily populated coastal areas around the world in this sci-fi action film directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Camp Pendleton Marine unit led by Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Eckhart) battles the aliens in Santa Monica, but the decision is made that the Air Force must perform saturation bombing.

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'Battle Los Angeles' is a big-budget blockbuster movie that tells the story of an alien invasion. The movie opens with several meteorites striking large cities on the East Coast. Scientists believe that the meteors show signs of intelligent life, which becomes true when extraterrestrials burst from the objects. The aliens slowly begin attacking different cities in the United States, and the government sends military personnel to fight the invasion.

Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) is a U. S. Marine with years of combat experience. The last thing Nantz wanted was another tour of duty because he just came back from Afghanistan, where he saw his platoon die during an invasion. Though he wanted to retire from the military, the Marine Corps tapped him to lead a new squad into Los Angeles. He guides a group of men and women into Los Angeles, including rookie William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez).

The Marines come across danger from the moment that they step foot in Los Angeles. The first battle decimates the unit, but they keep pushing forward. They eventually find a group of Air Force soldiers, including Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez), and the two teams work together against the attacking aliens.

The heart of the film sits with a ragtag group of locals who find themselves stuck in the city when the aliens attacked. Michele (Bridget Moynahan) is the leader of the civilians, which also include several children and the father of one child. The Marines make it across the city to a waiting helicopter, only to discover that the military refuses to take any nonmilitary personnel. Nantz makes a split-second decision that changes the plot of the movie: He decides to stay with the civilians and let the helicopter fly away. Moments later, the aliens attack the helicopter, leaving the group stranded in the middle of Los Angeles.

'Battle Los Angeles' really finds it footing once the groups start working together. Michele is a veterinarian who assists the group by dissecting one of the alien bodies. The chemistry between Eckhart and Moynahan is palpable in many of the scenes, making the viewers root for the two as a couple. Viewers find themselves on the edge of their seats, anticipating for a resolution and hoping that the group reaches safety.

The movie uses the outsider theme throughout the entire run time. Viewers never learn what made the aliens suddenly attack or why those aliens targeted coastal cities. All the film watchers know is that the aliens did attack and that the aliens are an evil group. Then again, that is all the viewer really needs to know.

Viewers find themselves caught up in the movie because of its location. Even those who have never visited Los Angeles will recognize some of the famous landmarks shown in the movie. These locations help the viewers put themselves in the film. Viewers might find themselves wondering what they would do in the same situation.

Too many sci-fi films make the mistake of focusing solely on civilians or the military, but 'Battle Los Angeles' combines both types of characters. Nearly all viewers will be able to find at least one person in the film that they can relate to.

'Battle Los Angeles' entices viewers from the opening scene to the last moments. This is the perfect example of an action movie with a heart because it has characters that viewers love and an action-packed story. Watching this movie is a great way to spend a few hours with friends or older children.