By: Oberst von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal’s a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Corps!”
It is clear that Director Jonathan Liebesman set out to do one thing with Battle: Los Angeles, and that was to remake Blackhawk Down, but without all that depressing political context and relevance.To that end, he succeeds with leaps and bounds.The film’s immersive documentary style puts you on the battlefield, and for the first time in years just the way the audience wants it, against a soulless enemy so that will make no racial or ethnic groups or any other market uncomfortable.
Don’t get me wrong, I myself became swept up in the action, and taken for what it is, a brainless action movie, it holds up fairly well.I do want to give credit to the special effects team for creating some very convincing alien creatures, both in CGI and practical effects shots.For most of the movie, my disbelief was pleasantly suspended, allowing me to concentrate more on the other elements of the film.The effects here are rarely used to awe the audience, instead serving as a means to drive the story.
And that is why we drink…
The story centers on Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), a decorated Marine who finds himself second in command of a squad assigned to defend Santa Monica from Alien invasion.On his team are “the new guy”, “inexperienced gung-ho Lieutenant”, “Marine who blames Nantz for the death of his brother”, and other clichés.They even get to write in a “tough as nails Latina Marine” to satisfy the lady-folk. “And there was Dallas, from Phoenix. And Cleveland, he was from Detroit and Tex…
Now I don’t remember where Tex come from…”
The cameraman in this film seems to be a little steadier than a crack-addicted Parkinson’s sufferer at capturing the danger of combat.I understand the approach. Paul Greengrass used it a great deal in The Bourne Ultimatum, and ever since other filmmakers seem content to use shaky-cam all the time.I should be happy with it, I should be content.I should also not have motion sickness, but you can’t have everything now can you?
Appreciate this film for what it is.The Siege of Firebase Gloria of Alien invasion films; inessential, but entertaining (if you like combat movies, Google it).
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time a soldier mentions Aaron Eckhart’s past
Take a Drink: every time soldiers mention the Alien’s “central command center”
Take a Drink: every time Aaron Eckhart gives a pep talk / speech
Bonus: If you can replace dialog from a scene with a line from “Aliens”, everyone else drinks