Sunday, July 8, 2012
Battle Of Los Angeles!
I'm a big fan of Cloverfield and that whole approach to film making. To see that technique applied to an alien invasion makes for an enthralling experience. I really liked the movie Battle: Los Angeles, though I admit I waited to see it on television.
The makers of this movie get a lot of things right. They spend some very valuable minutes developing the characters of the soldiers we'll be following, and while it was ultimately a bit too confusing to keep up with them all, that also spoke to some extent to the fog of war nature of the story. People come and go and not all of them by any means get the benefit of a back story.
The main character of a tough-as-nails, but also a war-weary top sergeant played authentically by Arron Eckhart kept the story nailed down even as the chaos spiraled in the saga's larger frame. The idea of what it meant to be a soldier, the notion that making a choice is what it comes down to and that sometimes choices can well be wrong, but they must be made was a worthy notion and one that often is ignored in more romantically inclined war efforts. Good guys and bad guys are not part of the scheme here, but people in hard places making tough choices. Not choose is also a choice and that's the point.
The aliens were very well realized and the fact we get only meager glimpses, especially early in the film was incredibly effective. I yearned to see them, to know about them, but the movie kept them just beyond sight and never really brings them into focus. This was some of the best use of faux-news footage in a film I've ever chanced across. We make guesses, we surmise their motives and we speculate about their very natures. It doesn't really matter to the grunts on the ground though, they are just looking for a way to kill the enemy and that remains the focus of this very entertaining movie.
If perchance like me, you're someone who didn't get to this one early, I recommend you give it a look. It's one of the best invasion movies I've ever seen.