Summary: Back in 1942 in Los Angeles, air-raid sirens and anti-aircraft artillery were fired due to what some believed was a reaction to an alien attack. However, the government said it was a false alarm prompted by a weather balloon (artillery just for a weather balloon?!). This standard “when aliens attack” flick is loosely based on those incidents.
Review: “The world is at war” is one of the first lines from Battle: Los Angeles. You know the deal. Killer aliens, the ultimate in American patriotism, and the typical characters: There’s the retiring sergeant, the sacrificial rookie, frantic children, random civilians turned heroes and one female who can “ride with the boys.” It’s guns, explosions, screams and a replica of any war film in the past 40 years, but with an alien twist. There isn’t an original frame in Battle: Los Angeles, but it’s surprisingly a solid film.
The sci-fi flick is directed by South African native Jonathan Liebesman. The shaky script and cheese-ball dialogue is embarrassingly painful, but once the actors let the explosions do the talking, the movie does its job for its genre. Battle: Los Angeles will deservingly receive its fair share of mixed reviews, but props are due to Liesbesman for the film’s excellent execution of tension and aggressive action.
The film also features Ne-Yo in his first film since Stomp the Yard. The R&B crooner has a small role as Kevin Harris, a glasses-wearing corporal who has little backstory and is only relevant because of Ne-Yo. Nonetheless, the Grammy winner made the smart move. Unlike many singers who have rarely acted, he got his feet wet in a small role. The character didn’t require much power, but Ne-Yo was a natural. He possibly has a potential career in Hollywood and can deliver a line without sounding like a robot—the curse of many rappers and singers turned actors.
Another plus for Battle: Los Angeles is the extremely diverse cast. There are newcomers like Ramón Rodríguez and Adetokumboh M’Cormack. Plus, BET fave Cory Hardrict and action diva Michelle Rodriguez.
There is nothing incredibly memorable about Battle: Los Angeles, but it’s a fun junk-food flick. A strong plot line, unsuspecting twists, and award-worthy dialogue should not be expected. Lower your standards and enjoy the ride.
Battle: Los Angeles is in theaters today.