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Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

World Invasion: Battle LA

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 116 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

The biggest compliment you can pay to the Jonathan Liebesman’s big bad alien invasion blockbuster is that it is a thousand times better than 2010’s Skyline. There are however a few bad things to say about this rambling action-fest as well.

After a cluster of meteors fall to earth outside of a number of major cities a species of aliens emerge from the sea hell-bent wiping out humanity and colonising the world to use its resources. In Los Angeles – who else would make a decent fist of the defence of the earth (not the French anyway) – the army has the invasion force pinned down in a narrow strip of land and ready themselves to wipe out the unwelcome visitors with an air strike. Before they do they send in a band of marines, including 2nd Lt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez), SSgt. Michael Nantz (Eckhart) and TSgt. Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez), to rescue civilians trapped in the war zone.

The scene is nicely set but unfortunately Jonathan Liebesman’s film totally lacks any intelligence to see it through. When you wipe away the alien-invasion gloss, Battle: LA is basically just a war film which replaces Arab, Russian or Nazi cannon fodder with aliens. The action really is relentless and offers barely any chance of character development or any plot not revolving around running around trying to shoot aliens or spewing testosterone filled man-dialogue. It would probably be more fun to play a video game.

Credit where it’s due, Battle: Los Angeles looks pretty amazing. The scenes of the destruction of Los Angeles are realistic and impressive enough to sexually arouse Osama Bin Laden and the action is of a high quality – it is just a shame there’s so much of it.

It's Got: Decent but relentless action, heroic speeches, impressive CGI

It Needs: Character development, a break from the action


A war film with aliens that looks good but shows a total lack of intelligence. To borrow an expression: you can’t polish a turd.