Every other year, a movie comes along that threatens to out-epic “Independence Day.” “Battle: Los Angeles,” which opens today, is that movie.
Like its predecessor, “Battle” is extremely straightforward. Somewhere in space, a group of aliens have exhausted their habitat’s natural resources, and our Earth presents the next viable candidate for extraction. There’s just one problem: us.
Starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, and even Ne-Yo, the film (and especially its trailer) seems to call on the same tropes that have attracted doomsday audiences for decades, not the least of which are intense special effects, foreboding music/sounds and a setting that’s enwrapped in as much intrigue and allure as a James Ellroy or Raymond Chandler novel.
Personally, I’d love nothing more than to see Los Angeles go up in flames (though that probably has more to do with my being a Boston Celtics fan). But there’s no denying that, even if we’ve seen this plot hashed out a half-dozen times in the last two decades alone, this trailer gives us a glimpse at a film with a lot of pizzazz. Hell, the last part of it—a montage of an apocalyptic LA set to an eerie techno track—is worth the price of admission alone.
Either way, it looks as if this film’s critics are going to have to be open-minded. Expect Aaron Eckhart to save a baby. Possibly two. Expect Michelle Rodriguez to crack a one-liner before blasting an alien’s head off. Expect a melodramatic speech from someone (the mayor of Los Angeles, perhaps), reminding us all that aliens ain’t got shit on the human race. And if deus ex machina doesn’t put in an appearance, I’m demanding a refund.
That being said, “Battle: Los Angeles” seems entertaining, at least. And isn’t that the reason this film was made to begin with?