starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, Michael Peña
screenplay by Christopher Bertolini
directed by Jonathan Liebesman
by Ian Pugh The action sequences in Battle: Los Angeles operate on a clockwork schedule. A group of Marines traverses the title city in search of civilians and/or shelter. Suddenly, aliens! The camera shakes for five minutes. The Marines find a safehouse and plan their next move. Suddenly, aliens! Lather, rinse, repeat. But, you will ask, what happened while the camera was shaking? How did they escape? And, as one character inevitably puts it, "What is that thing?" Fair questions, all. I'm pretty sure I caught a glimpse of a rocket launcher built like that BigDog robot, though I can't be 100% certain. There's actually a specific moment where you give up trying to distinguish one thing from another. At the beginning of this adventure, we're told that the Marines have a mere three hours to recover their civilians before the military blows up Santa Monica. Time finally runs out with some folks holed up in a random liquor store, and your first impulse is to question why the movie would leave its final countdown to an analog clock on the wall--but then you realize that you have no idea who these people are, how they got there, who died in the interim, or whether this is a liquor store at all. (Maybe it's somebody's wine cellar? I think I saw wine bottles.) It's not an interpretation of wartime chaos, it's just plain incomprehensible.