Business rating: 1 star
Star cast: Aaron Eckhart, Ramon Rodriguez, Michelle Rodriguez.
What’s Good: The excellent visual effects; nothing else.
What’s Bad: The ordinary and uninteresting script; the average performances; the lack of emotions in the story.
Verdict: World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles is tepid action fare. It will meet with disaster at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Many. The boring dialogues and the meaningless, continuous action leave you no other alternative!
Watch or Not? Not really! A few, though, might enjoy the soul-less and meaningless action sequences.
Columbia Pictures and Original Film’s World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles is the story of a Marine platoon’s fight for survival during an alien invasion on earth.
Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), who is based in a Marine training camp, has just decided to quit his job and take a break when he is forced to go on an emergency mission to Los Angeles, where meteors are falling from the sky and into the sea. The whole world, we are told through TV news, is facing a similar phenomenon, where massive meteors are falling near the biggest cities across continents.
Meanwhile, Michael and a new platoon that he has been attached to, leave for a Forward Operation Base (F.O.B.) in a helicopter. They can’t believe what they witness on the beaches. Machine-like aliens are emerging out of the waters and attacking humans with their explosive weaponry and bombs. However, when the platoon reaches the base, they are told to rescue a few civilians who are stuck in a run-over police station a few miles from the base and bring them back. The platoon, under 2nd Lieutenant William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) – who is Michael’s boss – must bring back the civilians before the US air force bombs the area they are venturing into. They only have three hours or so before they can finish the task.
But there is a complication. Michael, who is second in command in the platoon, has a tarnished record in the Afghanistan war, where he was responsible for the death of a few of his platoon members. Hence, the marines suspect him. Even William Martinez, who is fresh out of training school, refuses to bury the hatchet. What happens next? Is the platoon able to act as a team and rescue the stuck civilians? What happens when they encounter the aliens? What are the aliens really here for? The rest of the film reveals the answers.
Story and Screenplay – World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles Review
‘World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles’ is an insipid fare. The story is nothing different from any of the alien films we have seen in the recent past (Skyline etc.) and fails to provide thrills or chills. The dialogues are as boring as the screenplay, which moves into the most obvious directions. Overall, the writing, by Chris Bertolini, is below grade. Here’s a small list of some of what is wrong with the film: The screenplay begins directly with the alien invasion. The writer has not tried to create any intrigue or surprise for the audience as far as the actual invasion is concerned. Moreover, the logic behind the alien invasion – that the aliens want to colonise earth for its water – is okay, but the fact is brought out so late into the film that it hardly has any effect on the audience’s perception about what is going on. The dialogues, as mentioned earlier, are badly written and do not serve any purpose other than to insert small nuggets of information that are supposed to excite the audience. Alas! Whatever tragedy the group meets with, in its journey through the battle, also fails to touch the heart.
However, the action sequences have been choreographed well. The visual effects (especially of the aliens and their flying machines) are superb. But they add little value to the story, per se.
Star Performances – World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles Review
As far as the performances are concerned, Aaron Eckhart tries to be genuine but fails. Ramon Rodriguez and Michelle Rodriguez (as Sgt. Elena Santos) are just okay. The rest of the cast members – Cory Hardrict, Gino Anthony Pesi, Ne-Yo, James Hiroyuki Liao and others – do average jobs.
Direction, Visual Effects and Editing – World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles Review
Jonathan Liebesman’s direction is poor. Liebesman certainly has made the film on a huge canvas but has forgotten all about the script, which is very unfortunate if you consider the amount of labour his team must have put in to create the large canvas. Lukas Ettlin’s cinematography is too shaky at first but becomes better with the action scenes. The visual effects are excellent. Production design, by Peter Wenham, is very good. Brian Tyler’s background score is okay in parts. Christian Wagner’s editing could have done with a lot more cuts.
The Last Word
All in all, World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles will fight a losing battle at the box-office. Expect it to do poorly across theatres in India.
World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles has also released in the US today, March 11, 2011, as Battle Los Angeles. It has also been dubbed in Hindi and the dubbed Hindi version, titled 2011: Antariksh Ka Akraman, has also opened today.