Battle: Los Angeles

Release Date: March 11, 2011

Did you just say I have a butt for a chin?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
56/171 Max Braden Eckhart continues to impress though this movie won't be well remembered. I rank it above Skyline but I liked Monsters more.

New at BOP:
Share & Save
Digg Button  
No, this is not a belated music video collection from the seminal Rage Against the Machine album. This is an upcoming film from Columbia, albeit one with a horrendous title. Why the studio refuses to rename the movie is beyond comprehension, as The Battle of Los Angeles rolls off the tongue better. Alas, the awkward colon stays.

Battle: Los Angeles tells the story of a battle that...wait for it…takes place in Los Angeles. In this case, the enemy seems to be some ornery intergalactic neighbors. An alien invasion in Los Angeles could be the backdrop for terrific social commentary due to the untold number of illegal aliens (or undocumented immigrants, if you prefer) who live in the area, but I will hold my breath for any Oscar bait. The producers describe the film as Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day, but by all accounts B:LA shoots to be a straight sci-fi actioner. Let’s hope that the quality of B:LA sounds better than its phonetic pronunciation.

Pretend you are Aaron Eckhart. You have built a solid career of indie performances interspersed with straight commercial fare. You are coming off one of the most successful movies of the decade in The Dark Knight. You have looks and charm to burn. There has to be a monstrous pile of scripts with your name on it. And one of the first projects you select is Battle: Los Angeles? Really? Eckhart must have a soft spot for cheesy sci-fi. He has been down this road before, slumming, err, starring opposite Hilary Swank in The Core. To each their own. Eckhart will portray a marine sergeant who leads the way to fend off the extraterrestrial assault. Joining his platoon will be professional bad girl Michelle Rodriguez, fresh off a career resuscitating Fast and Furious and other most successful movie of the decade Avatar. Bridget Moynahan, perhaps better known as baby mama for Tom Brady, joins the crew along the way as a veterinarian.

Jonathan Liebesman will helm the picture. The South African director first made his mark with tooth fairy horror flick, Darkness Falls. Columbia must have faith in Liebesman as the production of Darkness Falls closely resembled a runaway train. At the last second the monster design was given a complete makeover at great cost to the studio. But Darkness Falls wound up being a moderate hit, and even scored the director a crack at a The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. His latest work, The Killing Room, went straight to DVD. B:LA seems to be a departure, in both genre and budget, so it will be interesting to see how Liebesman handles the transition.

The writers are also fairly inexperienced. Christopher Bertolini’s last work was a John Travolta drama, The General’s Daughter, while Scott Silver’s only work prior has been The Mod Squad and 8 Mile.

Though the creative team may be relatively inexperienced, the same cannot be said for über-producer Neal Moritz. The prolific moviemaker has churned out a laundry list of blockbusters, including the likes of I Am Legend and Sweet Home Alabama. He is quite a chameleon, working with genres ranging from comedy to action to spoof. His lack of distinct style indicates that the quality of the film rests heavily on unproven talent behind the camera. (Brian Pew/BOP)

Vital statistics for Battle: Los Angeles
Main Cast Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Pena
Supporting Cast Bridget Moynahan, Adetokumboh M'Cormack, Ne-Yo, Ramon Rodriguez, Taylor Handley, Cory Hardrict, Jadin Gould, Bryce Cass, Joey King
Director Jonathan Liebesman
Screenwriter Chris Bertolini, Scott Silver
Distributor Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 116 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



Need to contact us? E-mail a Box Office Prophet.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
© 2022 Box Office Prophets, a division of One Of Us, Inc.