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Battle Los Angeles (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 97 minutes.

OK for children.

This is mindless action after the first 15 minutes of setup, although why they wanted to set anything up in this is beyond me. Some funny-looking aliens are attacking earth for its water and a small group of marines, led by Aaron Eckhart, who is long in the tooth and ready to retire, is the only thing that stands between the aliens and victory.

The entire movie is action, with the marines shooting aliens with millions of bullets, and the aliens completely destroying Los Angeles, although in reality the movie is set in Santa Monica. Santa Monica might have a cause of action against whomever it was entitling the movie ďLos Angeles.Ē

There is a big laugh line near the end of the film, although nobody got it in my screening, which was a normal showing in a Los Angeles theater. This small squad goes forth to rescue some civilians in Santa Monica. As I said, they fire millions of bullets with their automatic weapons. They arenít visibly carrying any supplies and thereís no headquarters to which they can return to reload. So they fire all these bullets throughout the 97 minutes. Then with about 10 minutes to go one of the characters says, ďIím running out of ammo.Ē Running out? It seems as if each gun holds over a million rounds because we never see anybody reload.

Another anomaly is that the squad is trying to move some civilians to the Los Angeles Police Station on 10th street. But there is no Los Angeles Police Station on 10th Street. There is no Los Angeles Police Station in Santa Monica. It would be like having an NYPD Station in Los Angeles. The LAPD Station is on Purdue in West Los Angeles. When they finally show a picture of it, itís entitled ďLos Angeles Police Station, West Los Angeles.Ē Maybe this will only bother Angelenos, but it bothered me.

The movie will probably be of more interest to people who live on the West Side, like me, because they use the names of familiar streets, like Pico and Olympic Boulevards. But the locations are so shot up, there really arenít any familiar sites, except for the aerial shots of the city.

Itís not particularly violent because the aliens are so funny-looking (actually they look like robots, even though they do have non-machined insides). So when they are being machine-gunned, itís not the graphic violence one sees in so many movies these days.

The pace is fast enough and the goal of victory so seemingly elusive that this is a pretty entertaining ride, despite the total lack of story and character development.