BATTLE: LOS ANGELES * 1/2
A white US Marine, Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) is retiring, with the lingering regret of one of his final missions resulting in the deaths of many of his squad. Meanwhile, aliens are attacking earth. The situation is grim, so Nantz is called back into active duty, embedded into the unit of 2nd Lieutenant William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez), whose cheerful corps of multiracial marines include Corporal Jason Lockett, whose brother was one of those who dies under Nantz. Don’t worry about any of this because within twelve minutes, it’s all about battling aliens on the streets of Los Angeles, and that’s what we get for the rest of the film. The set-up is entertaining in the absolute transparency of its desperate appeal to all the different racial demographics in the United States, but the action, accounting for a good eighty percent of the film, becomes truly monotonous, unhelped by shaky hand-held camerawork and aliens who are so faceless and soulless that they may as well be garbage cans shot at by little boys with slingshots. Definitely not recommended.