World Invasion: Battle LA (the first two words recently added so as not to insult us international types) tells the story of a group of soldiers who report for duty on a regular day only to find themselves in the midst of the end of the world as they know it. Massive, hulking ships have entered our atmosphere and within minutes major population centres are being targeted and destroyed. Close Encounters of the Third Kind it ain’t.
Since Independence Day, the alien invasion movie has seen fit to ally itself with the mega-scaled destruction of the disaster movie and Battle LA certainly follows suit, with massive destroyed vistas and epic, inscrutable ships. But there’s an unusual focus to proceedings here; a small group of survivors in a single location, which may help it stand out from other ensemble offerings. Director Liesbesman (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) has been keen to label the film as more of war movie – focussing on the visceral action on the ground with gritty visuals and handheld camerawork.
The cast is uninspiring, with only underrated Aaron Eckhart likely to pique our interest, next to the likes of obvious tough girl Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan. Remember her? Yea, the angular chick from I, Robot. At least the effects looks strong, partly crafted by Colin and Greg Strause who released their own alien movie, Skyline, late last year – much to the chagrin of Sony pictures. Happily, it was utter tripe so there’s still room for an extraterrestrial melee at theatres this March.