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'Battle: Los Angeles'

Posted Thursday, March 17, 2011, at 10:28 PM

Aliens attack Cali

Aliens show up, and they're not ET friendly in "Battle: Los Angeles."

Much as the movie title suggests, it's U.S. Marines versus interstellar invaders for control of coastal California in this action-packed, two-hour film.

Much like, 1996's "Independence Day," starring Will Smith, the aliens descend on earth in their massive ships with superior technology and weaponry, hell bent on wiping out the human race. While the occupation and slaughter of humankind is taking place all over the world - both movies centered around efforts on the West Coast to turn the tide.

Aaron Eckhart plays Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz who presents his retirement paperwork to his superior after 20 years of service just hours before the world is turned upside down. He's a step slower than the younger soldiers he's training, and understands his time has come. On top of that, he's battling the demons of having been the lone man to return from a mission, while all those in his command had been killed.

While out on a normal training exercise, Nantz and his squad are called from the sandy beaches outside Camp Pendleton, and rushed back to base. With the rest of the world they watch as a cluster of "meteors" begin slamming into coastal waters near major cities around the globe. It's noted the meteorites appeared to slow leading up to impact.

Soon the citizens of the globe learn the meteor storm was actually alien ships landing with bad intentions. They emerge from the ocean and begin systematically exterminating the population of Southern California.

Sadly, there was no evidence that either Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan, were among the casualties.

Nantz finds himself paired with a combat-hungry officer, who wants to lead but has no experience managing a team in a crisis situation. Their mission: extract a group of civilians trapped in a police station, while the city collapses around them and aliens pop out of every alley. Oh yes, there's a time line. The Air Force is planning to blast the same portion of Los Angeles into the dark ages with ordinance in a matter of hours.

The battle wages, soldiers are lost along the way, and a mission designed to save a handful of citizens caught in the crossfire, becomes a race to discover the secret to dealing with the seemingly unstoppable enemy. U-rah!

Lots of explosions, gun fire and impressive special effects help make the two hours fly by. It's not going to win any Oscars next year, but it will certainly appease action junkies until the summer stock arrives in theaters in the next couple of months.

Eckhart, who portrayed Harvey Dent/Two Face in the critically acclaimed "Dark Knight Returns" a couple years back, does an admirable job as a marine soldier who began his day biding time until retirement and concluded the 24-hour cycle fighting both a past which haunts him and a group of very hostile aliens.

Once the action starts, there's not much let up.

Randy's Review

On a scale of 5 popcorn buckets, I'm giving "Battle: Los Angeles" 3 1/2. Load it up with butter, but limit the salt. You may not want to get a drink if you have a small bladder. You won't want to get up because you will miss something. Made for action fans, it delivers. Running Time: 1 hr. 56 min. MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language. This movie was viewed at the Southpark 7 in Spencer.

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A Little to the Right
By Randy M. Cauthron
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Randy Cauthron is the managing editor of the Daily Reporter. He has been with the paper since 2003 and has worked in the newspaper business since 1993. Randy enjoys entertainment and sports. He has wife, Leah and six children living in Spencer. Randy enjoys sharing his opinion on everything from entertainment, pop culture, politics and sports.
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