Battle: Los Angeles

Rated 2.0

Absolutely no plot here other than Marines (led by Aaron Eckhart) trying to get civilians out of the city and pausing to call in a missile strike on the alien command. I suspect that what they were trying to do is take the combat vérité that opens Saving Private Ryan and sustain it over the course of an entire movie. Problem is, no one involved here has the chops to pull it off. What we end up with is an exercise in motion sickness. I generally don’t have a problem with shaky-cam, but these folks don’t know how to use it efficiently (i.e., sparingly). On the plus side, the actors are competent, there are a few affecting moments, and some of the action set pieces actually work. Just not in a big-picture sort of way. I respect the intent that Battle: LA was made with a stripped-down approach to narrative, with little dialogue to get in the way of the Sturm und Drang. Words are tolerated only enough to serve as exclamation points to separate the explosions—which, in theory could be pretty cool, but in execution, not so much. Cinemark 14 and Feather River Cinemas. Rated PG-13