Silli­ness in LA

Townsville Bulletin - - NQ Life -

WORLD In­va­sion: Battle LA can best be de­scribed

as Black­hawk Down with aliens.

Its grainy, washed out, hand­held cam­er­a­work cer­tainly feels ur­gent, claus­tro­pho­bic and deadly se­ri­ous with the space in­vaders kept largely at a dis­tance, ob­scured by smoke and shaky cam.

This works to build sus­pense – for a while.

But the an­tic­i­pated science fic­tion el­e­ments never ma­te­ri­alise, leav­ing only a lot of patriotic chest-beat­ing.

The nar­ra­tive struc­ture is that of a video game.

A short in­tro quickly branches into a lengthy shoot-’ em-up, then an­other vi­gnette in which a cou­ple of civil­ians are in­tro­duced among a bom­bard­ment of em­bar­rass­ingly clunky di­a­logue. War is hell and so is this script. Af­ter a cou­ple of en­gage­ments I felt about as in­volved as if I were sitting on the couch next to some­one play­ing a first-per­son shooter.

When we fi­nally get a close look at the ETs and re­alise they’re ac­tu­ally Bill and Ben the Flow­er­pot Men as­sim­i­lated with Borg im­plants, the only ques­tions re­main­ing are why are they here and why are they so an­gry?

Seems they need our wa­ter, of course. But it gets worse. Within a few hours of their ar­rival ocean lev­els are al­ready fall­ing.

You could get away with this sort of earnest silli­ness in the 1950s, but Battle LA’s big­gest fail­ing is in not ac­count­ing for the bag­gage a post-9/ 11 au­di­ence brings.

Liv­ing in the shadow of grand­scale dev­as­ta­tion and hu­man suf­fer­ing, close to home and not so far away, Battle LA should have pow­er­ful and im­me­di­ate re­son- ance. The marines are fight­ing, not only on home soil, but in their own neigh­bour­hood, bear­ing wit­ness to the slaugh­ter of all mankind, yet I felt none of the hor­ror, grief or hope­less­ness that fills my heart when I watch the news daily.

It prob­a­bly didn’t help ei­ther that be­sides the like­able Aaron Eck­hart, Michelle Ro­driguez ( Avatar), type­cast as yet an­other tough-as-old-boots sol­dier, and the young fella from True Blood, I had trou­ble telling any of them apart.

All I was think­ing about were the in­fin­itely su­pe­rior war films which have left their in­deli­ble mark on me.

Aaron Eck­hart in World In­va­sion: Battle LA

by Chris Brun­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.