Film Review:”Battle of Los Angeles”

The Asylum are utter geniuses. How they have evaded being taken to court over the title of their latest “epic” I have no idea, but Battle of Los Angeles is quite possibly the most commical alien invasion film this side of Mars Attacks – but that was meant to be a comedy! The result is a film that’s so cheesy, so camp and late 80’s one liner filled its a riot.

The Premise

A giant UFO squid type thing has designs on planet Earth to steal back a captive alien from Roswell. Cue destruction!

The Disasters Faced

CGI, CGI and more CGI. Then throw in a few super soaker guns, a tarted up trash can, a lot of stolen ideas and dodgy implementation. What a concoction!

The Execution

Battle of Los Angeles is strangely familiar – and it’s not just the title. From the stolen opening scenes (Independence Day), stolen lines of dialogue (Terminator), set pieces (District 9), characters (Kill Bill) and even shouting movies names to remind others of what they’re meant to do (Avatar) – absolutely nothing in this film seems its own. Everything revolves around jumping from one films set piece to another – hamfisting it – and then bungling onto the next one. In fact the film feels in a way like a homage to about 30 different films all taking place in ninety minutes. You’d be forgiven for thinking its a parody but because it’s not, it comes across priceless funny. The direction seems aimed at a Power Rangers audience but with blood and swearing. It’s such a strange offset that initially I felt like the film was jarring but after the first twenty minutes I was so busy laughing my head off I didn’t care anymore. The scripts full of stupid one liners and the death counts high. The plots ludicrous and while most of the acting isn’t bad (especially from the lead trio) there’s still a few really stilted performances to make you smile.

The Effects

Well… they’re in general awful. The Asylum need to work out how to improve their CGI explosions – they’re shocking! The aircraft work is passable, the alien at the end isn’t bad at all and the sets are fine. It’s just that whenever a flame appears on-screen the whole illusion of the film fades away. It’s a miracle that the film had anything going on at all with its budget so its testament to the team in charge that it didn’t all end up a complete shambles.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Battle of Los Angeles is a trip down bad movie memory lane. Everyone has set out to make the film the best a B movie can be and its pulled off perfectly. The two female leads especially look like they’re having a great time wielding weapons, kissing missile launchers and leaping 30 feet down off a bridge with a katana… unhurt! It’s full of continuity errors too. What for the magic eyepatch. You can also play guess the deaths as characters fall by te wayside at the rate of Notts. You’ll only enjoy it if you enjoy cheesy movies however – I can’t stress this enough!

Best Death

Commander Pike’s voice must have really peeved the aliens. After taking out several spaceships with the smallest gun known to the army, he then gets too cocky when he takes an aliens laser gun and sets it off on fellow alien ships. Sadly one of them decides if he’s going down, he’ll take Pike with him and he crashes down right on the guy! Double whammy!

Favourite Character

Solano kicks so much arse in this film, she earns the award – or she might kill us too! From screaming cheesy come backs from her parachute, to kissing her rocket launcher to aerial kicking gun slinging, she firmly does the most damage. Typically she goes out in big style too in a self-sacrifice but we’re sure it’s only so she can win best explosion award!

Weirdest Moment

Best laugh out loud moment is Karla’s entrance to the film, jumping off a 30ft bridge with a katana, slamming it down onto the alien ship, killing it, riding it to the ground, sliding off and then walking away without flinching as it explodes in flames behind her. It’s so cheesy it could be a hair shampoo or tampon advert.

Conclusion

If you don’t enjoy cheesy awful films, you’ll hate this. I don’t believe it deserves its 2.1 score on IMDB but I can complete see why others wouldn’t watch it. However, those of us who are avid fans of the bad movie bandwagon – sign yourselves up – this is an absolute corker!

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