REVIEW: Battle: Los Angeles (Jonathan Liebesman, 2011)

A quick Google search tells me "militarysploitation" doesn't exist anywhere this side of the Internet. Oh, forget aliens. The only reason aliens exist in "Battle: Los Angeles" is to excuse a practically nonstop barrage of semi-automatic artillery fire amidst constant barks of "Ooh-rah" and other Marine Corps jargon. So if militarysploitation is not yet a defined sub-sub-genre (and just so we're clear, I don't mean propaganda), may I coin the term?

The best alien invasion films have at their hearts a "real people" contingent, all be them generally of the ham variety. Hammy or not, they work fantastically in the likes of "Independence Day" and "Cloverfield". "Battle: Los Angeles" all but eliminates this, opening in the middle of its titular event  - an exponentially larger-scale 9/11, one might say - as seen almost solely through trained and armored eyes. While civilians come and go in the fray, a single jarhead platoon remains firmly our vantage. Weak attempts at relationships and backstories pad the exhausting combat, but like everything not some form of literal explosion they amount to nothing. One early scene I'll admit to admiring for its captured frantic confusion of coming against an unknown hostile, yet by the time this decaying schtick grows tiresome you've still got ninety minutes of movie to endure. Not being a current or former member of the US Armed Forces, maybe I just can't relate.