copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

No doubt there was a moment in many gamers' lives when a cut-scene from a game was interesting and pretty enough that the gamer wanted it to continue for longer than it normally would have, and there are games out there with relatively long cinematic cut-scenes that dwarf the actual gameplay, but Battle Los Angeles, hands down, is the longest game cut-scene I have seen. And is that a good thing?

The design team outdid itself. The graphics seamlessly merge and interact with the live action materials and humans. The movement of alien objects is fluent and realistic. The camera work is great; not like every-shot-means-something great, but rather great-action-scene great. Alas, in between these good actions scenes, the actors begin to speak and that is when you painfully wonder to yourself...Why?!!

It is not the acting that is the problem. The actors themselves are fine. Michelle Rodriguez shows up again, having somehow survived all the previous films she was killed in, apparently naturally attracted to these kinds of movies like bugs to the light. The public is also well familiar with Eckhart, who is playing the main protagonist. The rest of the actors are mostly a semi-recognizable filler, whose purpose is to either shoot their guns or to die heroically when they are done shooting their guns, but they all do their little parts well. There is not anything wrong with the faces of any of these actors, only with the words that come out of those faces. The mismatched, semi-cliché generic outbursts could have either been replaced with something better written or taken out entirely, the latter option being applicable in those many cases when cutting out someone's line does not add or take anything away from the rest of the film.

Firefights are well done, yes but that is all this thing is good at. That is all it is. Logical storyline? Nope, please try later. Believable human characters? Not a chance. This realization will make you want to fast forward past the all the corny shallow failed attempts at character development to when the special effects start rolling again.

Even with all the action scenes, the movie nonetheless manages to be boring at times. There is a sense of small scale as the viewer follows a handful of marines throughout a few blocks of war torn Los Angeles, as the title of the movie suggests. After the generic story is set up, there are few culminating moments.

After watching Baltte L.A. the gamers amongst us may feel being cheated out of a game. Watching the film, one can easily estimate and pinpoint those moments when it feels like the cut-scene should end and the viewer should be handed a joystick to participate in the fight. The action should keep most guys (and only guys) interested anyway. I just wish they actors would stop talking, just stop...............just stop talking!

Battle Los Angeles