Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart, The Dark Knight) has just turned in his retirement paperwork when the unthinkable happens - what first appears to be random meteor showers off a number of major coastlines turns out to be a well-planned alien attack. Naturally, he is called back into action to work alongside 2nd Lt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) and his troop, but since Nantz has a history of men dying under his command, most of the Marines aren't too keen on being led by him, especially one whose brother died under Nantz.
However, Nantz is the least of their worries as the alien invasion ramps up. This team is being sent to the Santa Monica Police Station because a group of civilians are believed to be trapped there and they are sent in to rescue them before bombs drop and raze the entire town and they have 2 hours to do it. As they make their way across the alien-studded landscape, they come to find that things are far worse than they imagined and the aliens not only have tremendous ground support, but deadly air support as well. When they arrive at the police station, they find a man (Michael Pena) and woman (Bridget Moynahan) and a couple of children, but they soon realize that they are in such a hot zone that no evac choppers will be coming, so they decide to make a run for it on their own.
Their battle won't be easy and it will take massive amounts of teamwork, something they are lacking as a group, but the motley crew of marines and civilians are determined to not only escape the bombing, but figure out a way to cripple the aliens by destroying their air support command center. With the help of Air Force Sgt. Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez), who had been working recon on the aliens when her team was attacked, they just might have a shot at victory, but will they do it in time?
Battle: Los Angeles is definitely action-packed almost from the get-go, but whether or not it's your type of action-packed is another story. When the movie began, I had a hard time distinguishing between all of the Marine characters they were introducing. Sure, Eckhart's any easy one because he is the star and I am familiar with his body of work, but there were too many characters in play for me to get attached to any grunt in particular. As it turns out, musician Ne-Yo plays Corp. Kevin Harris and Jim Parrack (True Blood) plays Lt. Corp. Peter Kerns, but again, there is a lot going on and it's difficult to connect with any one character too much.
The special effects look pretty good for being all CG and the sound effects work well for the film, so if you are going to see Battle: Los Angeles, see it in HD. Special features are plentiful and include a bevy of featurettes that cover everything from how they created Los Angeles in Louisiana to how they prepped the actors to play Marines and everything in between. Since over half of the special features are exclusive to Blu-ray, that's yet another reason to watch in on Blu-ray over DVD.
Let's get one thing straight - Battle: Los Angeles will never be hailed as a great film and will never win an Oscar, but if you enjoy a high-speed action flick with aliens and guns blazing, you could do worse. I didn't love it, but I enjoyed watching it the one time. It's hard to recommend a purchase, unless, like me, you want to show your friends iconic Baton Rouge downtown landmarks that crept into the film and you need to keep the film around to do this. However, the demo of Resistance 3 on the Blu-ray version is another reason fans of alien shoot-em-ups might want to get their hands on it.