Pssssst! Hey! Battle: Los Angeles? Look, I don’t want to accuse you of anything, but your premise seems eerily familiar. I have a vague recollection of watching something almost exactly like this, 15 years ago, when I went to my first drive-in movie with my family.
I gotta say, the resemblance is uncanny. Right down to the shot of a frantic mother running with her child in her arms, as she looks back to watch the destruction chasing her. Granted, I saw no inspirational President, nor Will Smith to provide comedy relief, but I did see aliens coming to harvest our planet. And the army trying desperately to fend them off. And a lot of exploding.
Why would you do this, Battle: Los Angeles? Didn’t you think you could make it as a movie on your own merit? You have Aaron Eckhart! And while she’s not my personal favourite, lots of people like Michelle Rodriguez! Oh, and would you look at that? you got Ne-Yo as well. That’s nice. I just feel like maybe if you’d put a little more effort into it, you could have been something great, something new, something original. ID4 is not a film that benefits from an updating. The film works because of the inordinate amount of nostalgia attached to it. Remember the way you felt the first time you watched the White House explode? Who doesn’t have most (if not all) of the President’s climactic speech to the troops memorized? And who can forget how hard they laughed the first time they watched Will Smith kick the crap out of an alien carcass in the middle of the desert while screaming, “I COULDA BEEN AT A BARBECUE!” But your film? There’s nothing new here. Nothing that hasn’t been done over and over and over and over again. I mean, really. What else you got?
Honestly, I expected more from you, Battle: Los Angeles. And while I probably will still end up seeing your movie, know that in my heart of hearts, I will be sneering derisively at your inability to fill me with the same sense of wonder and delight I felt 15 years ago at the drive-in, as I watched the dude from Jurassic Park and the dad from Casper save the world.
Good luck, Battle: Los Angeles. You’re gonna need it.