Battle of Los Angeles (2011)

Battle of Los AngelesReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Nia Peeples, Kel Mitchell, Dylan Vox, Theresa June-Tao, Robert Pike Daniel

Written and Directed by Mark Atkins

I have seen things. Oh, have I ever seen things. I have seen one of the sorriest excuses for an alien invasion ever. The Killer Klowns from Outer Space were a superior fighting force. A platoon of Mac & Me’s armed with Red Rider B.B. Guns could probably put up a better fight.

To its credit, The Asylum’s Battle of Los Angeles doesn’t strive to be self-aware of its flying by the seat of its pants nature like, say, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. This one takes itself almost as seriously as Battle: Los Angeles, only making the bountiful harvest of ridiculousness all the more ridiculous. Oddly enough, despite the title and the timing of its DVD release and Syfy premiere, Battle: Los Angeles is one alien flick this film doesn’t crib much of anything from. Writer-director Mark Atkins was clearly given the difficult task of crafting as entertaining a movie as possible with a limited budget and a mockbuster mandate, and if that meant having to put his foot down on the throat of logic to do so…

So, yes, a sexy female X-Files agent runs around in a catsuit “slaying” UFOs with a samurai sword while the commander of the Los Angeles branch of the Air National Guard fends off an incoming squadron of laser-shooting, gyroscope-powered space ships with only a Colt Revolver – his first weapon of choice in the heat of an intergalactic aerial assault. Those two are the true unsung heroes of this battle.

Nia Peeples, looking as if the only attire the wardrobe department had in her size was a Mortal Kombat Sindel costume, slices and dices swarms of what look an awful lot like those floating orbs Obi Wan used to first train Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber. Later, when a human turns out to actually be an alien double agent controlled by one of those orbs inside his head that somehow imbues it with the ability to spit acid, she’ll get half a face full of green goo. Only mild burn scarring around her left eye results with no sense of injury to the eye itself; nonetheless, for the rest of the film she will wear an eye patch designed to make her appear even more of a sexy badass. Even with one eye she will prove to be a better shot than trained soldiers.

The other is Robert Pike Daniel, an actor I’m not terribly familiar with but now long to see him in every b-movie made between now and the end of time. A gravelly voiced mixture of R. Lee Ermey and a cranky Mickey Rooney, he leads the Air National Guard into battle against invading aliens with only a revolver, and you better believe he can shoot UFOs out of the sky with it.

In fact, unless you have only one eye or are shooting at alien attack ships with only a revolver, nobody can shoot for shit in this movie – aliens included.

There is much, much more where that came from. One does not watch Battle of Los Angeles so much as one beholds it.

Behold! The District 9 meets Independence Day inspired mothership’s underbelly energy weapon blasting the city in the opening moments; long view shots of this made it look like a giant UFO was pouring neon blue laundry detergent onto downtown Los Angeles.

Behold! A pilot being ordered into battle sits in the cockpit of his jet with a look on his face as if he were pissing his pants in fear.

Behold! An alien gun turret that resembles a seven-foot, high-tech coffee maker has a retractable arm that appears to exist for the sole purpose of catching grenades tossed at it and hurling them back at the people that threw them.

Behold! An alien rifle looks suspiciously like it should be firing Nerf rockets.

Behold! A UFO scores three direct hits to a fighter jet’s tail pipe and it still doesn’t blow up. The pilot ejects anyway; the popped hatch flies into the UFO sending it into a tailspin. The female pilot then starts talking smack, “That’s right; that how we do it,” as if she somehow anticipated an alien fighter ship could be sent packing by being hit with a random piece of debris.

Behold! Earthlings in a hijacked UFO fly straight through an enormous armada of enemy crafts almost entirely unmolested as they blast several of them out of the sky and then crash the mothership by literally crashing into it – using the ship’s force field to crash right through its hull like the Hulk smashing through a series of brick walls.

Behold! A soldier fires a bazooka at a target from 5 feet away and lives to tell about it.

Behold! A pilot abducted by aliens during the “Battle of Los Angeles” incident that took place in the skies over LA 68 years ago has a message the invading aliens very much want him to deliver to some in a position of authority; they’ll spend half the movie trying to kill him along with the small band of Air National Guardsmen he hooks up with after landing his biplane.

Behold! A soldier swallowed by a giant toothy space worm-a-pus (Sorry Syfy, I’m copywriting “worm-a-pus” for myself) lives on impaled on one of its fangs inside its mouth.

This is another one of those films where you don’t need me to tell you if it’s worth watching; just reading what I’ve described will be the decider. Once again I find the typical knife rating scale does not apply to the motion picture in question. So in lieu of the typical 1-5 knife rating, I would instead like to present Battle of Los Angeles with an amazing set of Ginsu knives. Don’t ask me why; it just feels right for some reason.



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