Crowds flocked to the new apocalyptic alien invasion funfest Battle: Los Angeles probably for the same reason a lot of critics hated it: it pays high tribute to the US Marines and, symbolically at least, their Bush-led victory in the Iraq war.
The talented Aaron Eckhart and his cleft chin lead a handful of brave leathernecks against seemingly unbeatable aliens in street-to-street combat through Los Angeles. By the time it’s over, you’re ready to stand up and salute – as well you bloody should, since the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force do this sort of thing every day, the only difference being that, in real life, when they get killed they don’t get to come back. And oh yeah, in real life, the enemy’s not from Zebulon, or wherever.
That these enemy creatures are evil, destructive and implacable is evident to everyone who sees them – except one little boy, who hopes that maybe they just want to be friends. His father tenderly explains, “Well, if they’re chasing after us and shooting us, I don’t think they can be very good friends.” The kid eventually gets it, but if Dad wants to explain this to our left wing mainstream media critics, I guess he’s going to have to use smaller words. Because the critics simply could not believe what they were seeing.
Here’s Mark Jenkins in The Washington Post:
“Battle’s” depiction of block-by-block urban combat against an implacable, enigmatic foe evokes Baghdad at its bloodiest. But director Jonathan Liebesman (whose background is in horror flicks) isn’t interested in allegory, nuance or social comment.
Oh no? Guess what, dude – the brave Marines fighting nasties in Baghdad-like circumstances – that is the allegory and social comment! But since you don’t seem to understand the language of film very well, let me translate for you. Here’s what the film is saying:
“Hi, Mark. Welcome to the movie. By the way, just thought we’d mention that you’re here, alive, getting paid to sit on your butt and watch movies – and to review music for the ascot-wearing anti-semites at NPR - because the Marines are in the middle east, killing the people who want to kill you. Oh, and hey Mark – the aliens in the movie? They’re Islamists! Right – those guys who would like nothing better than to take your last book about punk rock and feed it to your severed head. Oh wait, except they can’t. Because the Marines are protecting you! So we’re making a movie to pay tribute to the Marines, Mark, only we can’t really pay tribute to them and talk about the Islamists and all that, because then you would understand what we were saying and attack us for it. So we made them aliens. It’s an allegory. Oh, never mind…”
That’s what the film is saying to Mark. I can’t even repeat in print what it’s saying to Roger Ebert, who ended his review:
Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you’ve been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.
I would respond to this, but I can’t imagine any young woman on earth turning to Roger Ebert for advice on whom to date. Or what movie to see, for that matter.
Anyway, the savage John Nolte, with excellent assists from Christian Toto and others, has been over at Big Hollywood digging the hole for these supercilious knuckleheads deeper than I could. Check it out. And go see the film – it’s lots of fun and will at least serve as a reminder of what our military is doing for us right now. Until, that is, Hollywood has the nerve to make stories that openly salute the brave men and women battling these Islamo-Nazis overseas as well as here.
We’ll have to wait a while for that because, for now, the aliens still own LA. But if this movie is any indication, the tide of battle is clearly turning.