Two reviews for the price of one! Battle: Los Angeles & Skyline
As all of my faithful readers know I enjoy alien invasion movies. I realized that I had not shared my reviews of these two movies that came out in 2011. Both are alien invasion movies yet are so different. Battle: Los Angels had a larger budget at $70 million dollars (still low for a major science fiction film) and Skyline was made for only 10 million dollars.
Both films were a financial success yet Skyline was heavily panned by the critics. Skyline produced and directed by Brothers Strause, directors of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. The majority of the movie was filmed in a singular location, an apartment complex in Los Angeles, and with no big named stars it was able to concentrate its budget on some excellent special effects.
Here is my reviews for both movies.
1. Battle: Los Angeles.
When I saw the very first teaser trailer for this movie I was hooked. I am unapologetically a science fiction geek and alien invasion movies are some of my favorites in the genre. At first I didn’t like it because I don’t care for war movies. I was a bit disappointed. It starts off very well as we view the invasion from the point of view of the military. Shortly thereafter it devolves into a typical war movie but only against aliens.
But on further viewings of the movie I have come to appreciate it more and see that it is actually very creative and much better than I initially thought. It has Good drama and suspense and very convincing portrayal of the US marines in a combat fight with aliens. The ending also picks up where the beginning of the movie showed so much promise. The ending does show some good climatic battles between the military and the aliens and their ships. This does redeem the movie for me.
I think this movie, and all movies generally, need to be viewed in their own context. So in the example of Skyline it is a science fiction movie which plays like a B movie reminiscent from the 50s of that genre. The difference is that 1950s B sci-fi movies had cheap special effects. The special effects are pretty top-notch in this film and the story is suspenseful with an easy to follow and understandable plot. We don’t know who these aliens are but we do learn why they are here.
The acting is up to standard for this type of film. Although there are no Academy award-winning performances in this film the acting is authentic and believable for people under the type of emotional stress these characters are experiencing. The film centers around one apartment complex and when I had heard that I thought that would be a limiting experience. But it is not. It adds to the tension of the movie and gives the viewer a sense of claustrophobia.
The ending of the movie surely sets up a sequel and I hope there is one to this film. It is a fun mindless action oriented science fiction film from the alien invasion genre.
Conclusion. Although Skyline was a critical failure for me it is a movie I enjoy much better than Battle: Los Angeles. It is more enjoyable to watch average humans react to a terrifying invasion. With Battle: Los Angeles it is basically a war movie and for me that just got tedious at times.
If you’re in the mood for an alien invasion movie I do recommend checking both of them out.