Battle: Los Angeles fights a valiant war with the power of cliche

Battle: Los Angeles – 2011

Director Jonathan Liebsman

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramón Rodríguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo, Michael Peña

Written by Chris Bertolini

Rule#31 – Whenever a movie about an alien invasion starts mid-battle, and you know we have to go back to the beginning, the beginning needs to be exciting.

Rule#548 – It’s never just a dog…or a cat, or…you know.

Rule #595 –  When the old guy is busted down at the beginning of the movie, and they make a point to say he is not in charge of the group…he’s in charge of the group.

Rule #596 – When the old dude is just about to retire…he’s certainly not retiring before seeing a bunch of people dying including, possibly, himself.

Rule #657 – When a guy’s rep is damaged, and maybe he’s feeling a little down on himself, he’s bound to save everyone’s ass, including the one that doubted him most.

Rule #688 – Michelle Rodriguez is never in a movie to wax poetic or give hugs.

Rule #727 – White smoke in war-torn L.A. does not heighten the tension.  It just looks like a normal smoggy day in L.A. .

Rule #745 – If aliens come in on foot, don’t worry, they’ll be controlling the air soon.

Rule #746 – If the baby and the civilians don’t get in on the outbound chopper, that chopper is doomed.

Rule #784 – Top of the class usually means you have a lot to learn about being in command, and you are going to be dead soon, nice guy or not.

Rule #837 – If she’s hot, and found with kids, the kids are not hers.

Rule #922 – It really is a good idea to find out how to kill what you are fighting.  Especially if you have not seen it before.

Rule #928 – As if an invading force is not reason enough to leave an area, they’re always going to “level the place” to add tension.

Rule #944 – There always has to be something for the enemy to track…radio signals, heat signatures, smell, etc.

Rule #1026 – Once you get out…you always have to go back.

Rule #1088 – The grunts always hold out longest with the doubts about the guy in command who suffered a setback.

Rule #1090 – As soon as a civilian picks up a gun to “help out” they’re as good as dead.

Rule # 1093 – If there is supposed to be a big bomb in the middle of the movie that helps the good guys, it ain’t gonna happen.

Rule #1200 – “You wanna go there?  Let’s go there!” is man code for “Let’s talk, and then hug it out.”

Rule #1439 – When someone says “That’s suicide!” it is a certainty that they will not only succeed, but make it out alive.

Rule #1440 – Promises made to the dying always involve kids or letters to home.

Rule #1500 – There’s always a soft underbelly, with insufficient protection, when it comes to bad, horrible monsters.

Rule #1501 – Whenever they say “Hell of a shot!” or “Get your ass out of there!” the one that made the shot and needs to get out is doomed.

Rule #1502 – When they celebrate the shot that should bring down the beast, the beast will rise again.

Rule #1503 – Once you bring down the beast ship, word gets “out to every city” on how they can do the same.

Aaron Eckhart and a decent cast of young actors might be a long shot, but it turned out to be a good film.

(*** out of *****)

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