Los Angeles and other cities around the world are being bombarded by meteors that seem to be slowing down once they hit the earth's atmosphere. The earth is suddenly being invaded by space aliens that have landed off the shore of LA, and who begin killing everybody along the beach. The military is ordered into action. Marine Staff Sergeant Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), who was about to retire, is reassigned to a new platoon. The platoon, flown by chopper to the forward operating base at Santa Monica Airport, is being led by a new 2nd Lt. Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez). They are sent on a mission to rescue some civilians who are trapped at the police station within alien territory. They only have 3 hours to complete their mission and get out before the Air Force bombs that zone.Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
The officer referred to by SSgt. Nantz on the bus in reference to the line "Retreat Hell" is Capt. Lloyd W. Williams of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. When advised to withdraw by a French officer at the defensive line just north of the village of Lucy-le-Bocage on June 1st, 1918, he is said to have replied: "Retreat? Hell, we just got here!". Captain Williams died 11 days later near Chateau-Thierry. See more »
When Nantz uses a Thales PRC 148 MBTIR to attract the alien probe into a gas station, the radio's display is blank indicating it is either a dummy prop or not switched on. See more »
Reporter on TV:
...an unprecedented meteor shower falling off the coast of Tokyo. The entire city is mesmerized by this incredible sight. Two hours after the first contact, an unidentified enemy has reached our coastlines in a swift and militaristic attack. Right now one thing is clear: The world is at war.
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There are no opening credits, except for the film's title. See more »
From watching the TV trailers for this film, I was expecting a pretty fast paced, alien invasion, action flick. If I judged films on this alone, it would get full marks. However, I was left feeling quite left down by this film.
The over-abundance in cheesy lines, frankly annoying camera work, and massively predictable scenes could have been forgiven if this film had been a "b" movie, as that's what we have grown to expect from that genre. Also, despite the film being quite action packed from the get-go, I found that it dragged on and on, and definitely could have been better if it was at least a half-hour shorter.
To expand a little on the camera work, it is very jumpy with jerky motion and features repetitive amounts of "fast-zoom-in-really-close" style "effect", which is OK in some situations, but it does get massively overused in this flick. Another overused "effect" is the "looking-down-the-scope-trying-to-find- an-enemy" effect. By mid-way in the film, I wish I had actually started counting how many times this view was used, as I'm positive it was in double-figures. I know these effects can add to the feeling you're there with the heroes, but when it's just the same effect of looking down the sight at some smoke and concrete rubble, looking for shadows, over and over again, you tend to get put off it quite quickly.
The SFX are "ok". There is a heck of a lot of it in the film (as you'd expect, given the plot), and whilst some of the models are quite well detailed and could pass as believable, some of them are frankly amateurish - especially when zoomed in on (for instance, you can clearly tell that some of the "3d" metal work is simply textures on a flat surface, which offer no depth or moving light), which ruins the scene for you, as you can't help but notice it's a model, rather than some alien hardware.
Talking about the script now, I cannot convey to you just how much cheese is spouted by the actors in the film. I swear you can even see the anguish on Aaron Eckhart's face as he reels out yet another corny, predictable, and frankly unrealistic one-liner. It honestly gets to the point, where you're laughing at just how bad it gets at some points. It is extremely "B" movieish, which would be fine IN a "B" movie. However, this film is touting itself as a mainstream, high budget, serious action flick, where this sort of poor script writing shouldn't be found. In films like Independence Day, where they inject humour, light- heartedness and a "don't take it seriously" ambiance throughout, this script may well have worked - even been quite funny. But sadly, this is putting itself in with films like District 9 (Alien angle)and Black Hawk Down (Close combat / Brotherhood of men angle) and it really isn't in the same league as either.
Which just leaves the plot, which sadly is overly predictable and doesn't offer much in respect to tension, suspense or twists, but instead gives predictability, repetitiveness and sadly nothing new. Whilst it is constantly moving forward, and rarely breaks from the action, you can't help but feel that the film starts to drag.
To summarize, if it was a "B" movie, it would have been a pretty darn good one. However, since it's touting itself as a Action Thriller, I'm afraid it doesn't rate highly once you compare it to other offerings in the same genre - even if you go back ten years!
For those of you that do want to see it, I strongly recommend waiting for the DVD release to come out, then be discounted, before buying.
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