Essentially, BLACK HAWK DOWN meets an alien invasion. We follow a group of marines into the war zone - to rescue refugees hiding in a police station before Santa Monica is bombed to stop the alien invasion.
It was pretty good – though some of the action was incomprehensible because of the shaky cam – but you’ve got to use the camera to do that in modern intense war movies these days (I guess). I wish they would use camera angles and lighting to create that suspense rather than shake the camera all around leaving the audience more confused and disoriented than the marines. The smoke from the city burning was good enough to create tension and confusion with the audience – the shaking of the camera was just unneeded cheap tricks.
Aaron Eckhart was excellent in the “I’m one day from retirement” marine role and his subplot was interesting – lent enough depth to his role. The rest of the cast did their job – by staying in formation, shooting, panting, running, dying and stuff – standard stuff – don’t need to be an acting genius in a film like this. The action that you could make out was great – the aliens were interesting, there were some stunning visuals of the destruction of Los Angeles and I liked that the 24-hour news cycle was still going trying to fill in cracks with speculation about the invasion. Overall – it was fun – it wasn’t dumb – it was exactly what it advertised itself to be – a “get what you pay for” action war alien movie.
What I think I really liked - was there was so much noise and explosions happening in the background that they can take this one incident and expand it to be a franchise but different squads - different parts of town - different characters... Just show different aspects of the same attack.