The eyeball-rolling starts early and often in 'Battle: Los Angeles,' an alien invasion picture that drowns in its own bathetic soap opera.
Visually arresting, with dynamic shaky-cam combat footage mixed seamlessly with a myriad of explosions and an endless army of alien footsoldiers, the film never bothers to develop the characters beyond the most rudimentary stereotypes. Thus we have Soldier Mourning Fallen Comrade, Nigerian Medic, American Virgin, Man Preparing to Get Married, Man Leaving Behind Pregnant Wife, Unexpectedly Combat-Ready Female Soldier, Devoted Father, Beautiful Civilian, and, let's not forget, Bug-Like Extraterrestrials With Nefarious Motives.
The only character who's explored to any degree is Staff Sergeant Nantz, played by Aaron Eckhart at his most heroic. And, frankly, we hear entirely too much about him. As the story begins, he's completed his 20 years of service in the Marines and wants out. Not least of his motivations is an incident in Iraq in which the men in his unit were killed, while he survived.
Raise your hand if you know where this is going.