Monday, March 21, 2011

The Relative Value of Los Angeles

I'm confused about how Battle: Los Angeles made it to number one at the box office. Now in all fairness, I haven't actually seen the movie nor do I have any plans to see it because it looks pretty stupid. But based on the trailers for it, I'm pretty sure it's just a remake of Independence Day, and Independence Day fucking sucked. Right? Aliens are invading our planet to get our resources and are systematically wiping us out. That's the same plot as Independence Day, isn't it? I've already seen Battle: Los Angeles then and it isn't any good.

Now, granted, it's possible that maybe they've improved on Independence Day. Certainly there was a ton of room for improvement: Bill Pullman is possibly the least convincing person to ever play the President (seriously, once you've played Lone Star in Spaceballs, you've pretty much typecast yourself as "not the President"), Jeff Goldblum has played the exact same character in every single movie he's ever starred in, and the dialogue is so terrible the only line in the whole thing I even bothered to remember was Will Smith punching the alien in the face and saying "Welcome to Earth." But even if you fix all those things, you're still left with a stale plot of alien invasion, humanity is woefully outnumbered, at the eleventh hour someone comes up with a brilliantly unorthodox plan and (presumably) sacrifices him or herself which saves the day and everyone is happy because it's a movie and therefore easy to ignore the devastating aftermath that would certainly follow a protracted war with a hostile extra terrestrial invasion force. In other words, it looks dumb.

At least they put out more trailers than just the first one I saw, because they provided some clarification I desperately needed. The first trailer made it look, to me anyway, like the aliens were invading Los Angeles only, and with all due respect to any friends I have who live there, my immediate reaction was "Who fucking cares?" Because, come on. Aliens are planning an invasion and the target they settle on is Los Angeles and that's it? A couple things come to mind. 1. These aliens are not terribly bright, unless the resources they're looking for are film reels and silicone (if so then good job aliens, you have chosen wisely). 2. All they want is Los Angeles and they'll leave the rest of us alone? GREAT! Give it to them! I'm happy to turn over Los Angeles if it means nothing changes for the rest of the Earth, other than having a new sort of weird neighbor, and we have plenty of those already, life won't be all that different. We don't need Los Angeles. Los Angeles is pretty much jewelery: it's pretty and sparkly and meant to show off our wealth, but it's not really that important and when the money runs out we should pawn that first. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. Let them have it. After seeing subsequent trailers though, the plot made a little more sense. Apparently, they are attacking all over the place and in fact most of the major cities of the Earth have already been overrun. Los Angeles is not the focal point of the attack, it's simply where mankind has chosen to make its last stand. Which is an entirely different story and far more plausible. If Los Angeles is all we have left, then yes, I agree, defend it with everything you've got. If it's our last toehold and holds the key to our continued existence as a species then it is certainly important enough of a place to serve as the setting of an alien invasion movie.

But it still looks dumb.


Captain Word Sleuth said...

The aliens invaded LA because they hate Charlie Sheen and believe he lives there.

amberance said...

Well played, my friend.