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Battle:Los Angeles wins 

This remake measures up thanks to packed action and a steady pace.

click to enlarge Aaron Eckhart goes to Battle
  • Aaron Eckhart goes to Battle

An alien army arrives on Earth to annihilate humanity and it's up to a few good Marines to save the world. Sound familiar? Yep, Battle: Los Angeles is a long way from original, but it's in the same area code as enjoyable due to its relentless action and occasional feints in the direction of allegory. Aaron Eckhart plays a Marine officer haunted by past mistakes on the battlefield, his guilt compromising his ability to fight the extraterrestrial invaders. He eventually bucks up, of course, squeezing off rounds of bullets and military-issue dialogue. The ooh-rah cliches are thankfully balanced by the movie's portrayal of the soldiers as frightened kids rather than stoic heroes, and director Jonathan Liebesman does his part by keeping things moving faster than the speed of logic.

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Vol 24, No 34
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