Of course, you guessed it, I’m talking about Battle of Los Angeles.
What do you mean you haven’t heard of it? It’s the big-budget, highly publicized movie about an alien invasion of Earth (that for some reason starts in Los Angeles) that premiered on the SyFy channel on March 12th! Still saying you have no idea what I’m talking about? How about this poster, then:
No, no, that’s not what I meant to put up. This is what I meant to show you:
See the difference?
The slight difference?
Okay, it’s true, there’s no getting around it. Battle of Los Angeles is clearly a movie made to cash-in on Battle: Los Angeles and demonstrates a script that cribs heavily from Independence Day. The production company that made the movie is called The Asylum and is infamous for making movies that are doppelgangers for major Hollywood releases. Last week we had a bad movie marathon involving knockoffs of 2012 and lo and behold all three movies were released by The Asylum.
The movies were Meteor Apocalypse, 2012: Doomsday, and 2012: Supernova. We only got through a few minutes of Doomsday because it was made by the same people who created Meteor Apocalypse, Faith Films.
The Asylum is a production company and can be held responsible only for spearheading these misguided efforts. I wanted to call them half-hearted as well, but as watching these movies shows, the people involved are fully invested, but their talents and the skills of the production crew are effortlessly beaten each time by the monumental task of making a movie worth watching. My theory is that The Asylum hears about a blockbuster movie in production and then scours around for a screenplay that might fit. Usually, these scripts are simply not good. Even if they were, the production is sadly lacking in all other areas.
Other films pushed out of the gate to piggyback on Hollywood’s ideas that were not so original in the first place but which became successes through their being spectacle and which The Asylum cannot hope to compete with, and that you should probably not watch (and that, someday, I probably will):
Pirates of Treasure Island
Da Vinci Treasure
Alien vs. Hunter
I am Omega
The Day the Earth Stopped
It’s a fun party game to match up the ill-formed clones with the originals. And even more fun to discover The Asylum creating a C-grade ripoff of a Hollywood movie that is, itself, a remake of a classic B movie (the unbelievably fun Death Race 2000).
But this is about Battle of Los Angeles, which Megan, her brother MacKenzie, and I watched part of this past Saturday. Only part because we were tired, the movie was endlessly bogged down with SyFy commercials, and because the movie was execrably bad. So bad that we spent the first ten minutes laughing at the movie because it wanted us to believe it was a movie and that it was serious.
This is a movie that tries to make you think you’re in a fully-staffed military base and then proceeds to show you only four people (the sounds of conversation on the soundtrack are meant to convince you that the rest of the brigade is just offscreen). This is a movie that mixes special effects so clumsily and haphazardly that you’ll be wishing someone had simply lit a match and made an explosion noise with their mouth to signify the destruction of LA. This is a movie that, in addition to all its many other faults, has no qualms about introducing new characters and scenes and letting you go for minutes at a time wondering why and how a different movie got spliced in to the first.
Which is all to say that this movie would have been glorious to watch for a night of bad movies. It is impossibly inept and hysterically ill-advised.
But, unfortunately, we saw the movie without a safety net. And we will never be watching it again.