Battle of Los Angeles on the SyFy Channel

By Michael Vass | March 13, 2011

While there seemed to be no way that the SyFy Channel could make a film more directly ripping off the film Battle: Los Angeles, they in fact took more than just the title. Sadly, for all the rip-offs of sci-fi alien invasion films crammed into this cable television fiasco, nothing works positively. In fact, Mutant Chronicles was the next program after Battle of Los Angeles, and as bad as that film is, it was magnificent by comparison.

If I were to try to note all of the inconsistencies in Battle of Los Angeles, in just the first 20 minutes, it would longer than any review should ever be. To note all of the problems in the whole show could take a volume. Instead, we can just hit the highlights.

The film is based mostly on the Independence Day alien invasion scenario that is currently quite popular. Why the alien (note the lack of plurality) commits this attack on Earth is not only unclear but later in the film contradictory as to why this is happening.

One of the funnier things about the film is the fact that the very best that the production could afford was using a visibly abandoned airfield/military base as part of the storyline. It’s a key in how bad the film will be when the obvious CGI planes are shown sitting on a dirt field that is littered with scrub brush. Even worse is the aviation “tower”, sitting barely 15 feet tall with rusted sheet metal walls and windows that are rotting wood with chipping paint and missing window panes. This film was so cheap and bad, they couldn’t afford paint.

The hero of the film, Kel Johari Rice Mitchell as Lt. Tyler Laughlin, is one of the worst actors I have ever seen. There are several rappers that I would comparatively call brilliant. In this film his character shifts from presumably being high to swaggering in the most stereotypical manner Black males have been depicted in film. His acting is so bad, that if any other portion of this film were actually good he would be laughable. Considering his roots on Nickelodeon, his skill in acting seems to still be based on a level only 6 year olds might appreciate.

The big star of the film, Nia Peeples, appears more than half-way into the film. Her role can best be described as a cross between ninja, incompetent, and ineffective. Which is the best thing the whole film offers.

The cinematography is akin to a high school effort. There are dozens of scenes where the same footage is repeated, filling time and attempting to add some sense of depth and intensity to the film. It fails in each attempt.

The plot is the worst mix of overly-used plots jumbled together with no apparent reason whatsoever. The film starts with the Independence Day invasion, as stated above. Almost immediately there is added to this a touch of the 4800 – a single man 68 years from the past. His purpose is unclear, and leads to the contradiction in the plot. There is a horrendous combination military themes thrown in, for no particular purpose. And of course the ever present giant creature that SyFy Chgannel executives seem to think is mandatory for a sci-fi film.

Don’t even bother considering any quasi-science reasoning in this film. Things just happen with no reason given. A cyborg exists, who knows why. There are alien vessels that are impervious to bullets, but disabled by a sword. Small globes that have an unknown purpose also fall victim to the blade. An EMP seems to have no effect on alien electronics, yet affects an unknown distance for the entirety of the film. Plus an alien that controls a ship with tools the perfect size for humans though it is the size of King Kong. There is more but you get the point.

As I write this, I am truely searching for any positive aspect of the film to comment on. Honestly there just isn’t. Which makes the fact that a DVD of this film will be released for sale on Tuesday even more ridiculous. Even in the $2 bin, this film is overpriced.

Fans of the singer Brandy should also be warned. While she is listed as an actress in the film, her character is so brief as to go unnoticed. In fact, I cannot recall where her character is actually in the film.

All things considered, there is one thing that Battle of Los Angeles does well. It proves that the executives of NBC (who own SyFy Channel) not only have no concept of what is a good sci-fi film, their continuation of policy for creating copycat films with even worse quality that the original source remains unquestioned (ala Deep Core and too many others).

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Topics: Television | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Battle of Los Angeles on the SyFy Channel”

  1. Harold is DEAD

    I used my cable box dvd to record this for later viewing. I am so HAPPY I did. Now I can erase it and only hope that it didn’t hide somewhere in the box to HAUNT me later.
    I am 50 years old. I grew up on Buck Rogers, Lost in Space, and all of Star Trek and Star Wars.

    This movie is worse than a vaudville movie. It should have been a silent movie. SYFY you should BEAT yourselves smart for airing such a piece of utter garbage.

    I am a 27 year combat veteran and this is a disgrace to ALL services, even Third World armies.

    First we start out with the setting LA present date. A bunch of F-16′s flying around like they are protecting the city. Then they get orders to OD an incoming threat. Now would our spy satellites not to mention Hubble would have detected, photographed and classified this? No this production crew thinks we are idiots or they are just plain stupid. First they try Sidewinders. No luck. Then within seconds of that five ICBM’s are fired at it. Like our current Prez would order any kind of retalitory attack that quick. Especially with nukes.

    After these planes are shot down we move to what at first looks like Moffett Field un the bay area (airship hangar). Then it switches to a remote NG airfield. Now let’s stop making fun of the National Guard. We don’t have run down bases in a rock quarry, manned by less than a platoon.
    Now we move to the” tower”. Looks like a dumpster on legs. We have a super crusty base commander doing a George Patton imitation not only towards this one coward pilot but when the alien fighters fly in. He pulls out his revolver, as Patton did in WWII, and starts shooting at them. Now he switches to John Wayne, gets blown up then appears later carrying a wounded soldier and only a little dirt and grease (who knows where that came from. Maybe he did one of those quick oil changes on an alien craft before rescuing the soldier.

    Then here flys in Johnny come lately un his WWII Corsair from the past.

    Skipping forward we see one on the female pilots from the base, who got shot down over LA. running and shooting what looks like a Desert Eagle. 50 caliber pistol at the aliens. First she must have taken a train back to base and I would really liked to have been issued one of those Eagles when I was in the military.

    Next we have Wonder Woman, samuri version, jumping of an overpass to stab am alien craft with her katana sword disabling it.

    At this point I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to get up, get some clothesline and hang myself. This movie is Total Crap and the makers should be sued, arrested for felony stupidity, sentenced to life of monstop watching of there own movies.

    If this or any of there other garbage made to the video market they should be reported to the BBB.

    There is NO award made to honor this blankety blank blank movie.

    Here is a notice for the industry. Pull their license, their screenwriters guild card. They are DESTROYING so many actors careers.

    Now I must go to my psychiatrist and get deprogramed and suitable medication and therepy.

  2. Ed

    This is a truly awful movie.Is not even funny.I was stupid enough yo buy it cheaply assuming it was the mainstream production of a similar name.A waste of time viewing it i resorted to fast forwarding it.It is a waste of even one brain cell to view it.

  3. Gary

    I tuned in to this film because I thought that it was the film, Battle: Los Angeles. At first, I thought that it was a comedy or parady. Then I realized that these people really were trying to act! And… worse yet, they seriously thought that they were.

    What Garbage! Another hit for SciFi and their constant attempt to take some scrawny female and try to make her appear to be a “warrior babe”.

    I am sick of seeing these insipid films were some “B movie” babe hits some huge guy – just like a little girl – and they throw themselves across the room as if they were hit by Mike Tyson. The attempts to make women, in general, look like bad-asses only serves to feed the already rampant arrogance and self absorbtion that the public school system and child TV has made young women today.

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