I sort of stopped keeping up with Armond White when he spent much of the new year reviewing tiny indie movies no one cares about, but it turns out I’d made a CLASSIC MISTAKE! Armond White’s clever strategy simply lulled me into a false sense of security, giving him the cover of surprise as he dropped THE BIGGEST TRUTHBOMB OF THEM ALL! Turns out Battle: Los Angeles, the most ridiculous film of the year so far, is actually a perfect metaphor for the post-9/11 malaise of the fascist ennuiocracy! BOOM! MISLED BY THE PROTO-LIBERAL CHIMERAS OF WHITE GUILT YET AGAIN, SUCKA! Big Brother A-Dubz is coming to Airstrip One to learn your ignorant ass some TRUTHSPEAK! SKEET SKEET SKEET!
Three meaningful visual symbols are connected in Battle: Los Angeles. The first: A soldier sees a jar of mints on an officer’s desk (“They’re pretty old”), and he reaches in and grabs a handful. Second: Cut immediately to soldiers visiting a military cemetery with tombstones splayed across a hillside like fallen tablets.
PUT THESE OLD MINTS IN YA MOUTH, LIKE MY NUTS! NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE HOBERMAN!
Finally: Fresh from combat, Staff Sgt. Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) sees a supply table stocked with ammunition and grabs a handful of bullets for the next round of fighting.
HE RALLY ROUND YO FAMILY! WIT A POCKET FULLA SHELLS! …WORDS ON PARADE!
These moments distinguish Battle: Los Angeles from a mindless action movie about aliens attacking Planet Earth.
Because this one has tombstone mints! Used to be a library, linin’ to the mind cemetery now! …UUUGH!
When you put the equation of candy-death-bullets in context, it evokes the ambiguity of our leisure culture’s fascination with violent movies and video games and, conversely, reproves our media culture’s pervasive distaste for all things military.
I PULLED MY GLOCK ON EBERT AND HE CRIED LIKE A BITCH!
Despite Battle: Los Angeles’ indulgence of apocalyptic thrills, its determined dramatization of how mankind (specifically, Americans) rally against outside threat addresses a more interesting reality than the insipid, confused, sociological metaphor of District 9.
NOTHING RHYMES WITH “SHARLTO COPLEY”!
Not all movies swing toward Liberal consensus and Battle: Los Angeles veers away from hip pessimism (Tupac and Dr. Dre’s “Shake it, baby!” chorus from the song “California Love” opens the film) and trendy skepticism (“One thing is clear, the world is at war!” blares alarmist news media).
Remember when the Pentagon asked Hollywood screenwriters to devise possible terrorist scenarios after 9/11? They couldn’t have expected better than this.
WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF PESSIMISM? THE ANSWER IS TUPAC! MY FO-FO MAKE SURE ALL SCHWARZMAN’S KIDS DON’T GROW! CLASS DISMISSED, MMMMMMMOOOOOTHAF****CKERRRS!!