Lackluster script? Totally unrelatable characters? A boring, unimaginative concept with some stupid-looking aliens? Just throw some cash at it! $70 million, give or take . . . The real stars of this picture are Ne-Yo and the cinematographer, Lukas Ettlin, neither of whom being able to redeem this mistake of a film from its grim box office fate.
Independence Day parallels abound, though the film rips off Cloverfield and District 9 a bit more directly, failing to snag the same audience by verily disappointing all chaos/alien flick expectations. But the worst part of the movie isn’t the armored, human-looking Martians; it’s the hollowed out lead actor Aaron Eckhart, who is so obvsiouly lamenting the state of his career and the inane lines he has to read. “Drop a grenade in that pool.”
When Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Eckhart) finally reaches the week of his retirement, his planet is assaulted by creatures from the nether regions of the cosmos! Poor guy. He spends the rest of the films ripping aliens apart with his platoon (including Ramon and Michelle Rodriguez—no relation).
The central message of this film is that outsiders and foreigners (in this case, extra-terrestrials) should be hunted down and eradicated without question or diplomacy. In fact, the viciousness shown through the alien invasion hardly matches the retaliative onslaught engineered and executed by the humans. The deep meaning I inadvertantly divined from the film (without amateur director Jonathan Liebesman’s intent) is that the aggressive aliens are only mirrors with which humanity should reflect on its barbaric and violent nature, to. The only problem with this theory is that the humans kick the aliens out of L.A by bombing their ship and shooting the invaders to death.
Listen, this film isn’t even about Los Angeles or aliens or Eckhart. It isn’t about anything, but maybe it’s a sermon promoting the necessity of prolonging the human race until the end of time; it was an excuse to try and trick kids into buying tickets to a Marines commercial, and it didn’t work.
The filmmakers and actors and producers should reserve at least an ounce of faith in the project to secure any success. Unfortunately, novice writer Christopher Bertolini has only penned a TV movie, a Travolta failure, and this waste in 12 years; so none of them had much to work with. So why was it produced?