Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Written by:Christopher Bertolini
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ramon Rodriguez, Cory Hardrict
Released: March 17, 2011
Grade: C

To the film’s credit, at least it doesn’t muck around with a long winded introduction.  We quickly meet the characters and then bang, it’s into the alien invasion.  They’ve come down in their space ships, landed on the shoreline and started attacking with their high-powered weapons.

One of the first alien invasion flicks I reviewed was Independence Day back in 1996.  I realise it wasn’t an award winning screenplay but it had a few laughs and it generated some excitement.  It also shows the importance of having strong, likeable actors such as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.  They helped draw you into the story.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same here.  Aaron Eckhart is great in a comedy (Thank You For Smoking) and great in a drama (Rabbit Hole) but he’s not the sort of guy you want leading a sci-fi action film.  In fact, there’s no one here that wants to stand up and say “look at me!”  They’re all just running around, shooting their guns and yelling at each other.  The writers have tried to give some of them a back story but it doesn’t work.  You won’t care for them at all.

Throughout the film, you will only see things from the perspective of the soldiers fighting against the aliens.  They have no idea if back up will arrive or what else is happening around the world.  They’re just trying to survive.  I would normally like such an approach but it’s been over-edited by director Jonathan Liebesman.  At times, it’s hard to figure out what’s going on and what the characters are saying.

The special effects are decent but that’s one of the few positives in this emotionally vapid film-going experience.