An Unreasonable Review of Battle Los Angeles (or What Happens when Christy Leaves Me Home Alone)

Christy’s at her bachelorette party tonight.

Which means I’m home alone.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been home alone. So, since I don’t have anything better to do, I thought I’d share why I couldn’t stand the sci-fi movie Battle LA.

See, Battle LA isn’t a good movie.

Aaron Eckhart is a good actor, but the movie is bad.

Disappointedly bad.

There’s all sorts of reasons why it sucks.

It has a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, and honestly, that’s generous.

So while there’s all sorts of legitimate reasons to think it sucks, my reason, admittedly, is somewhat ridiculous: My reason is geography. Battle LA is really, really bad at geography.

Not just a little; not just a few gaffes here & there, but a lot.

Like you-had-to-try-to-make-it-this-bad bad.

Let’s start with the beginning. There is where the attack of Battle LA begins.

Only, see that pier? That’s Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Pier is in, you guessed it, Santa Monica. Not Los Angeles.

So really, it should be Battle Santa Monica.

But okay, that’s a nit-pick.

A lot of people outside Southern California would think of Santa Monica as at least part of the Los Angeles area.

And, as seen here, they once they arrive at their destination, Santa Monica aiport, they acknowledge they’re in Santa Monica.

Let’s move forward to the briefing. Santa Monica has been evacuated. (Good to know I would have made it out safe.) The military has established a perimeter at Lincoln Blvd & everything west of it will be bombed. This is an important point. A point that will drive a lot of plot, so let’s highlight where that area is.

As the briefing continues, they say there’s civilians who need to be rescued at the police station at Venice & Amarosa.

Okay, so there’s no police station there, but movies often make up specific buildings. We’ll give them this one as well.

But I’ve never heard of Amarosa. But I know Venice Blvd.

Venice Blvd, believe it or not, is in Venice.

Not Santa Monica.

But let’s see the map he pulls out to navigate:

A map of Culver City.

Okay, so he’s going to travel to Santa Monica to find a street that’s actually in Venice… using a map of Culver City.


Nevertheless, they find it. Considering their methods, fairly impressive.

So after the rally point, they need to head to the police station.

Only…wait, that’s West Los Angeles police station. How the heck did they teleport to the West LA Police Station, some 3 miles east of them?!

Okay, but now look again!

See the palm trees? The ocean? You can’t see that in West LA. They’re back in Santa Monica. In fact, I think I know what building they’re looking at & it almost looks like they’re standing atop my apartment building.

Pretty impressive the military can teleport like that.

Moving on they find a bus. Only one problem: It’s orange.

Santa Monica buses aren’t orange. They’re blue.

They’re blue all over the city.

And the damn bus system is called the Big Blue Bus.

Kinda hard to get that one wrong.

Okay, but hey, look! They at least got the map right now! It’s a Santa Monica map.

But they have a new problem: bombing is 40 minutes away. Much concern. Being in the bombing zone, they’ll all be killed.

But wait. They’re not in the bomb zone. The movie went out their way to give very specific (albiet contradicting) locations.

Either they’re in West Los Angeles, or they’re at the location on 10th street. Both are east of Lincoln & out of the bombing zone.

So what’s the problem?

Anyway, they decide to drive the bus to the airport.

But it’s “25-35 minutes” to the airport. Jokes about LA traffic aside, even with traffic that’s a 10-15 minute drive.

And remember, Santa Monica’s been evacuated except for 5 civilians hiding in a non-existant police station. So there’s shouldn’t be any traffic.

Nevertheless, they get on the I-10 freeway.


Because if aliens attacked you’d want to be on elevated freeway, one that is mostly like clogged, the one that is the most likely to be damaged, the one that could collapse & the one the leaves you the most exposed to attack.

But let’s proceed.

Kindly, the movie tells us where they’re headed.

Wait, they’re going west? They only thing west is the ocean!

And the airport is to the east!

And how are there building off in the distance if they’re headed west?

Did someone build them in the middle of the ocean?

Does the 10 now drive off mysteriously in the middle of the ocean?

Okay, but let’s say they’re heading west. They get to their exit & discover it destroyed.

Hey, that’s Overland!

That’s a good several miles east of the airport!

It’s all the way on the other side of the 405. How the hell did they get there?

Okay, so exit destroyed, they say they’ll go to the next one: Roberston.

What?! That means they’re heading east!

If they were at Overland, they were east of their location & needed to be heading west. What the hell is going on?

Anyway, they get back to Santa Monica airport & once again, they’re worried about getting bombed.

But Santa Monica airport is waaaaayyyyyy east of Lincoln. So what the heck?

At this point, I gave up.

Think a few intersections near you. Easy, right? Now think of a few intersections that wouldn’t make sense. You had to think for a moment, right? So why would they go out of their way to screw all of this up?

When I first saw the Matrix, I still lived in Chicago got a kick out of the intersections used. Wells & Lake, Balbo, Wabash. The Wachowski brothers being from Chicago had used real Chicago intersections. Not a big deal. But they got it right.

Hollywood lives in Los Angeles. Heck, a lot of Hollywood lives in Santa Monica. They *know* these roads. These are the roads they take to get home every day to work, to the store, to go out to eat. So why would Hollywood go through the extra effort to give locations that don’t make any sense? And if they’re wrong, why go jump through hoops to show maps & exact locations on-screen?

One last thing.

The reason the scientist gives for the attack is “they want our water. No where else in the universe is water in liquid form.”

Hang on a minute.

Ice is all over the universe. Europa is covered in it. Comets typically contain water.

But the problem the aliens have — aliens who have spaceships, lasers & can travel across vast spaces in the universe — is they can’t melt the ice?

They have rockets, but they can’t figure out how to apply heat & turn ice into liquid water?

That’s the reason?


I hope Christy comes home soon.

3 Responses to “An Unreasonable Review of Battle Los Angeles (or What Happens when Christy Leaves Me Home Alone)”

  1. LA resident Says:

    FYI, there are orange metro busses in Santa Monica. Go to 3rd & Santa Monica sometime if you’d like to see them.

  2. eric william pierson Says:

    well now you know how we New Orleanians feel now when they do bad movies about New Orleans… which incidentally, is where this movie was filmed…

  3. Edward Puentez Says:

    Thanks, I was wondering the same things. Why not just make the maps and locations accurate? They know people in LA are going to want to map it out, especially if they live in the areas mentioned.

    Venice and Amarosa never cross, but Amarosa ends behind LA Theater Works and Phwoar production company, which are on Venice between Abbott Kinney and Lincoln. My guess is it is a hat tip to either by a writer or producer.

    Where he points to the map is across the street from Sony Picture Studios, which did release the film for home rental. Could be another hat tip.

    My guess is the other references to 10th st and 10/Overland/Robertson are references to residences of persons working on the film.

    It would have been cool if they stuck to a real map. Otherwise why make it LA to begin with.

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