Battle: Los Angeles

My new obsession is Battle: Los Angeles.

It’s Independence Day meets Blackhawk Down.

Act I: Marine Staff Sergeant… “My men should have lived. I should have died in the sand.  I’m going to retire and stew in my regret.”  Old buddy/superior officer… “Crisis time – you can’t retire yet.  Here’s somebody else’s platoon and a green Lieutenant for you to take on.”

Act II: Saving Private Ryan

Act III: Independence Day meets Blackhawk Down

Act IV?: Blackhawk Down meets Rambo: First Blood II

Perhaps I’m overstating it.  But I love this movie.  It has a lot of elements that I like.  Alien invasion. Hopeless odds.  Crusty grunt who’s all used up being pulled in for one last mission.  Realistic fire fights.

The aliens are badass enough to make it seem like crazy odds but not so powerful that it seems impossible.  They have weaknesses that can be exploited.  But they are definitely badass.

Then there is the story element.  There is an overall arc (aliens must be defeated).  And there are many sub-arcs.  Old demons that must be overcome. Civilians that must be rescued (the Saving Private Ryan part). A central weakness that can be exploited.  Here is where it is even better than Independence Day.  The central weakness is just the air combat command and control center for the Los Angeles area.  Taking it out just takes out one small piece of the alien war plan.  There are at least 20 other of these C&C centers that will have to be taken out.  And taking one out only weakens the alien air superiority.  They are still pretty tough on the ground.  In Independence Day, I get the impression that the aliens who are smart enough to travel across the galaxy are stupid enough to have a single point of failure.  In Battle: Los Angeles, they are a little more interesting than that.

Finally, at the end we have the soldiers doing the only thing soldiers know to do.  Return to the fight.  Like in Blackhawk down when the CIA operative walks back toward Mogadishu.  Like when Rambo walks back into the jungle.  The marines head back into LA without even having breakfast.

Most of us spend our time in suffering and our time in battle trying to get out.  Working to survive and make it back to comfortable.  Not these heroes.  They are only comfortable when they are not comfortable.  When they are fighting and dyeing and suffering.

We should all be so lucky as to have a cause we believe in strongly enough to skip breakfast for.

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