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‘Battalion’ (review)

Produced by Michael Miller,
Daniel Green, Christopher Malseed
Written and Directed by Michael Miller
Starring Jesse Richardson, Ellen Williams,
Michael Thomson, James Storer,
Leigh Walker, Darrell Plumridge,
Sam Peacock, Katie Anderson,

 

I have been a film fan for as long as I can remember. The one question I find myself asking over and over again is, “Who said yes to this?”

Battalion put that question back into the forefront of my mind.

The IMDB description of the film tells you all you need to know. After a war against an enemy from another world breaks out in the South Pacific, a group of freshly recruited U.S. Marines are sent to the front lines.

One of the things I want out of a plot is consistency and with the many flaws this film has the overarching problem is inconsistency.

In one scene the Marines make a point of telling each other that the bad guys can smell them 5 miles away and in the very next scene, while on a patrol, the Marines are singing loudly. One shot to the head of an enemy drone can kill it, but 500 shots to an enemy drone ship won’t bring it down. Incongruity is death in a science fiction movie. This one has incongruity all over the place.

There is nothing unique in this film. The alien invaders are robots. The humanoid ones look like amateur renditions of Chappie. The non-humanoid aliens look like mechanized rip offs of Starship Troopers. The big ships look like something out of Star Wars and ALL of them are CGI.

This brings us to another massive issue with this film. The aspirations were incredibly high and the budget was incredibly low. The CGI rendering of everything from the ships, the aliens and actual gun fire is so shoddily done it is difficult to describe. It’s some of the worst CGI I’ve seen since the plane crash in Air Force One. That was 1997 and the technology was relatively new. This was shot in 2017. There is no excuse.

It’s not that this film has a bad premise. It isn’t a unique one, but it doesn’t have to be if you have good writing, great effects and passable acting performances. This film has none of those. The acting is wooden, there is no explanation why a lot of the U.S. military personnel have foreign accents and the script is totally disjointed. There is a Tarantino inspired fragmented timeline and all it does is confuse the viewer.

Generally I look for something positive in a film, but I unfortunately i can’t find anything in Battalion. Pass.

Rating: .5 out of 5 stars

 

Battalion is now available On-Demand.

 

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