03/16/2011 11:32 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"Battle: LA" Has Its John Wayne Moments

"Battle: LA" has the same basic plot as "Skyline," a movie that played unsuccessfully on screens a few months ago. Once again it is a story about aliens invading our world, specifically California. The good news is "Battle: LA" does everything right that "Skyline" did wrong. It has great special effects, tense action from beginning to end, and a heavy dose of patriotism to stir the emotions.

Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) is ready to retire. He has served his time and he is bone tired and world weary. Before he can hang up his stripes however he is assigned to a unit to investigate some strange arrivals. These arrivals turn out to be alien aircraft and they are attacking the Los Angeles area.

The unit, under the command of 2nd Lt William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez), is assigned to go into one of the areas of invasion and look for private citizens. The area is going to be bombed and they want to make sure it is clear. As they do this they do discover two adults Michele (Bridget Moynahan) and Joe (Michael Pena) and three children. Michele has her two nieces with her and Joe has his son.

They also find some more troops and they join up with them. One of them is Elena Santos (Michelle Rodriguez). She is a knowledgeable young woman and her abilities come in handy in the fight back to their staging area. It is a rough battle all the way as the aliens are seemingly indestructible.

The action in the movie is never ending. It starts off quickly with the invasion and it is violent up to the very end. There are a lot of causalities as the Marines give it their all. As one guy comments, it has its John Wayne moments. Then of course one of the younger troops has to ask, who is John Wayne?

Eckhart is perfectly cast as the soft spoken Marine Nantz. His face, especially his eyes, reflects the pain and suffering he absorbs as he tries to lead and also protect his troops. Were he not so good the movie would be less involving and entertaining.

Everyone else has a minor or cameo role in the movie. Moynahan is good as Michelle but she really has little to do. Rodriguez adds spunk to the story but she doesn't have much screen time. Pena makes an emotional impact but it is done in a short time.

The movie is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

There is no reason for "Battle: LA" to be as good as it is but in this movie everything comes together and works. It has the right star, the right special effects, the right amount of action and the right amount of gung ho patriotism.

I scored "Battle: LA" an alienated 7 out of 10.