Battle: Los Angeles hits theaters this Friday. And while alien invasion movies are nothing new in Hollywood, the film’s cutting-edge special effects promise moviegoers an awe-inspiring cinematic experience. With filmgoers poised to witness the city of Los Angeles reduced to rubble, we thought we’d look back a nine great cinematic demolitions of tinsel town.
One of the oldest alien invasion films, War of the Worlds is still widely considered one of the best. And while the special effects might seem tame by today’s standards, at the time they were state of the art, and the film set the bar by which other movies were judged. So, show some damn respect.
When it comes to destroying Los Angeles on film, aliens aren’t the only culprits. Charlton Heston and George Kennedy starred in Earthquake, a film that managed to wow audiences despite the ridiculous plot and poor reviews. Who would have thought that special effects would trump critical reception?
Speaking of poor reviews, The Day After Tomorrow was a ridiculous film. But there’s no denying that watching Los Angeles get destroyed by a series of tornadoes was a lot of fun. If only they could have removed all the dialogue from the rest of the film, it might be more highly regarded.
Aliens are at it again in Skyline, and as always, their sites are fixed squarely on Los Angeles. But this film managed to put a twist on an old classic. Rather than using laser weapons to destroy humanity on the ground, the aliens in this film used a tractor beam to draw their victims up.
Tommy Lee Jones stars in this idiotic tale of a volcano springing up in the center of Los Angeles near the La Brea Tar Pits. Having been to the tar pits, I think a volcano would go a long way toward livening up the place.
Los Angeles isn’t totally destroyed in this John Carpenter adventure film. An earthquake causes the valleys surrounding the city to flood, turning what’s left into an island. The government then decides to use the city as a prison, sending degenerates from the rest of the country to rot in the filthy cesspool. The metaphor was a little to literal for my taste.
The special effects in Independence Day were groundbreaking, and the film was a huge success at the box office. But even so, the scene at the end of this clip where the dog jumps to safety ruins the entire film.
I’ve never seen 2012, so I don’t exactly know what is causing the wholesale destruction of Los Angeles in this scene. I’m even more perplexed about where all that stuff is falling. But I will admit it looks cool, and on this list, that’s almost all that matters.
The time spent on the destruction of Los Angeles in Terminator 2: Judgment Day is probably shorter any other scene on the list. But the realism involved and the fact that it actually fits into the overall story makes it, by far, the most chilling.