Slow. Ponderous. Brief moments of something important happening. Lots of noise but little visible action. Maybe Battle: Los Angeles (2011) gives the viewer an insight into the frustrations of an actual battle without any of the risk, but that doesn't make for an entertaining movie. I'm not sure when this was originally scripted, but it seems as tone deaf to real Americans serving in combat zones at present as Larry Crowne was to people facing real economic woes. It isn't as though a major studio could get away with making a would-be blockbuster, popcorn movie about any of the wars the U.S. is currently fighting.
None of the cast distinguishes themselves. Indeed, except for Michelle Rodriguez playing the same one-note character she (seemingly) always plays and Bridget Moynahan looking oddly out of place as the veterinarian, the rest of the cast could have easily been replaced with anyone. Aaron Eckhart, who was so very good in Thank You for Smoking (2005) almost sleepwalks through his performance, oscillating from quiet reserve to quiet inner conflict to restrained shouting.
By the end of the first hour, I found myself rooting for the aliens. It isn't that I wanted them to take over the world or destroy Santa Monica; I'm pro-Earth and not anti-Los Angeles. I just wanted to been done with the batch of characters and drab action that director Jonathan Liebesman was inflicting upon me. The hastily arranged conclusion did little to remove that feeling.