This is the SPCA disclaimer...
This movie did not involve any harm to animals, even though there was a vet in the movie, only humans and aliens were harmed in large amounts.... copious amounts of ammunition were expended in the course of this show, including some "fire and forget" type of rounds, with no internal guidance. So this movie is pretty like that. Watch and forget, not a lot of guidance and attention to holes in the plot but enough bangs and booms to keep the boys in the audience deliriously happy.
This show borrows plenty from Independence Day, World of the Worlds (especially the sound effects warning of the arrival of the aliens) and many other sci-fi movies. It also taps into Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, and Tour of Duty. But no one will mistake this as an attempt to vie for the Oscars, but most will agree it was excellent summer popcorn fun.
The aliens have come to town, and they want to exterminate us, take our water and only platoon 25 stands in their way, Hell retreat! Hoorah! and all that. Add this bravado talk, lots of stereotypes of the bespectacled intellectual, the Asian radio man, even a Nigerian Navy Corpman aka medic, and of course the all-Amercian hero built in the vein of John Wayne, with a cleft in his chin and a square jaw to boot and you have the ensemble. Throw in a Hispanic in distress, cutie vet (she was also in Lord of War and Sum of All Fears) and you have covered all the politically correct vignettes of American society. Oh don't forget Michelle Rodriguez, in yet another military role, and you have the whole Magnificent Dozen or so.
Now make them win the battle against unsurmountable odds, blow away the mother ship a la Independence Day, and viola you have the movie! What redeems this show is not the plot, but the Black Hawk Down-esque battle scenes, which will entertain and get the red-blooded American and all fans of action genre movies rip roaring.
Aaron Eckhart does his best with the limited script to add some dimension to the square jawed hero, and give some depth, but despite being panned by critics, this movie has scored more than US$ 202 million at the box office proving that mindless action and explosions does get the job done. This movie is not cerebral, and will be one where you will find some difficulty remembering much about the plot, expect that the ending leaves enough leeway for a sequel which is packed with more mayhem, explosions and more of Aaron Eckhart's SSGT Nantz. Hell retreat!
As for the potential BR owners - this movie is packed with so many demo scenes, that the entire movie is one well orchestrated demo of your surrounds, and this is despite only being master in 5.1 DTS-MA. You find rounds whizzing past you, explosions in the air, ambient noise of the aliens and deep explosions coming from all the speakers. Quite simply, this is probably the best, and defeats even Tron Legacy as the demo (audio wise) movie of 2011.
Picture quality is equally strong with no shaky cameras, or bleached colors.
Don't buy this for the plot guys, just grab it, rent it or buy it for the wonderful action scenes and the awesome sound field.