So. Saw World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles today.
It had magic marines in it.
Magic marines are creatures of myth that differ from the real ones by a few extra laws of nature that function wherever a magic marine is. Those laws read like a Marine recruiting brochure, and render the magic marines quite totally uninteresting by robbing them of their humanity.
For example, magic marines just will not go rest. No matter how sleep-deprived, shell-shocked, bloody and bruised they are, they will jump away from evacuation helicopters and run away from offers of sleep and food. This they can do, because wounded magic marines will conveniently, and quickly, die. Always.
A magic marine will think nothing of conducting a vivisection on a still living enemy soldier to find out where the vitals of that particular kind lie. That’s because they are heroes; and their enemies are monsters. The people they save are perky, loving and adoring; and also largely brown.
If a magic marine has a problem, that will not affect how a magic marine fights, and it will not affect his companions. Cowards will get over it bef0re their cowardice does any harm. Those that hate their noncom will shown he is blameless, just, brave and full of anger and heroic pain, because how else could he be a magic marine noncom? And magic marine wounded will either blow themselves and the enemy up, or then explode along with a helicopter to show why the magic marines were wise to not put evacuee children in it. Because magic marines never make bad calls. Unless all calls are bad, in which case they will be handsomely troubled by it. But they will get over it before anyone gets hurt because of it, because that is how magic marines roll.
Magic marines are not human beings; they are cliched cyber-robots just as much as, in this movie, their alien opponents were. They are dull; they are very heroic, but they are not interesting. And the fucking movie has nothing but magic marines in it.
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As you may gather, I was entertained but not impressed. This is because I am a fan of disaster porn, not of military fetishism. Show me havoc, horror and devastation, and I will be entertained; show me dauntless, inhumanly perfect heroes and I will yawn. They would be great, were they real: but they are not interesting.
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The name of the movie suggested (to me) possible sequels, possibly featuring stalwarts of the Air Force, maybe; those sequels might not end all that well. Consider a throwaway line in the movie — the only explanation given for the alien attack: that they want our water, and don’t want us primitives underfoot. There was a line about a noticeable drop in the sea level somewhere. This, even as a local thing, sounds very peculiar only a matter of days after the start of the alien invasion.
There would need to be a huge amount of water gone, to no apparent place, to make the sea level drop, even temporarily, locally, enough for anyone to notice. As it wouldn’t be fun enough to say this is simple bad science, let us speculate. Let us remember how curiously Earth-level the aliens were: just vulnerable enough to give Man a fighting chance even without a thermonuclear armageddon. Just ferocious enough to make a fight the only option.
I propose this: the human vermin think, in their absurd conceit, that they are worth a messy extermination, and that their planet will be colonized.
They are not, and their mud ball will not be.
No, these coastal invasions are trifling diversions. The aliens’ real plot, and the source of the drop in the sea level, is a portal or several portals that suck the oceans dry while the vermin are distracted by a war delicately gauged to have the ferocity and the technological level that the humans will keep fighting it with much enthusiasm for the few days the portals need.
In a few days, the oceans will halve — then sink to a fraction — as the water pours teleportatiomagically into the main alien fleet, flying like comets (now much richer with ice) past this piss-pot of a solar system, on a curve far beyond the reach of the earthlings. By the time the portals fold on themselves and the expendable invasion fleet is defeated, most of Earth’s water will be gone, and the ecological disaster will keep the man-vermin from any pursuit.
Aliens one; Earth zero; the home team will be left alone to choke on the dust.