Battle of Los Angeles (Movie)
A number of apparent meteors land in the world’s oceans, near 20 major coastal cities. The objects prove to be spacecraft containing hostile extraterrestrials. As Los Angeles (LA) is being evacuated, Marines from Camp Pendleton arrive, including Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, an Iraq War veteran. Nantz, who was to begin his retirement, is assigned to 1st Platoon, Echo Company, of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines.
Under the command of 2nd Lieutenant William Martinez, the platoon arrives at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) established at Santa Monica Airport. The alien ground forces have no apparent air support, so the Air Force prepares to carpet bomb the Santa Monica area, and the platoon is given three hours to retrieve civilians from an LAPD station in West LA. As they advance through LA, they are ambushed and suffer multiple casualties. Nantz takes marines Imlay and Harris to look for Lenihan, who is missing from the group. After fighting off an alien, they team up with some Army National Guard soldiers and an Air Force intelligence Technical Sergeant, Elena Santos. At the police station, the makeshift platoon finds five civilians: veterinarian Michele, children Kirsten, Amy and Hector, and Hector’s father Joe. A helicopter arrives to evacuate wounded Marines, but can not take on the weight of the civilians. During takeoff, it is destroyed by alien air units, killing Grayston, Guerrero, Lenihan and Simmons.
The Marines commandeer an abandoned transit bus for the evacuation. En route, they deduce that the alien air units are drones that target human radio transmissions. Santos reveals that her mission is to locate the aliens’ command and control center, as its destruction should deactivate the drones. When their bus comes under attack on an elevated freeway, the Marines rappel the group to street level. In the ensuing battle, Marines Stavrou and Mottola and the remainder of the Army National Guard soldiers are killed, while both Joe and Lieutenant Martinez are wounded fighting the aliens. Martinez uses his radio to attract the aliens, then detonates explosives, sacrificing himself. Nantz is now in command of surviving personnel Santos, Imlay, Kerns, Lockett, Harris, Adukwu and the civilians, continuing their escape from the bombing zone. A news report interviews a scientist who speculates that the aliens are seeking Earth’s water for fuel while eradicating the human population.
The carpet bombing never happens. Reaching the FOB, the Marines find it destroyed and that the military is retreating from LA. The Marines plan to escort the civilians to an alternate extraction point. When Joe dies from his wounds, Nantz comforts Hector. Lockett confronts Nantz regarding his brother, a Marine who, with four others, was killed during Nantz’s last tour. They come to peace when Nantz explains that he continues to think of them, and recites each person’s name, rank and serial number. Nantz motivates the group to move forward to honor their fallen comrades, including Joe for his bravery. They reach the extraction point and evacuate by helicopter.
In flight, the chopper experiences a brief loss of power. Nantz theorizes that they are flying near the alien command center, transmitting intense radio messages to its drones. He orders his unit to accompany the civilians while he stays to reconnoiter the area, but his fighters all join him. Searching through sewers, they confirm the presence of a large alien vessel. Kerns radios in to request missiles, which Nantz manually directs using a laser designator while the others defend his position. Kerns is killed when a drone homes in on his radio, but the Marines succeed in routing a missile to the command module, which is destroyed. The uncontrolled drones fall from the sky, and the alien ground forces retreat.
The remaining fighters – Nantz, Imlay, Lockett, Harris, Adukwu and Santos – are evacuated to a base in the Mojave Desert, where they are greeted as heroes. They are told that their successful method has been transmitted to the armies battling alien forces in 19 other cities, that Michele and the three children were rescued, and that they can now rest. Instead, they re-arm and join the armed force leaving to retake Los Angeles.