Sailors hit the high seas for a training mission. Aliens get in the mix. C-13. MISS!
BATTLESHIP is of course based on the Milton Bradley game of the same name; I used to love playing it when I was a kid and watching the movie actually made me want to tap it again. Now for anybody that's wrangled a couple of rounds of Battleship; you'd think that a movie adaptation would simply be about a battle set a at sea. But nope they tossed some motherf*cking aliens in there. Okay... so how did that pan out? Well if you loved Independence Day (which I know a lot of people did) then this one may be right up your alley. Me? Hated that movie, it was so dense, that once the cool alien arrival/destruction first act was out of the way, I couldn't have fun with it. Kind of had a similar experience here...
The initial premise of BATTLESHIP was groovy enough and what followed was a battle of wits and firepower that randomly engaged me. Some of the strategic warfare schtuff was novel and somewhat suspenseful (loved the nods to the Battleship game via the missile pegs and the tsunami detecting buoys scene ... you'll see), the visual effects were on the money (the alien ships owned), the production design appealing if not a tad unoriginal (the aliens were decked out in Halo gear), the kaboom ample (them flying balls of destruction were slick) and the many action scenes satisfied me more often than none. Director Peter “I beat Horace Pinker” Berg buttered the toast on both sides here, going buck nuts with the zany angles, money shots and slow motion whoring. Lots of it reminded me of TRANSFORMERS (and am sure that was the intent) as some of the alien gear echoed that franchise and the score by Steve Jablonsky (who also did the Transformers soundtrack) helped in that matter as well.
What about the humans in the house? Well Taylor Kitsch was likeable in the role of the hot-shot rebel that has shit to learn i.e. mofo needs to grow up. The little seen Liam Neeson classed the joint up and cashed that check while Brooklyn Decker let her bobbling cleavage do most of the acting (give her an Oscar). And was it me or was this movie an “anti mankind” flick in disguise? Maybe I'm tripping, but when I look back at the chain of events; we're the ones that started it! Humans sent a message to the aliens, they came, we interacted with them, something happened that we perceived as a threat and we attacked. If memory serves me right; the aliens went out of their way NOT to fight us and most of the death/carnage was accidental in the first hour or so of the movie. It was the humans that turned the situation into a war. I found that subtle approach clever, or maybe I should just stop drinking cause I'm seeing things. Either way, we all know what would happen if aliens would come to earth for real. We'd gun them down, cause humans are THAT race. But I digress...am getting off topic here. Back to the movie! My peeves! Oh boy!
Most of the side characters got on my nerves and opened up my “groan” bag. Am talking; the stick up his ass brother (played by Alexander Skarsgard) who looked pissed all the time (lighten up one-note asshole). Jesse Plemon's comic “barf” relief sailor (that dude wouldn't last a second in the real Navy). The frustratingly bumbling scientist tackled by Adam Godley (not funny). The bitter handicapped vet (admirably played by real life amputee US Army Lt. Colonel Gregory Gadson) and the tacky subplot/character arc that came with him. And last but not least: Rihanna who kept taking me out of the movie. “Look it's Rihanna reacting!” Look it's Rihanna posturing!” Look its Rihanna NOT selling me on being a naval officer. And when she spat out her “My dad said they'd come”
mini speech I vomited in my own mouth and on the tramp sitting next to me. Stick to singing and THIS
girl. This aint your bag! Maybe the side characters/actor would have had a chance if the simpleton script wouldn't have been been so damn cliched, randomly stupid (how they figured out the aliens weakness...come on) by the numbers and predictable.
The main character’s journey, the cut away subplot, the two rival officers... what will happen? I KNEW the moment it was all set up. Then we had the pitiful last act. Improbable, corny, and just freaking PATHETIC. Even that AC-DC song couldn't save it! Look man I am not a big fan of infantile or saccharine scenarios in my Sci Fi/action flicks. I like them straight up. That's just me. So when the last act took that route, I wanted to jump ship right there. Add to that a ridiculously bloated run time (at 2 hours and 11 minutes long, it was 41 minutes too long), inane dialogue, dumb moves to serve the plot and so many holes you'd swear this movie used to peddle its ass on a street corner for 5 bucks a pop, and you get what could've been fun cheese, dragged down in the gutter. So on the whole; yes I got a couple of kicks out of BATTLESHIP. It was loud, effects were bang-on and the kinetic visuals hit the spot. But now I will be happy to never see it again. This draggy, overly padded and zero IQ cheese-puff was too duh, even for a moron like me. You sank my movie going experience!
We get Brooklyn Decker cleavage (see them unveiled in all of their glory here) and the ladies get Taylor Kitsch shirtless.
Remember that scene in Independence Day when Randy Quaid's character flies his plane into the alien mother ship while yelling “I'm back!” Well if you thought that was the funniest shit ever, you'll probably dig BATTLESHIP. Me? The movie was too stupid, bloated, predictable and tacky to win me over. Although it gunned out some slyness, lots of kaboom, money shots, and wow for my bucks; its infantile and see through script, its urg characters, its dumb turn of events and its overlong clock time (having a film of this ilk be sluggish is a sin in my book) resulted in me not having as much fun as I should have had. With a real script behind it and 40 minutes shaved off its canon maybe it would have stood a chance. As-is, the more it clocked forward the more it sank. At least Hollywood has found a new way to adapt board game, just toss in aliens and call it a win! Can't wait for Hasbro Games: Operation the movie... with ALIENS!
Yes there is a play on the classic line “You sank my Battleship”. Do with that what you will...
Jeremy Renner was gonna be Alex Hopper, but dropped out to do The Master, which he also dropped out of.
The battleship Missouri was a key plot element in another film: Under Siege!