PLOT: When a fleet of naval ships prepare for a series of military games at sea, they find that they are not alone. Soon, they are in a life and death battle with some nasty extra terrestrials looking to phone home on our bill! Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?
As a child, if you ever placed one of your mom's cooking pots on your head and beat on it with a spoon youll get the idea of what it is like watching BATTLESHIP. This mess of a movie based on a Hasbro board game is a lazy, loud and obnoxious piece of work that makes another familiar movie franchise based on a toy seem almost subtle. Forget about making sense and forget about feeling much of anything besides being completely numb as to what is happening on-screen. The orchestra and score is headache inducing, as are the constant explosions and crashing missiles that keep sinking those battleships. And no, Liam Neeson doesnt say anything about you sinking his battleship. The only line close to that comes from a Korean War Vet who shouts, They wont sink THIS battleship! Ugh!
The beginning of BATTLESHIP is sort of charming as we are introduced to Taylor Kitsch and his soon to be gal (Brooklyn Decker) in a TOP GUN-esque moment. While Kitsch still feels a little bit like JOHN CARTER, it is quite alright because it still works here. From the very early scenes you could probably play a little game of which movie did this first? Yet it would be a waste of time to categorize the many other films this seemed to rip-off or perhaps pay homage to. Yet the story really begins when Stone finally gets sick and tired of his rule-phobic brother Alex (Kitsch) and forces his misguided sibling to join the Navy. Just in time as well, since clearly Hopper is a trouble maker and must learn to take command of his life. Lucky for him there is about to be an alien invasion at sea and he must take charge and learn to see things through. Yes, there is more to this convoluted story but really, who cares?
The big question is however, what about the effects? Well, for the most part they did a good job with destroying many parts of the world. When the space invaders gigantic interlocking metal balls of destruction rain down on humanity, it is alarmingly intense, even if it makes you deaf. They fall down from the sky destroying buildings and killing random people on the street. A few of the giant cannonballs even have issue with a freeway so they knock a big chunk of it down. Sure there is a reason, as these menacing monsters have plans to phone home and bring a few of their alien friends for a party on earth. As the title would suggest, most of this battle is fought on the ocean with a bunch of rag tag service men and women out playing some sort of naval maneuvers competition. Luckily, the aliens clearly have played the board game so they put up a massive shield for a little unfriendly war games.
Much of the dialogue consists of what youd expect in an action movie thanks (or no thanks) to screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber. While it is clear that the script is making a little bit of fun out of action movies in general, it is definitely overkill. Every single character has their own moment to make a witty quip right before they do something heroic. And by golly, if you can destroy a bunch of invaders from another planet you damn well have the right to have your moment in the sun. The dialogue is certainly bad, but that is not the biggest problem. Everything here is slapped together haphazardly so that it becomes an inexcusable and monotonous bore. They explain who the aliens are (sort of) and why they are there, yet it feels like several different movies thrown into a blender and mixed well. And just wait until it literally becomes a gigantic size BATTLESHIP game.
As far as performances go, nobody was really given much to do here. As mentioned, Kitsch is good enough for a leading man and he handles the humor quite well. Brooklyn Decker is lovely, and that is all she needs to be. As her tough as nails father, Liam Neeson roars his lines nicely. This wasnt a stretch for him and he didnt seem to really put too much into his commanding performance. As for the rest of the cast, Rihanna is not all that bad, neither is Hamish Linklater. However none of the actors arent given much to do aside from get wet and jump away from things that go boom.
Speaking of boom, that is what BATTLESHIP does best. My ears are still ringing from the constant noise blaring out at you. That would also include the increasingly loud soundtrack featuring Stone Temple Pilots, AC/DC and The Black Keys just to name a few. Of course, director Peter Berg had fun blowing things up without regard for telling a cohesive story. Sure there are many that may simply be in the mood for the barrage of ammo, warheads and those giant alien bombs. In fact, this may be all they need. However, if you really want a good action movie and youd like to be moved by the experience, this isnt worth wasting a Saturday afternoon over.
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