Battleship: The Movie – Film Review
“You have sunk my Battleship.”- Death. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Battleship the movie is the cinematic equivalent of watching a dumb teenager on youtube, stick a firecracker up his arse. There’s drama, tension, action, big explosions and unintentional comedy. But at the end of it all it’s just stupid people doing stupid things for your entertainment. Take from that what you will.
The movie starts with scientists, (inexplicably located in the Himalayas, (maybe they were searching for God with their improbably located radio telescopes)) explaining how their using their new fangled satellite to beam a message to a newly discovered habitable planet Gleise c. It then cuts to them firing their impressive wave motion radio at the satellite which amplifies the signal off into space.
One of the technicians ominously compares it to the Incans encountering the conquistadors. Though in my opinion any first contact we ever have in the near future would be more like Conquistadors meeting Dodos.
With the premise out of the way, we get down to the tedious task of character development. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a useless deadbeat who can’t even hold down a conversation let alone a job. After an amusing attempt to impress the Fleet Admiral’s daughter Samantha (Brooklyn Decker) by stealing a chicken burito from a closed Kwiki Mart, Alex’s brother Stone forces him to join the navy.
We then cut to Alex laying on a beach with Sam discussing how he’s going to ask her Dad for permission to marriage. Dad (Liam Neeson) is busy preparing for the RimPac joint nations naval exercises and making inspiring speeches on old warships. Pay attention to that, the battleship will come back later. Anyway there’s a soccer match where Alex gains a grudge against a Japanese officer. Which causes our designated hero to tick off his future father-in-law and get him thrown out of the navy once the exercises are over.
Fortunately for our hero, and the attention deficient amongst us, a strange object streaks through the starry void. In what must be one of the dumbest invading aliens I’ve ever seen, the alien vessel breaks up into five ships. One of which, promptly smacks into another satellite and crashes inexplicably into Hong Kong. The citizens of New York breath a quiet sigh of relief that the film wasn’t directed by Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich.
Anyway the other retarded aliens land in the ocean off Hawaii, set down their banjos, and erect a giant forcefield around the islands, trapping our equally retarded hero with three ships. The aliens destroy the other ships and all of the command staff on his. There’s a revelatory mind rape scene, in case you couldn’t work out from the aliens blowing shit up that they’re really evil. Then there’s explosions and people yelling “Fire J12, A6, D1. Ahh, you’ve hit my mothership.”
There’s some plot about the aliens taking over the radio telescope in Hawaii to beam a signal home via the satellite. Why everybody in the world didn’t just nuke the satellite instead of hoping the plucky hero would save the day is beyond me.
The special effects are good. Which is what you’d expect from a Michael Bay clone. But I swear to god that all of the aliens look like Fred Durst. I suppose that explains why the aliens are so fucking dumb. We’re being invaded by crackers from another world. I guess that would also explain why all of their equipment is made out of nitro glycerine and detonation cord.
Characterisation is the bog standard cardboard cutouts. There’s the gruff father figure who doesn’t approve of his daughter’s girlfriend. There’s the surrogate father figure/older brother who’s trying to watch out for his younger brother. There’s the useless, jerkass main character who would be locked up in a psychiatric prison if he existed in the real world. Rhianna does a good job of appearing hot and competent, but the rest of the cast must be really great actors because they do so much of it. Liam Neeson varies from bemused contempt to phoning it in. I hope he bought a magnificent house in Tuscany with the money from this. I would if I were him.
If you like your films big and explodey, and without a coherent plot line then this is your film. If you think Michael Bay should be castrated with a spoon for raping your childhood then you might want to give this movie a wide berth.
And so gentle readers I’d like to ask you a question. Which board game, toy, or other intellectual property would make the worst cinematization?
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