|Mindless fun that does not take itself too seriously||2 out of 3 users found this review helpful.|
Upon hearing the that Universal was going to make a film based on the Hasbro board game, I have to admit I was quite excited thinking that a good film about fighting battleships would be worth seeing as the last one made that comes to mind is Battle of the River Plate. Then there was the mention that it would be modern set against Aliens and my excitement vanished, but as more trailers were revealed I became quietly optermistic, and having now seen it I can say that while it is stupid, if you don't think about it too hard, it is good fun.
The plot follows Alex Hopper who, after getting in one scrape too many trying to impress a girl, joins his brother in the Navy. Some years later he is at Hawaii for the international naval war games, where he gets into more trouble which results in his going to be kicked out of the Navy when the exercises finish. Meanwhile a NASA research project to contact possible life on another world has the effect of bringing unwanted attention to the plant as a scouting force arrives and quickly sets about taking over Hawaii with nothing but the Navy and Hopper to stop them before they can call for help.
I am going to start by looking at the story of the film, I am not going to say it is the best thing about the film but it is worth mentioning just for the fact that they made a 2+ hour film about what is essentially a reasonably uninteresting board game. There is only one interesting point the story brings up, that being what Stephen Hawking said about the planet should not be sending out signals into space as if something answers and comes to earth, there won't be much we can do about it. Other than this the story is very basic and quite ridiculous as you would expect but they do manage to fit in a sequence where the characters play the game, which works surprisingly well. The story works but it is not the best part of the film.
Peter Berg does a great job behind the camera and has crafted an entertaining film, but where he shines is in the big action sequences, and luckily there are many of them. The best moments come when Berg is showing of the military hardware and what it can do. I have read in other reviews that it is all underwhelming seeing the CGI ships but it is not really an issue as they look great, with one exception, and the US Navy does not tend to let cameras onto frontline ships. The action sequences are tense and suspenseful, especially as Berg is not afraid to thin out the hardware on show. The sequence that directly relates to the source material works surprisingly well and really brings a sense of suspense, as long as you turn off your brain!
On to the subject of the cast and I should state that no one really stands out as they are only there move from one big action sequence to the next. If anyone stands out it is Alexander Skarsgard, who has been great in everything I have seen him in. As for the rest, Taylor Kitsch is solid as the lead and is quite likeable in the role, Brooklyn Deckker looks fantastic but does not do much other than that, and Liam Neeson is at his usual level even though he does seem a little bored. Then there is Rihanna, now I have seen that IGN rate her performance as one of the worst by a musician looking to become an actor, but I think they are being a bit harsh. She is nothing more than a stereotype with no character development but is not in the film enough to really warrant noticing, she is there but only in the background. Gregory D Gadson is good and brings some emotion to the film as his struggle is quite real.
As for the bad points there are several, but they are what you expect them to be, such as a weak plot, stereotype characters, nonsensical situations and general ridiculousness. The biggest problems I had with the film were the blind leaps of faith the viewer had to make, such as believing a battleship can power-slide, which has the only bad CG in the whole film, or trying to make sense of why if the aliens have some super grinding weapons why they do not use them all the time. There are other instances but I do not want to list them all. Then, on top of this, there are some unnecessary sub-plots, and one of the most stupid football (soccer) matches put on screen. What saves the film is that it has a sense of humour about itself that lets you know it does not take itself too seriously and this quickly lets the audience know not to take too seriously either.
To sum up, Battleship is exactly what you expect from a big blockbuster, it is big, loud, stupid at times, but if you do not over think it it is very enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and am quite looking forward to any sequels they may want to make.
Trailer 2: Battleship
Alexander Skarsgard's facial expression more or less mirrors my own in regards to this latest Battleship trailer. Remind me again how this is not an elaborate Michael Bay parody?
I hate judging movies based on trailers, but...this is 100% guaranteed to be the dumbest movie of all time. OF ALL TIME.
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