|Battleship - 2 Stars||0 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
Continuing with the idea of creating films out of board games, Hasbro’s latest venture onto the silver screen, Battleship, hit the big screen this last weekend.
The film has the looks of a summer blockbuster. Massive budget, stars, stunning visuals, and an explosive trailer, but does it deliver? Not so much.
Something you should know about me. On the modern day film spectrum, with big budget blockbusters on one side, and cinematic, story driven indie movies on the other, I’m in the neutral zone, the middle ground. My favorite movies are those that bring the two ends together (The Dark Knight, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings).
But 8 times out of 10, these blockbusters fall short, and Battleship unfortunately is in that category of falling short. There are moments of promise and certain scenes that I enjoyed, but as an overall experience, I was not impressed.
The story revolves around Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), a dead beat slacker whose life is going nowhere. After an incident with the law, Hopper’s brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgard), decides that his brother needs to join him in the Navy. Alex flourishes in his new found career, and begins dating Sam Shane (Brooklyn Decker) the daughter of Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson).
During a series of naval war games, the fleet encounters a violent alien force that responded to an attempt at communication by scientists on Earth and is now attempting to take over the planet.
Battleship did some things right. I thought the casting was moderately decent. Liam Neeson, though only having 15 minutes of screen time was very well cast as the Admiral.
Taylor Kitsch is a very unproven actor. He was very popular as Tim Riggins on the TV Show Friday Night Lights but has not translated to the screen well. His first major lead role, John Carter was a box office bomb. Kitsch is decent in Battleship. He plays the stumbling drunk, much like Riggins, very well, but he often comes up short when he needs to be the hero.
Brooklyn Decker’s character was very shallow, by that I mean there wasn’t much to her, but she held up her own. The only casting decision I didn’t like was Rihanna as Rakes, the Gunner’s Mate on Hopper’s crew. Most of her lines were generic and short, “Let’s go,” or “What the hell is that?.” The character had no weight, just a cardboard cutout. I really feel like the decision to cast her in the film was a gimmick to get Rihanna fans to the theater.
I enjoyed the scenes were they integrated elements of the game into the movie, even going so far as to lay out the ships onto a grid and firing shots blindly, hoping for a hit. (No there was not a “You sunk my battleship,” line.)
The visuals in Battleship were stunning. I can’t argue against the special effects, they were very cool. Plenty of big explosions, machine guns, sinking ships, and exploding alien vessels fill the movie along with really cool special effects shots.
But once again let me reiterate, special effects do not make a movie good, or even decent. Story makes a movie good, the focus must be on the story and Battleship simply suffered from poor writing.
The plot was weak, it was very far fetched. Sometimes that works, but it takes great writing to make a far-fetched plot believable. And that’s where I didn’t buy Battleship. It wasn’t believable, there were so many instances in the film were the writers just took a convenient out that thoroughly weakened the story.
There were also several instances were some of the dialogue just came off as cheesy and forced and it was nearly painful to listen to. Many of the jokes fell flat and weren’t humorous in the least.
My biggest issue with the story was that throughout the entire film, I’m not sure the writers even knew where it was going. I understand wanting chaos and the idea of the characters having to combat the unknown, but if the writer doesn’t have a clue where the story is going, or what the main character’s quest (if you will) is, then how is the audience ever going to get on board (pun intended)?
I also didn’t really understand the aliens either. Sometimes they blew things up, causing mass destruction and were believed to be trying to extinct the human race, other times they just ignored the humans. Then, said human would attack them later on. YOU COULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS ALIENS. Just too convenient and illogical.
The film towards the end took a more fun adventurous feel, there was one scene that involved ACDC’s Thunderstruck at a key moment in the film. I loved that. I wish that it had taken that route for the entire movie rather than trying to be epic and dramatic, just have fun, blow some things up, play some awesome music, and kill some aliens, then wrap it up in under two hours and that’s an entertaining movie.
Overall, I give Battleship a rating of 2 out of 5 stars. It has it’s moments of being a fun film with stunning visuals, but fails on the most basic of filmmaking levels, the script. Much like the Transformers series, this film tries way too hard and falls well short, trying to compensate with special effects, making for, ultimately, a mediocre at best movie experience.
You can read more of my reviews at walkawayfromexplosions.com
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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