Apr 132012
 

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A US$200 million dollar film based on a boardgame where you move plastic pegs around a square grid…..right. Check out our review of Battleship after the jump

Plot you say? Well yes there is a vague notion of a plot, so here goes —

Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a young man with so much potential and yet so many bad habits. He wishes to marry Samantha (Brooklyn Deaker), the daughter of Admiral Shane(Liam Neeson), and yet he can barely make it to work in time, let alone ask his superior officer for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  After stuffing up one to many times, Alex isn’t exactly in anyone’s good books. He is told by his perfect navy poster boy brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgård) that the naval exercises will be his last outing as a naval officer.

And so begins the joint Naval forces war exercises which conveniently bring together a large number of ships in a……..grid like area for……..war games.  Ha! So the naval games begin and then, “What the hell is that”? Well it turns out that “that” is some sort of alien craft that has travelled to earth and [for the most part] has landed right smack-bang in the middle of the naval exercises. What do they want? Well the film actually never bothers to explain – that’s not really important is it? All we know is that they are here and they are trying to set up some sort of communication base to let everyone back home know where they are. Well no one wants a whole alien world on their doorstop, so of course the navy has to stop them!!

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As well as the naval forces, the admiral’s daughter Samantha, one science geek, and a disabled war veteran will band together and take these creatures down. There is destruction, there are aliens, there is death, and there is a woman in short denim shorts who is really handy at driving a jeep.

The plot is absurd and has holes big enough for a destroyer to sail right through them. It really does not benefit the audience to pay too much attention to the finer details of this film. We have to assume that director Peter Berg meant the film to be a parody and a bit of a joke. If you give the film the benefit of the doubt an assume it means to be as silly as it is, then it’s a very amusing and completely enjoyable mind-numbing film. If you decide you want to take it seriously, then you may as well stay at home and save yourself 2+ hours.

The script contains some of the most woeful dialogue in film this year (and considering what came out this year, that’s something) and is bad to the point of being hilarious. Amongst the terrible script there are some great comedic lines (although it’s hard to tell if they are meant to be funny) and some really silly references to the film’s origin. One early scene containing a chicken burrito is particularly fun and shows that Kitsch might actually be better suited for comedy, as he doesn’t really carry the action side of the film. For the most part the entire cast dialled-in for this film. Their delivery of the dialogue ranges from shouting (Neeson), to wooden (Skarsgård), to Tim Riggins (Kitsch).

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The action in the film is quite impressive and does a lot to improve the overall quality of the film – so does the fact that it is in good ole’ fashioned, crisp 2D (how did Berg manage to not make this in 3D?). There are some truly epic scenes which contain large-scale destruction, impressive sweeping shots, and expensive and quite cool looking effects. Berg certainly knows how to direct action and get the money shots – he also knows how to use loud and slightly ridiculous music just to let us know how we should be feeling at any particular moment (the answer is always PUMPED!!). AC/DC would have made some nice money from this film.

In the end, Battleship isn’t exactly a film that you can recommend. It is truly absurd and a bit of a joke really. It’s almost a parody, almost an action film; and at the same time it is a really expensive advertising campaign for the naval forces. Ultimately though, it’s utter popcorn filth and a stupidly fun mind-numbing time. Watch this one at your peril.

 

The Facts

Director: Peter Berg
Writer(s): Erich Hoeber & Jon Hoeber
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Neeson, Rihanna
Runtime: 131 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: April 12th 2012; USA: May 18th 2012

 

  2 Responses to “Battleship”

  1. I went into BATTLESHIP with very, very low expectations, and came away pleasantly surprised. It’s definitely not a film you can take seriously at all. Skarsgård seems to stumble all over his American accent which is a bit weird, because he doesn’t sound particularly un-american in True Blood.

    One thing I particularly liked about this film was the idea of the Japanese and American Navy having to work so closely together at the site of one of the more animous conflicts between the two nations.

    When the grid spread out I could not stop laughing.. this film lands pretty near the top of my big-budget-mindless-crap-with-explosions pile.

    You’re right though… I’d have a hard time recommending it to anyone.

    • Skarsgård was surprisingly awful in this. He actually is a decent actor so it was a little strange. I agree with you about the Japan-US relationship in the film. It actually did a nice job representing both different countries and different ethnic groups – the characters were a real mix of people. It’s popcorn rubbish at it’s finest! Thanks for the comment!

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