Movie Review: Battleship

Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Tadanobu Asano, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language, Running time 131 minutes, Action/Adeventure/Sci-fi

Plays like: Transformers: Rise of the Fallen (2009), Skyline (2010)

Sometimes I give a movie a hard time from the trailer because it looks ridiculous, among other things, but then I watch it and have to take some of the negative things back. Transformers (2007) is a good example. Heck, even Avengers falls into this category; I just didn’t think I’d like it from the trailer, but what do you know? It was actually really good.

From the trailer alone, I assumed it would be full of explosions, cheesy one liners, forced melodrama, and a senseless plot and in the previously mentioned movies, I was wrong. There was more to them than that. Yet, in Battleship’s case, I hit the nail on the freaking head. This movie is loud, obnoxious and no, it is not fun unless you plan on making fun of it with your friends. No, I do not condone that in a movie unless it is only you and your friends.

But jeez, would it be tempting anyway.

Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is an out of control rebel. After simultaneously meeting the future love of his life, Sam (Brooklyn Decker), and getting arrested, Alex’s brother forces him to join the Navy. Awww what?? The Navy?? But people tell you what to do in the Navy! There are rules! And Alex Hopper is not one to play by the rules. This becomes apparent after all the fights and late ceremony appearances. Lucky for Alex, Sam is still with him and she’s the Admiral’s daughter. But that’s still not saving him from getting discharged from the Navy after the war games take place. But uh-oh, alien ships crash into the water, create a clear-ish globe around the main characters and now we have to use outdated weapons to defeat them. Why defeat them? What are they trying to do? Don’t you worry about that, you’re about to see an explosion.

Let me make it clear that I love action movies. I am not one of those people that complains when a Michael Bay movie is coming out. That guy knows exactly what he is and doesn’t pretend otherwise. I do not whine about “no story” if a movie is aware of its place in cinema and knows what it is. I also will not complain if hot actresses are cast even though “people don’t really look like that.” I don’t whine because if the movie is entertaining, it did it’s job all the same if it kept me going for two hours and I stayed intrigued throughout. Battleship does not do that.

What Battleship does is take two hours of your life and flush it down the toilet, hoping that one worded one-liners by Rihanna will be enough for you to enjoy yourself while Liam Neeson makes an occasional appearance as Da Bawss of the Navy. Okay, Battleship producers; I do love myself some Liam Neeson, I’ll give you points for having him grace the screen at random intervals, but it is not enough to save this movie.

I can’t even really tell you what the aliens were doing. They received a signal from us, so they crashed here and started attacking us, and then sent a signal back home to…I guess get more troops for a bigger invasion. Uh, okay. For what? When one alien touches Taylor Kitsch’s beautiful face with his weird hand, Kitsch sees what the alien has done for some reason, and it looks like they’ve blown up other planets too! So they just blow up planets for no reason? They don’t even use any of our resources?

There are a thousand questions similar to this that the movie will bring up if you put an ounce of thought into it. But neither you nor I have the time to get into that and I’m pretty sure the internet doesn’t have enough space to hold all the complaints I’d like to make about this movie.

I was at least hoping the aliens would be cool, but nope. Their outfits look like Master Chief rip-offs while their actual heads entail what look like a skin head with a chode beard. So no, no cool aliens either. At one point the weapons land on a ship and explode. What effect does this alien weaponry have on us mere humans? It blows a group of sailors back, sucks them forward a few feet, and sends them back again. Now that’s some crazy alien technology, lemme tell you.

There are many scenes involving montages of crew members getting their offense on while AC/DC plays and military lingo comes flying at you fast and furiously. They’re supposed to be rallying moments where you really feel as though we’re the underdog standing up to the big, bad alien menace, but nah- I was sick of it at this point. The characters in the movie were enjoying fighting aliens more than I was watching it. It was like a comedian laughing at his own joke while the audience sits, confused. “But… I thought I was supposed to like this…I’M the one who paid…” This is a bad sign when AC/DC and Liam Neeson can’t save your movie.

“Pandering” might be this movie’s key-word. More than pandering to action fans with it’s non-stop explosions (this movie is like Michael Bay’s cousin, Mikey Bay made it. A film by Mike Jr.), it panders to the military. I won’t give away the ending (even though it sucked), but the respects it pays to the military do not feel like tribute; it feels almost like mockery. It’s comparable to a kid thanking a vet for his service to his country when he’s not from the same country. It’s out of the way and it’s a little forced. It’s cringe-worthy.

The makers of this movie should’ve made a deal with audiences: if you’re not enjoying yourself, they’ll give you back a dollar for every time a character spouts off a line like “Whoo!” or “Boom,” or “Fire!” right before a massive explosion is triggered. You get a dollar fifty back if it comes from Rihanna’s mouth. I still don’t understand why she’s in this movie. Because when some people think “alien invasion loosely based on a board game,” they also think “contemporary pop-stars?” Who is this catering to? I don’t listen to her music and thankfully I don’t usually see too much of her, but she kind of looks like an alien too. Just sayin’. Some decent effects and Liam Neeson are the only thing that keep this out away from the terrible “F” grade.

Grade: D-

2 Responses to “Movie Review: Battleship”

  1. ArmyGuyDan Says:

    Rihanna’s shitty talent was a no sale for me, I hater her f’ing music and I don’t care to see her shitty acting either

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