If you’ve ever wondered how to make a big summer film based on a kind of board game you played as a kid, look no further than Battleship, directed by Peter Berg. It’s not necessarily how you make it good, but then, why the Hell would you make this movie anyway?
If you’ve ever wondered how to make a big summer film based on a kind of board game you played as a kid, look no further than Battleship, directed by Peter Berg. It’s not necessarily how you make it good, but then, why the Hell would you make this movie anyway? And frankly, who the Hell is asking if you could make a movie out of a board game? Well, other than movie studios with no inkling of how to find fresh creative material.
There’s a lot of premise needed to build around that old Hasbro Battleship game. Here it is: A group of international naval ships are out on maneuvers when they are confronted by a mysterious armada. They have to figure out who and what they are and how to stop their destructive antics. The rest is pretty much out of the Michael Bay film maker handbook.
In addition to that, there’s a familiar story about a guy that never lives up to his potential that has to find direction in his life and learn to be a leader. The slacker saves the day story. Great. Haven’t seen that one before. That’s the role of Lieutenant Alex Hopper, played by Taylor Kitsch. An unfortunate name that can’t even lend itself to this movie. If it had that much value there would be at least some entertainment. And of course this fuck-up falls for the Admirals daughter Samantha, played by model/actress Brooklyn Decker. She’s more hot than actress, but then the script offers her little in the way of meaningful dialogue. Or anything.
This, however, can be said for most of the cast of Battleship, including the admiral himself, played by Liam Neeson. Oh, Liam. Was the paycheck that big? Alexander Skarsgard plays Commander Stone Hopper, Alex’s brother. Ha, Stone Hopper. If you pull a name out of the Bag of Silly Names, don’t be surprised when you pull that one. Then Rihanna is in this as Petty Officer somebody that gets to say a cheesy line and shoot stuff. Much of the rest of the cast may actually be real Naval officers and enlisted men because though they seem to know what they’re doing on the ship, they don’t really deliver lines that well. I’m glad they’re defending this country, as long as it doesn’t involve winning an Oscar. I’d much rather they blow stuff up.
It seems Peter Berg was really interested in paying great respect to the men that defended this country in various wars, and that is to be commended. However, as mentioned, Berg also seems to have taken some film making lessons from our favorite director, Michael Bay. Lay on that thick coat of sticky sweet sentiment with a side of gooey cheese. Way to take a great way to show respect and then blow it by over-doing it.
The effects in Battleship are sufficient to match the industry standard, but not enough to make any of it stand out. There’s also much of that “watching a video game” effect as well. i will say that they at least were sort of creative with the aliens appearance. I just wish they were more creative with the script. Sorry, Erich and Jon Hoeber, I know you guys wrote Red, but that was the only decent one out of the four films you penned. You’ll also find some of Berg’s shaky camera style here. It doesn’t seem as bad as some of his previous stuff, but it ends up being rather moot.
This film is like a cross between G.I.Joe, Transformers, and Independence Day. If you are a 12-14 year old boy, I’m sure this will be fun to you. If you are the parent taking that boy to see this, then bring an iPod or something. Much of the dialogue is laughable, which is at least consistent with much of the human interaction on screen. Oh, and as I’m sure you were wondering (or not), yes, they do manage to create a sequence where the U.S. naval ship is tracking, and shooting at, the alien ships on a screen kind of like the game Battleship.
There are very few moments worth watching here. Battleship should have stayed a board game. The movie just made me bored. Yeah, like I wasn’t going to make that joke at some point. Or this one: when Berg made Very Bad Things, do you think he was referring to this film, too? I got more, how much time you have? Ok, fine. Hancock was ok, though imperfect. I’m pretty sure audiences are gonna sink this Battleship. It only gets about one and half kittenhands. Don’t see it. Go see The Avengers again.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, hoping to see a movie about Candyland soon. Or maybe a high concept movie about Uno, starring Taylor Lautner, Vin Diesel and Schwarzenegger. C’mon Hollywood, you hearing me?