Saturday, March 30, 2013

Battleship (2012) review

You don't typically see me write reviews of movies that have been out for a while. It's either I see it in theaters or I don't see it at all. But thanks to a free preview of HBO and Cinemax this weekend, I'll be reviewing some movies that came out in 2011 and 2012 that I missed in theaters. Starting with Battleship. Michael Bay really did start something didn't he. The only difference between Battleship and Transformers is quality and box office grosses: Battleship was a flop, Transformers was a hit, and any film in the Transformers series is much better than Battleship. I know that the Transformers has its haters but I still think that they're great mindless fun which is more than I can say about Battleship. The first hour and a half of this movie is so dreadful that you likely won't get to the good part. It's plotless, mindless and stupid and despite rare bits of fun, not worth your time.

Battleship tells the story of Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), a bum who has nothing to do with his life. One night he meets Samantha (Brooklyn Decker) and after an incident with the cops, is forced by his brother (Alexander Sarsgaard) to turn his life around. He joins the Navy and moves up the ranks but isn't well liked by his commander (Liam Neeson). Then, there's also scientists trying to make contact with aliens and when they do, the aliens come and destroy Earth. It's up to Alex and his multi-racial gang of combatants including Rihanna to stop the invasion and save the world.

Let's start with the good. The last thirty minutes is ridiculously stupid fun. It's got big explosions and old guys with guns and really doesn't take itself too seriously. Unfortunately, the final thirty minutes can't save a movie and the rest of Battleship is so awful that nothing could redeem it.

First off, it's one of the worst plots in recent history. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason for it. The aliens just come to Earth one day and decide that they're going to take over. Just decide that they're going to. They have nothing that they want. There is no explanation of why they're here, nothing. And if there is some hint of it, I didn't get it. Even in the prime examples of alien and terrorist overthrow movies, there's at least a reason as to why they're here and destroying the Earth. The Transformers want the Allspark and world domination and their goal is to exterminate the humans. Cobra wants to take over the world. The aliens don't speak, they just blow stuff up.

The dialogue is paper-thin. "I have a bad feeling about this." "We're going to die!" "Oh, s***, we're going to die!" Every single cliched line in action movie history is in this horrible script. Sometimes, characters will just state the obvious and do really stupid things. It's just mind-boggling that nobody could come up with anything better than this.

The acting is just plain awful as well. I mean, the actors weren't helped by the script but nobody was any good in this movie. There's a reason why John Carter and Battleship flopped and it just might be Taylor Kitsch. He sounds like he's on drugs the whole movie and its just awful to watch his performance. I liked John Carter but this was unacceptable.

In the end, I don't have much to say about Battleship besides that it's really, really dumb. There's no rhyme or reason to a single thing that is said or done in the plot and it's poorly acted, poorly scripted and just all around bad. And you don't care about the characters either. In Transformers, I cared a little bit and there was a plot. Battleship is just a bad effort at a Transformers knock off. Battleship sunk.

THE FINAL GRADE:  D                                             (3.5/10)

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