Published on January 28th, 2013 | by Chris1
I know. I said I wasn't going to watch Battleship, even if hell itself dipped below the freezing mark and the porcine air force launched their first baconplane.... but I did. And, well, I probably shouldn't have caved.
First, off, if you remove the obvious and overshadowing (and incredibly stupid) board game tie-in angle, turns out to be not a bad action-alien-robot-invasion movie. Not OMG-f*cking-awesome but not OMG-f*cking-terrible either. To arrive at this conclusion, you do have to shut off certain centers in your brain. Such as the "who the hell told Rhianna she could act" center. All I'm going to say there. There are enough explosions and yelling and weapons firing to satisfy even the most jaded of jaded action movie aficionados.
I can even work with the "loser joins the military and makes something of himself" angle that the main character, Lt. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) went through. That's a common and tried-and-true staple of character development, and Mr. Kitsch manages to work through the entire movie with it quite well, from the silly parts to the serious ones.... Really, I couldn't fault him there.
But (you knew this was coming) for all its action movie "yeehaw" I just couldn't keep this pill down. For starters, the whole board-game angle. I mean, come on, really guys? I almost had to leave the room when that whole scene came up. Not even joking. I don't have words to describe what I thought of that.
Then, there's the feeling I got that this felt way too much like a discarded story idea for one of the Transformers sequels. Not only that, but it looked and sounded like one too. The effects, especially those little yo-yo wheelie-bobber alien robot things, looked like they came straight off the floor of one of those design meetings. The sound effects ditto. At times even the score bore a striking resemblance. (Listen for it.) Also: What's with the "jumping" spaceships. What? No, really, WHAT? What engineer, no matter what planet they came from, would sign off on THAT design? "OK, sure its inefficient as hell, and would create incredible destructive forces on the ship, but yeah, lets run with it! How else are we going to move on the Battleship game board?!"
To keep things interesting, I guess they felt they needed to have an "alternate" plot line going on, mainly the bit on the island with "Sam" and "Mick" (well-played by real-life Col. Gregory Gadsen) ... I guess one implausible against-all-odds arc wasn't enough, even if they did play it up as such.
But the final nail in Battleship's burial-at-sea coffin? The one that just made me go, "You have got to be f*cking kidding me." Was the "resurrection" of the USS Missouri "floating museum" in a matter of hours into a totally functioning full-on warship.
No. Who came up with this? Really.
One, lets assume that the ship was able to maneuver, let alone fire up the engines. I could believe that, OK, maybe they keep her running in case they need to move her, you know, in case of a typhoon or whatnot. OK, plausible, I can work with it.
But where exactly did you guys come up with ammunition for those big guns? I'm sure it was just sitting there in the stores, right? For how many years now? Forget that nothing uses these, and probably nobody makes them anymore..... Those well-maintained and tested guns sure did well, too. Whipping around on those turrets (I dunno, do they really move that fast on an old girl like that?) with nary a squeak, rattle, or grind....
And the crew.... While I did consider it a noble sentiment, the "lets bring the old guys back on board and let them have one more hurrah before the aliens take over the world" thing.... (No really, I did.) I just wish it could have been done a little more, I don't know, honestly(?) than this.
One more thing before I leave you. I was sort of offended, and if nothing else, extremely puzzled at the Japanese-Pearl-Harbor "reconciliation" thing going on in this movie. From the waving of the Imperial Naval Flag (don't do this, guys) to the apparently still-hostile feelings (I thought we had moved on, America?) Where I sit, this was unnecessary and at best insulting. The undertone of "we still don't like you but its OK" that I felt was disturbing. Did anyone else pick up on that or am I manufacturing this?
Was it fun? Maybe. Battleship could have been a lot more fun, if not for the eye-rolling, hand-tossing, and grimacing that went along with it. A scant 2/5, only because of the effects and explosions, and the alien-invasion premise (NOT the board game angle). It did look like everyone involved was having a whale of a time, though.
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Summary: You sank my Battleship. Oh, I think you did that on your own....