Movie Review: BATTLESHIP (2012)
If there’s any one movie which I wish Michael Bay had directed, it’s BATTLESHIP. A movie adaptation of a board game might seem a little ridiculous but—oh wait, it was actually very ludicrous. The movie itself had potential to be a blockbuster feel good guilty pleasure… but it fell on its face, in the water… then exploded. Here’s my Movie Review…
Blank Page Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
BATTLESHIP is about an Alien Invasion of Earth, which begins in the Ocean off of Hawaii, during Naval War Games. So it’s a battle in the sea instead of over the air or ground, like other alien invasion movies feature. And just like other clichés, we’ve got our hero, played by Taylor Kitsch, who I loved in JOHN CARTER (shut up!) be a good for nothing burn out with huge potential. This is indicated early on with him having long hair and hanging out in a bar. In Hollywood, the length of hair is apparently proportionate to a characters rebellious personality trait. So during the course of the movie, obviously, our super smart, but wasted potential wunderkind badass gets thrust upon him a position of leadership with the responsibility of saving the world.
Despite all this, this is not a movie directed by Michael Bay. I actually wish it was. BATTLESHIP had everything that would be orgasmic for Bay. Aliens. Explosions. Armed Forces. Unimportant characters who save the day. Everything!
BATTLESHIP lacked any sort of semblance of coherence. The movie takes way too much time setting up the character flaws of Taylor Kitsch’s character. (I’m foregoing any of the character’s names because, why bother?) He’s got an accomplished Navy Officer brother played by Alexander Skarsgard from TRUE BLOOD, but he’s still a screw up. This has to be shown to the audience over and over again, with repetitive scenes which all underline the same point… to death. He joins the Navy after his brother ‘encouragement’, and still we get an example of just how irresponsibly messed up this kid is. So it’s very apparent from the start of the movie, that somehow this guy will be given opportunities to become ‘the hero’ of the story.
Almost every character is completely irrelevant and unimportant. There’s this sub plot of our hero’s girlfriend, who is a physical therapist, caught in the Invasion with one of her handicapped patients in a nearby island. Together with the patient, she ends up disabling the Alien’s communication array, preventing a crucial step in the Aliens’ plans from coming to fruition. What doesn’t make sense about this: this subplot never once connects to the main story of the Naval battle happening nearby. No one knows the Aliens are trying to communicate using their own base on that island. No one even knows that the girlfriend is on the Island doing something about it. It’s just… happening.
Even the main story of our, initially screw up, but later heroic, main lead having to take command of his Naval Ship because, literally every Officer higher than him in rank has conveniently died, is predictable and can be seen coming from the long initial set up. The eventual progression of the story and the stakes make no sense. The Aliens deploy a Force Field trapping only 3 ships inside of it, while the entire World outside sit around and do, literally nothing. Liam Neeson plays one of these do-nothing characters, and boy is he wasted. In a blink and miss role, Neeson steps out of his more recent ass kicking comfort zone for a role that can only be described as a cameo. He has a few lines of dialogue and maybe 7 minutes of screen time.
If Bay had directed BATTLESHIP, the outrageousness of the story might not be reduced, however the characters would have chemistry with one another. There would be some awesome humor and grandiose scenes of sacrifice and Military courage with montages of explosive naval battles. Also, he would have made better use of Rihanna’s casting, with some sexual exploitative filmmaking decisions, rather than the butch military officer she was made to portray. Not that I’m saying that’s OK. It’s just good ‘ol Bay.
Get The ‘Battleship’ Blu-ray