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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Battleship (2012)


Gets me more and more excited for the live-action adaptation of “Don’t Wake Daddy” directed by Wes Craven.

Crashing the biannual RIMPAC exercise, a mysterious alien spaceship makes the month-long training event more important than ever before for our naval forces. Unaware of their goals beyond apparent wanton destruction, with a force field keeping what’s out out, and what’s in in, it’s down to a handful of ships and erratic lieutenant Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) to take down the alien forces and save our world from being turned into dust.

Any person that was even somewhat bummed to hear that Michael Bay was done with the whole Transformers franchise, can only be happy to see that there may be a new franchise brewing. For some odd reason, though, it’s based on a board game that I only played when I was really, really bored. I was a very hyper kid in case you didn’t know.

Instead, taking over duties as director is Peter Berg. Berg is a dude who knows how to do action well even though his scripts may not always be perfect. Case in point, flicks like The Rundown and Hancock, are two films that hit-hard with its action and entertains the hell out of everybody watching even though it may not be winning any awards in its originality department. Still, the guy knows what he’s doing and that’s pretty obvious with this flick too, but it almost seems like he wanted to be more like Bay rather than try to put his own stamp on this soon-to-be movie series.

First of all, before I start to crack down on this film I would like to say that it is pretty fun and action-heavy, if that’s all you want. Berg definitely has a lot of fun with this loud, crazy, and insane atmosphere and story that it almost seems like he has a bit too much fun with all of the havoc but you still can’t help but be entertained watching it all yourself. I will say that the action did hold me over for many parts and I think that’s mainly because the special effects do actually look quite good. Berg’s huge visual FX team definitely makes this film look legit and plenty of the scenes where it’s just the alien’s ships squaring off against the Navy’s ships are actually very realistic. However, that can’t get past everything that is so lame.

I’ve been using that word a lot lately. “Lame”. But that’s exactly what this flick is because as fun and entertaining Berg and his FX team try to make this flick, they continue to get bogged down by the fact that this script is so damn shitty and unoriginal. I get it that I’m not supposed to be going to this flick for witty and powerful writing, but you got to give me something to work with here that can at least hold me over when shit isn’t blowing up. However, this film’s dialogue is so overly cheesy, so obvious, and so ridiculous that whenever there is a moment of everybody being serious, there is tons and tons of laughter, but whenever the film is joking around with us, the film ends up just being stupid and a lame attempt at comedy. It’s also annoying since every single character here seems to have their own witty line, right before they go off and do something heroic or bad-ass. Are lines like “Boom” and “Mahalo Motherfucker” really needed for a flick like this? Actually, they don’t even say the “F” word, they just cut it off because they didn’t want to lose their fan-friendly PG-13 rating. Lame.

This film isn’t so terrible just because it tries to be funny, plenty of action flicks nowadays try their darn near hardest to do that, but it’s more that there’s nothing new or original really offered here. All of the action revolves around ships trying to blow each other up by constantly tossing missiles at each other and the aliens being able to throw any kind of weird or strange sci-fi shit at the opposite team. It becomes fairly boring and monotonous, that only seems to be used for the sake of keeping our minds off of the fact that this script blows. Probably also didn’t help that all of the action was played with a loud-ass noise constantly blaring through the speakers. Actually, I think one of the speakers in my theater blew out and I was not surprised because my ears are still ringing from all of that loud ruckus. I sound old, I know.

What was also another bummer about this flick was the aliens themselves. Yes, once again in a Summer blockbuster there seems to be aliens as the villains but honestly, who else could pull off such a thing as the villains in this flick? Russians? Arabs? Swedes? Anywho, the explanation for them being on Earth is pretty dumb and sounds like the same reason I heard last Summer in Super 8, and the way they look is terribly unintentionally funny. With their helmets on, they seemed like a bunch of soldiers from the cancelled Halo movie, and when they take them off, they all look like evil Goblins and seem way too silly to be considered a bunch of evil and menacing pack of aliens. They seem more like the ones you want to cuddle with, or save from the government. Not throw out in the open and have them killed.

As far as the cast in concerned, everybody tries but they aren’t given much to do with this material. Taylor Kitsch plays Alex, a slacker who joins the Navy, and within weeks is the senior officer on the big, bad naval ship, being allowed to call all of the shots. This didn’t make any sense but Kitsch definitely tries with this character, even though the guy comes off very bland and does too much of the “Christian Bale Batman’s voice”, but I think he obviously has talent, just needs the right movies to show it off. Maybe that’s what Savages will be for. Brooklyn Decker isn’t as convincing as the military physical therapist, but she definitely is easy on the eyes.

Liam Neeson is one of the big draws of this flick, but he’s barely in it and whenever he does show up, he’s the absolute man and steals the show away from everyone around him. Shame the dude didn’t get more screen-time but he was probably off doing 10 other flicks around the filming of this one and hell, I don’t blame him for leaving. I would have too. Alexander Skarsgård also isn’t around that much either but that’s for reasons I can’t say, even though I am so damn tempted to. Oh yeah, and we also have pop singer Rihanna making her feature-film role debut and is absolutely terrible. She plays one of those bad-ass female roles that’s usually made for and done a lot better by Michelle Rodriguez, but she can’t even do any of that right. Honestly, Berg should have just called me up, told me to get a slight tan, cut my gonads, and get a butch-looking wig, and I could have honestly done a better job than whatever the hell this chick does here. Rihanna, you’re a great singer but stay away from movies and closer to Chris Brown’s hands. Oh yeah!

Consensus: Battleship definitely thrills with it’s loud explosions and fun direction from Peter Berg, but the script takes away from everything else with its overt silliness, lines that seem like they are jokes in and of itself, and characters that don’t make any sense but are just here to give us people to care about and root on to win the good fight. Michael Bay will be back people, get ready.

4/10=Crap!!

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22 responses to “Battleship (2012)

  1. Pingback: » Movie Review – Battleship Fernby Films

  2. Evan Crean May 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Not surprised this turned out to be crap. It looked shitty and it was a terrible premise for a movie. I was supposed to see it on Tuesday, but I’m glad I didn’t subject myself to this awful film.

  3. ckckred May 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

    It looked as awful as one of Michael Bay’s films with an awful premise (a movie based off a board game?). Nice review.

  4. Asrap May 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I saw this quite a while ago as it was released early in my country, and yes it was awful. Sure nobody expected a good storyline but even the action was messy and unexciting. They should really study the action set-pieces in Avengers on how to get it right.

  5. The Film Connoisseur May 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I hate that thing that Bay did in the Transformers franchise where every other character is a comedy relief…barf, it gets annoying when everybody is trying to be the funny one. Transformers 3 is the guiltiest of all. Still, Im looking forward to this one, it looks like the action and effects will entertain, sometimes thats all I need from a summer blockbuster.

  6. Sean Ferguson (@SeanPFerguson) May 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I enjoyed your review and it confirmed what I’ve suspected since seeing the trailer. It doesn’t help that it’s following The Avengers which was practically perfect which makes these kind of opportunist action movies look as shallow as they really are.

  7. sati May 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Great review! The film looks pretty bad and forgettable, I have no idea why Neeson wastes his time on flicks like that.

    • CMrok93 May 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Thanks Sati! I don’t understand it either, but it’s making him a bigger star as each and every flick goes by so it can’t be that bad.

  8. gotomoviereview May 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I am planning on seeing this movie sometime next week, Your review seems to be the way I approach movies too. From the trailers I kinda figured it would be all action with a crappy script. Nice review by the way.

  9. Jaskee May 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Good review Dan O. I didn’t even mention that Liam Neeson wasn’t in the movie very much in my review. This movie missed on that and many other things.

  10. Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) May 20, 2012 at 1:42 am

    okay, i am definitely not seeing this. besides the fact that it looks dumb, liam neeson is hardly in it? he would be the ONLY reason to watch.

  11. Ethan May 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Yeah, it was largely flashy without much depth. But for some reason I still had a good time, particularly with the 3rd-act surprise cast addition. Here’s my review!

    http://ethanunscripted.blogspot.com/2012/05/you-sunk-my-battleship.html

  12. Pingback: Follow Fridays!: Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews | Fogs' Movie Reviews

  13. urbannight May 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Considering it was based on a game with no real action or plot, I didn’t have high expectations. Since I expected a poor movie, I was pleased that it was a FUN movie. There were a number of cinematography elements that were really good. It drew heavily from many movies. I’m sure I saw an old war movie in which a group of sailors had to carry a half ton missile to a gun farther down the ship. Despite some of the bad acting, the best seemed to come retired sailors and the amputee, I still found myself entertained and laughing a lot. Okay, maybe they didn’t have the ‘best acting’ but my favorite scene is when they all start showing up on the Mighty Mo in their old uniforms. It gave me chills and actually brought tears to my eyes. The line that made the least sense was “Maloha Motha F” Maloha means thank you and that didn’t fit the context. So long as you don’t expect great things from it, the movie can be enjoyed for what it is.

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