BATTLESHIP (2012) Review

Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson

Amongst all the many things movies have taught me one is that when it comes to aliens they definitely are out there and we should probably leave them alone because they don't seem to like us at all. INDEPENDENCE DAY, WAR OF THE WORLDS, MARS ATTACKS and many more show advanced intergalactic races to be violent, aggressive and bent on wiping out the human race. BATTLESHIP takes this overused premise and tries to use it quite overtly as a recruiting tool for the US Navy.

Buried in amongst all of the big, sweeping helicopter shots, crisp navy uniforms and shiny destroyers is something you could barely call a plot. Basically us smart humans send a signal out to a so called 'Goldilocks planet' in the hope of finding intelligent life. But what we get back is a small fleet of alien ships which construct an impenetrable dome over a section of ocean off the coast of Hawaii and begin blasting apart ships involved in Naval war games. Obviously somebody has to do something about all this, and that somebody is Alex Hopper (Kitsch), a dropkick who was forced to enrol in the Navy by his brother. Cue a lot of big explosions, gunfire and so on.
Oh and for some reason somebody decided popstar Rihanna would make a great addition to the film. And Liam Neeson (pretty much the only reason I watched this film) only has about 10 minutes of screen time.

I can kind of understand the logic in creating a film based on a classic strategy/boardgame, after all PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN was adapted from a fucking theme park ride and a lot of people seemed to like that. Unfortunately the execution here is terrible and requires you to suspend all logic as a lot of crazy, over the top shit happens on screen. Did you know that you can use a Battleship's anchor to swing it around like it's a car or a bike? Did you know that a decommissioned Battleship which has been turned into a museum can be up and running in about 10 minutes with only a handful of senior citizens at the controls? Or that aliens with advanced enough technology to travel light years can't avoid an orbiting satellite?
There is so much completely illogical and ridiculous crap in this movie that to list it would take days. But the worst is probably the forced tie-in to the classic boardgame itself. Seriously, there is a scene where they have to use a grid to try and work out where the alien ships are and just take pot shots and hope that they hit them. Oh well at least nobody utters the line "you sunk my Battleship!".

And even the recruitment angle is a failure. I would absolutely hate to join the Navy if it means that I have to hang around a group of people as stupid as these. As boring as the boardgame is, I would rather play it for two hours than watch this crap again.

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