Review: BATTLESHIP

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

As I look upon and ponder the rating I just typed for this movie, I think perhaps maybe I am being a bit too generous.  Then again, this film, loosely based on the popular game of the same name, did succeed in keeping me entertained for 131 minutes. With a mix of laughably bad writing and acting, solid action, and genuine humor, Battleship may just fall into the category of “so bad that it’s good”, therefore, deserving the rating I award it.  Honestly, Battleship is silly, ridiculous, and dumb, but still fun. Director Peter Berg obviously channels Michael Bay and actually makes a better Bay action film, than Bay himself.  Well, considering his last two Transformers movies, that really isn’t too difficult.

 During an international war games exercise, an alien invasion forces a fleet of ships to take up arms and fight back.  Irresponsible hothead, Lieutenant Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) has always failed to prove himself worthy as a boyfriend and fiancé to his girlfriend Sam (Brooklyn Decker), the daughter of Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), but now must prove he can step up as a military leader when forced to lead the attack on the aliens.  The officers from different nations must also learn to work together despite their cultural differences and bitter rivalries.

 Written by Erich and Jon Hoeber, the story and plot embraces just about every military movie and character cliché available at its disposal.  Watching the events of this story play out on the screen made me laugh constantly.  Everything that happens here is all so hilariously bad, but I can honestly say that this movie kept me more entertained than Dark Shadows, a movie which frustrated me.  I had low expectations going into this movie; however, I thought the experience would annoy, rather than entertain.  Peter Berg does deliver some thrills and action.  I will give him that.  I also found much amusement in the winks and nods to the game which inspired this movie. 

 Probably the only good performance in the film comes courtesy of Liam Neeson, but he has limited screen time.  Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, (who plays Hopper’s older brother Stone), Rhianna, and Brooklyn Decker attempt to deliver serious, dramatic, and earnest performances, which makes the results even funnier. Hamish Linklater, who plays Cal Zapata, actually has some genuinely funny scenes as the nervous and awkward scientist dealing with the invasion.  So besides Neeson, Godley deserves some credit as well.

 I will reluctantly recommend this movie as a matinee, because of the battle and invasion scenes which do look awesome on a large cinema screen.  I cannot encourage people to spend regular ticket prices to see it, though.  It just isn’t that great a movie.  I’m sure not everyone finds entertainment and humor in bad writing and acting, but those who do will probably enjoy what Battleship has to offer.  Otherwise, don’t even bother.   

 

 

 

 

 

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