Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Battleship

Hi, My name is Peter and I have a confession.  I actually enjoyed the movie, Battleship.

This review may shatter any pop culture credibility that I have, but I can't help it, I had fun at this movie.

This felt like the typical summer movie.  After the first 20 minutes or so of the movie it was non-stop action.  It felt in tone and content a lot like Roland Emmerich's 1996 film, Independence Day and I think that is the best way to describe Battleship, Independence Day in the water.  

Battleship was written by the team of Erich and Jon Hoeber (Red, Whiteout, Montana) and directed by actor/writer/director Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom, Friday Night Lights).

Now one of the good things about not paying attention to the hype leading up to this movie was the fact that I was oblivious to the fact that Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights and John Carter) was the main character.  I simply did not recognize him with short hair in the trailer.  So when a drunk Riggins showed up to open the film in a bar and attempted to pick up a hot chick, I was grinning.  As an aside, if you haven't watched the TV series Friday Night Lights, go watch it, it is a very well done series.   But while I am on the subject of Friday Night Lights, another former cast member Jesse Plemons (who played Landry Clarke) has a major co-staring role in the film.  If you ever wonder what Landry and Riggins did during FNL: The College Years, apparently they join the Navy and fight space aliens.  

The biggest criticism of the film will be shoehorning the concept of a rather basic board game into a sci-fi popcorn movie.  In all honesty the film would probably have been better off simply without the Battleship branding on it.  Of course Hasbro has designs on selling a ton of new board games in addition to money from the film.  That being said, while I groaned about how they incorporated the game into the film, it fit into the story as they constructed it.

What Battleship did well was  provide fun and humor.  Most of the dialogue was quick exchanges of one liners and surprisingly enough the "love story" portion of the film was basically there for a little drama but mostly for laughs.  This isn't your typical love story dropped in the middle of an action flick.

The soundtrack to Battleship is a full rock and roll all the way.  Good music laced into the movie is always a plus and helps up the adrenaline in the extended action scenes.  

Do not expect accuracy to real life military situations, I think at one point the USS Missouri executed a move last scene in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.  

I really enjoyed the alien and alien technology in Battleship.  The alien ships where very interesting in the way they moved and the aliens themselves where an interesting flesh-toned humanoid with a porcupine goatee.  

Two of the things that will make patriots smile is the respect the film showed to veterans both the current generation's wounded warriors and the older generations veterans.  One of the co-stars of the film Lt. Col.Mick Canales, played by actual Col Gregory Gadson a veteran who lost both legs to an IED in Iraq in 2007.  Gadson has some of the best (if cheesy) lines in the film and shows that even with his handicap he can still kick butt. 

The film also co-stars Rihanna as Petty Officer Cora 'Weps' Raikes, Liam Neeson as Admiral Shane, Tadanobu Asano as Captain Yugi Nagata, John Tui as Chief Petty Officer Walter 'The Beast' Lynch, and Brooklyn Decker as Sam Shane.  Neeson is used sparingly but effectively.  Rihanna was pretty good, though it always seemed like she was running somewhere, and John Tui came off as a just a cool dude.  Brooklyn Decker is easy on the eyes and her performance wasn't actually pretty good.

I am a bit surprised after watching the film that it was released now instead of around the July 4th weekend, as it seems that it would have been the perfect popcorn patriotism that is a hit in the theaters around our Independence Day holiday.  

All in all not the best film this summer, no threat to Avengers box office, but I see this being a blu-ray guilty pleasure on the level of ID4 and Armageddon.  

1 comment:

  1. Anybody missing out on a lack of Michael Bay flick this Summer, will feel so much better with this loud piece of junk. And when I mean loud, I mean LOUD!! Lame action movie that did nothing new and it's writing is terrible. Oh well, I guess that's why they call it Summer. Good review Peter.