I have two questions for Universal Pictures. One, how did you get Peter Berg to do this? Two, why take on a board game?
Both questions were left unanswered after watching the loud, mind numbing and incompetently written Battleship. Now I understand, that is based on a board game and the writing won’t be the strongest. However, you have to give us characters that I can care about. Let alone, the acting be at least tolerable.
Friday Night Lights’ alum Taylor Kitsch plays Alex Hopper, a bad boy who knows he’s a bad boy. Why? He breaks into a gas station at 2am for a chicken burrito for Samantha Shane, a strong willed woman he met in the bar. Hang on to your seats, we’re only 5 min in and it was the beginning of every action movie cliche ever made. He’s arrested but at the same time Samantha is flattered. She’s played by Brooklyn Decker, whose range goes as far as an facial tick. His brother, Stone (played briefly by Alexander Skarsgaard) is fed up and forces Riggins, oops I meant Hopper into the United States Navy. Fast forward to graduation and Samantha is Hopper’s fiance and he just made lieutenent. Ugh, talk about thin characters. I know it feels like dissection. At least if you’re going to make them thin, then at least make them likable. Strike one. The Navy is right now in the midst of the Naval Games. But! Who cares about plot? Suddenly! Without explanation, alien battleships burst out of the water and it’s time to play Battleship, the alien edition. By the time, that happens I just didn’t care anymore.
Instead of trying to find out reason why. The Navy attacks them with everything they got and that pisses off the aliens who blast away with steal balls of destruction blowing up many of the ships. I was waiting for someone to say, ” Sir, they sunk our battleship.” Then return it with ” You SUNK my battleship!” Sadly, I didn’t hear it. With a main character killed off (bye, Stone), Hopper is now in charge of the ship and I didn’t buy his sudden leadership for one second. Kitsch looks like he’s playing Tim Riggins still from SNL. Brooding, staring lifelessly in the camera. I know he has presence but come on! We also get pop/R&B singer Rihanna as Petty Officer Cole. For an actor, she’s one hell of a singer. In paycheck mode, Liam Neeson briefly appears as Admiral Shane. Wait. Samantha’s last name is Shane. I’m shocked.
With CGI-laced action sequences that are at times exciting, at times cartoonish, unlikable and bland characters, glacier pacing and an ending that would make audiences shake their head in disbelief. Sorry, that is not how I want to see the Greatest Generation go out. That’s all I’m going to say.
Watching this cartoon makes me shudder for Candy Land: the movie.
Battleship gets a D+ and it’s one of the worst films of 2012.
I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely as you head to the theaters.