Monday, May 21, 2012

REVIEW: Battleship


Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård


May 18, 2012

Peter Berg

Universal Pictures, Hasbro

2 hours 11 minutes



It should be noted that Peter Berg's 'Battleship' off the bat is not a good movie, at all.  The idea of taking a board game involving "sinking battleships" and making it into a big film with aliens involved is completely irrelevant and serves no purpose to the movie making world.  However as bad as this movie may be, there were a few parts where I was having a lot of fun.  It might've been from the fact that my friends and I were joking around during the screening, or it could've been that I was laughing at how dumb the movie was.  This isn't something that you have to see, and it's possible that the majority of the people who see this won't like it at all.  I probably won't even see this film again, let alone talk about it once this review is at its close because 'Battleship' is highly forgettable.  However this is the type of movie where you will enjoy it if you are with a bunch of friends and are making fun of it throughout.  If you are seeing this alone, then that won't help at all, because 'Battleship' is an over-the-top, cheesy, badly written and somewhat poorly acted film that is sure to be one of the summer's most forgettable movies.

Taylor Kitsch has the potential to be a very talented actor.  I could see his potential in 'John Carter' and 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' among his film work.  In 'Battleship,' he isn't as bad as you'd think, but then again he isn't great either.  At the very beginning of the movie, Kitsch's character tries to woo Brooklyn Deckler's character by getting her a chicken burrito.  This scene made him look like he’s being the Kirk type guy from 'Star Trek' that we've been getting in many recent action/sci-fi films.  While he is good as the cocky type of protagonist, they tend to get very annoying after they've been portrayed in movies a million times before.  The other big "actor" in this movie is famed pop star Rihanna in her acting debut.  Rihanna not only is mediocre in this film, but she also plays the typical African American role in an action/sci-fi film: the comedic relief who utters god-awful lines poorly but somehow gets the audience to laugh and root for them.  I have no idea why Rihanna decided to be a part of this film since her music career is actually pretty solid.  My suggestion to her is to either find smaller films to be in where she can actually try to act, or find movies with better scripts instead of over-the-top action sci-fi extravaganzas like this film.

Getting away from the two main cast members who are terrible, the two best/underused actors in the film were Alexander Skarsgård and Liam Nesson.  Skarsgård plays Taylor Kitsch's brother who is trying to be the protective and wise soldier that knows right from wrong.  Not only was this guy the best character in the movie, but Skarsgård gave the best performance of the movie.  That's right, he was better than Liam Nesson in this movie.  Nesson was good as well; however he seemed like the cranky grandpa who is just a pain in the ass throughout the film.  Unfortunately for these two actors, their screen time was incredibly dismal and was cut down to a certain extent where one of these actors was practically cast in a cameo role.  The other character sadly is killed off 40 minutes in, which by then the movie was already losing its fun and cheesy self and started to take itself seriously.  If the movie kept itself on the track of being self-aware at how stupid it was, then it's possible that it could have been a better film.  Unfortunately you can't go very far when you have your two best actors on the sidelines for 85% of the movie.

Jon and Erich Hoeber are responsible for what I think is one of the best films of 2010, 'RED.'  That film brought so much energy and fun to the audience so they couldn't help but love what they were seeing.  I ponder how they even thought of the idea of putting aliens and explosions into a movie called 'Battleship' and make it so it's trying to be serious and kind of fun.  This movie never takes itself as a fun and over the top popcorn flick at all.  Instead that's all replaced with laughable acting, a cringe worthy script, and just a generic summer movie that anyone could make.  Peter Berg can do so much better than this movie, which has been shown in other notable works like 'Friday Night Lights' and 'Hancock.'  This film is just an easy paycheck for anyone who's involved with it.  It's ironic how I dislike this film yet I have a soft spot for the Michael Bay 'Transformers' films even though they're basically one and the same.  Actually, 'Battleship' is quite the interesting combination: if 'Transformers,' 'Titanic,' (that's right, James Cameron's masterpiece) and anything else that's in a crappy movie, then you get this film.  Too bad this 'Battleship' got sunk so early on, because it had the potential to be a fun summer popcorn flick.

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