on August 28, 2012
I don't get where reviewers online are saying this movie is too loud, too predictable and generally uninspired. Not only that but they compare it to Michael Bay's Transformers film and they also say that it has absolutely nothing to do with the actual board game. Okay. How else could they have made this movie without treading ground that's already been covered? Personally, I think that Peter Berg did an excellent job with this film. Visually, I think Berg's film is a step above Bay's Transformers.
Battleship, itself, is about an international naval battleship that is Earth's last hope against a hostile alien force at sea.
Steven James Snyder of Time Magazine described the movie as "an unlikely mix of Independence Day, Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park and The Hunt for Red October"..which, to me, is the most accurate description of this movie. That mix works for this movie.
To me, Battleship was one of the better movies out there this summer, despite what everyone else has to say about it. I'll admit, there may have been better summer movies but, as far as sci-fi goes, Battleship was a great movie. I really enjoyed it! Hopefully, it will have a better life now that it's on DVD & Blu-ray. Give it a look, you won't be disappointed. I assure you!
This film has for only purpose to entertain us and in this aspect it is highly succesful. The main hero is very likeable, the leading girl charming, the display of military hardware impressive, the aliens naughty (and ugly and stupid!), the scenario doesn't make much sense, the CGI effects are EXCELLENT, US Navy is the best, US government is incompetent - in one word, everything is as it should be in a movie made to go nicely with your popcorn on a Friday evening. WARNING! Some SPOILERS incoming at six o'clock!
The main hero, Lt. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a troubled young man who after messing up a lot in his early life finally joined the US Navy and by some extraordinary miracle managed to become an officer in charge of weapons on board of USS "John Paul Jones", a very powerful destroyer of "Arleigh Burke" class. He is however poorly noted by his superiors and is generally considered as a disappointment and a failure. The unexpected alien invasion during a naval exercice will suddenly force him to take command ("Who is in charge now?" "Hopper!" "We are so dead!") and lead his men into a particularly deadly fight against a vicious and resourceful enemy.
Other than his messy life style Alex Hooper has also another "problem" - his gorgeous, sculpturally beautiful girlfriend Samantha (Brooklyn Decker). She loves him, he loves her and they are engaged to be married - but her father hates his guts and for reasons which you will have to discover yourself his agreement to their marriage actually matters...
Other characters are also important: Alex's brother, Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) who is the older, responsible and organised version of Alex; Vice-Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), tough, impressive commander in chief of US Pacific Fleet; Japanese Navy Captain Nagata (Tadanobu Asano), commanding the Japanese destroyer "Myoko" and Lt. Colonel (Retired) Mick Canales (Gregory D. Gadson), a bitter US Army veteran who lost his both legs in one of recent American wars.
Rihanna makes her movie debut in this film, as Petty Officer Cora Raikes, a weapon specialist and crew member on board of USS "John Paul Jones", serving under Alex Hopper orders. She has a lot of screen time and she is VERY good! I was very pleasantly surprised by her acting and I am looking forward to see her in more films.
The display of modern weaponry is very impressive. 5-inch guns and 20mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-in Weapon System), "Harpoon" missiles and 324 mm torpedoes of American and Japanese destroyers are used generously and they give a great show. And once the old battleship USS "Missouri" enters in action with her 16-inch big guns, things get even better!
The aliens are very very agressive and naughty - although to be fair, they seem to avoid the colateral damage as much as possible, by sparing the obviously harmless oponents. They also try to rescue their own soldiers taken prisoner, which is something not so frequent in SF films. Other than that they are the "standard issue" aliens: ugly, hostile, technologically advanced in some fields but limited in others (they do not seem to grasp fully the concept of guided weapons) and last but not least abysmally, galactically, terminally stupid! BUT, in this film it actually is an asset, because it allows USS "Missouri" to engage the alien flagship in a way which reminds of the bloody and dramatic fight between HMS "Victory" and "Redoutable" at Trafalgar...
The scenario doesn't make much sense as for the reasons for this invasion which seems ultimately to be just a reconnaissance. The reason for the attack on Oahu island and the whole battle around it are even more ludicrous - as for the whole "saving the world" thing, let's just throw a veil of silence on it... A civilization able to send a scouting military expedition of five ships through interstellar space, can always send a second one, stronger and better prepared. So, there is a possibility of a sequel.
The CGI effects are really EXCELLENT! Alien ships and weapons are very well done, fights are very "realistic" and visually the film is a big success.
All fighting men and women of US forces (and the one lonely Japanese guy) are shown as heroes fighting to the end at the best of their capacities, engaging enemy with missiles first, handguns second and iron bars and bare fists after that, if necessary. In contrast, the US government is (of course!) completely incompetent, which is only normal, considering that it is chaired by a Secretary of Defense played by Peter MacNicol (yes, you read well!).
So, all in all, it is a rather succesful, quite entertaining film, with lots of good special effects, lots of good fights, two well playing hot chicks (Brooklyn Decker and Rihanna), some handsome men, a very stupid scenario, quite a lot of humour, at least one very touching moment and one very VERY dearly paid chicken burito...))) I had lots of fun watching it, although I am aware of its weaknesses - and I think that if all you need is some harmless entertainment, you will like it too. Enjoy!
on April 21, 2012
The film starts with a NASA announcement that they are sending signals to a nearby "Goldilocks" planet to see if there is any life. We then switch to a bar scene where Alex (Taylor Kitsch) is "celebrating" his birthday with his naval officer brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgård). He sees a young lady at the bar attempting to score a chicken burrito...which leads us to some comical events and then the opening credits.
After the credits, the film jumps some undisclosed years ahead. Alex is a full lieutenant in the navy on a ship (normally takes 8-10 years to rise that high). The girl, Samantha (Brooklyn Decker) happens to be the daughter of the Fleet Admiral (Liam Neeson). They want to get married. The admiral loathes Alex because he is a gross underachiever. Everything is fun and games until...the subplots come together. At this point we can write the rest of the script. The alien ships were akin to transformers.
I must apologize, but I enjoyed the film. The inane plot continuity issues and science was Asylum grade from beginning to end. I could be here all day writing about how absurd things were. But unlike an Asylum film, they didn't cheat us on a soundtrack which ranged from Henry Mancini to AC/DC. We had quality actors playing likable characters with some decent lines. And no one can beat WWII vets during an AC/DC music montage.
Think of the movie as "Independence Day" light with cheese. Good fun, good action, break out the popcorn and park your brain at the door.
No sex, no nudity, near F-bombs.
I can remember as a younger father playing the Hasbro game with my kids. I also have a vague recollection of playing a version as a kid myself using a pencil and paper but that could be just dead brain cells floating around. Speaking of dead brain cells...with a movie like "Battleship" it is usually a good idea to set the bar low (pick a Michael Bay movie) and just relax. For me, I use the second "Transformers" movie "Revenge of the Fallen" as my standard.
Here we have some early scenes that actually aren't bad and begin to flesh out the characters. The focus is on bad boy, Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) who somehow becomes a U. S. Navy officer at the insistence of his big brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) who already is a Commander. Unless memory again fades, having been in the Navy myself it is unlikely that they would accept a drunken felon into their officer corps (i.e. Alex) but maybe things have changed.
While this is a minor nit not worth picking, there are so many other flawed aspects of the film, it can't be taken seriously. The good news is that the movie is wildly, if absurdly, entertaining. It is decently constructed with a beginning, middle and an end. The movie is extremely loud at times, especially when the alien visitors take offense at being threatened and launch their razor sharp ball bearing thingies. I mean, the Earthlings did invite them, right? All is well that ends well, especially when you have the mothballed (yet battle ready!) U.S.S. Missouri easily launched with a skeleton crew (pun intended).
on August 2, 2014
OK, come on, people. it's a movie. I read through some of the one star reviews and they are harsh. I never understand why we can suspend believability for one movie and not another. So, you Star Trek geeks out there can faithfully repeat the dialog of the Good Captain Kirk from the 60's version of the show; you can argue the reality of it episode by episode, but you can't suspend reality for 2 hours to watch this? Really? You can camp it up with "Swamp People" on reality TV, but you don't like Rhianna because she's skinny? I don't like Rhianna either, but because she doesn't seem to be a very nice person in real life. I don't have a problem with her role here.
So let's take this in a nice orderly fashion.
First, if you are a CGI hater, why are you even here? There are plenty of Indies for you. I like real. I like CGI. I guess that makes me easy to entertain.
Next, I love the review that trashes the main character for being a "bad boy". OK, I don't know what you read or watch, but the "bad boy makes good" plot device is old, man. Really, really old. So, Mr. Kitsch has that down after playing "Tim Riggins" on "Friday Night Lights" and he did it well here. Must be that Canadian hockey thing, eh? I loved seeing him with Jesse Plemmons again, also a "Friday Night Lights" alum. I'd like to see him play a different character, though. Mr. Berg is typecasting him, and probably Taylor Kitsch as well.
To others who said that this is a rehash of other movies of this genre. Well...yeah! Did you think it wouldn't be? I thought it was better than the Transformer movies, but that may be because I'd had enough of Shia Lebouf after the first one. Give me Taylor Kitsch any day over Shia Lebouf. I liked it better than the last "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon" movies.
Somebody really trashed Peter Berg and his directing. Well, that's all personal preference. I thought that the movie entertained AND made a little fun of itself in the process. I like movies that don't take themselves too seriously. Like "Day After Tomorrow" and that sanctimonious speech by the VP at the end of the movie. I love that movie, but I cringe at that part. I'm usually talking back to the screen by then anyway. The plot here isn't that difficult. In fact, it's pretty simple. So, Berg didn't get bogged down in sub-plots or hidden meanings or agendas. He told a far fetched story. Have you read Shakespeare? Talk about fetched! Now, I'm not comparing the two, obviously, but still, we have a history of far fetched stories in the English speaking world. In terms of sci-fi," Star Trek", the original series was far fetched. "Farscape" is far fetched. "Star Gate" however, is true. I know Jack O'Neill is out there protecting me from the bad guys. And the greatest story of all, "Lord of the Rings", is only fetched, because I believe that one too. Too much TV? How about "Alice in Wonderland", "LOTR", "Tarzan", "The Wizard of OZ", "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" just to name a few? My point is, that of course the story isn't believable. I'm pretty sure that you cannot swing a battleship around like that on an anchor, but can you fly into the mothership and upload a virus? I don't want it to be believable, do you? I want fetched and far-fetched if I can get it. As I write this, the doctor with ebola just landed in Atlanta to be treated in the US. The plane is on the way back to get the nurse. Over 1300 people that we know of have ebola in West Africa and over 700 have died. We got the Gaza-Israel thing; we've got some stupid stand off with Russia going on. So, yeah. I want far-fetched if I can get it.
Some things I really liked about the movie: I loved that one of the heroes is a double amputee. I hope they used a real guy for that and didn't CGI it, but even if they did, good for them to use a wounded veteran character. Those guys deserve to be treated like heroes for the rest of their lives. I loved that they used an "old" ship and "old" veterans to save the day. That was classy. I like the message, that they may be old, but they are still useful and that new (as in technology) isn't everything. I liked that they launched the "Missouri" to "Thunderstruck" by ACDC. It was a good moment and it fit.
What did I not like? Well, I do agree with the criticism of the aliens, but it's not a deal breaker. That they can't take the sunlight...well, yeah, that's lame. But, that's like 2 minutes of the movie. I thought the beginning was slow and wondered when they'd get to the point. I thought the science guy on the mountain was useless and I didn't think they used the people back in Washington as well as they could have. I'd have taken more time to develop that over some of the fight scenes. This movie owes a lot to it's predecessors. Just about every gag they did had it's roots in some other film from the genre. They could be paying their respect to the ones who have gone before, but I'd like to see just a little bit more originality. The anchor thing is original, though. It isn't believable, but it's original. So 4 stars.
So, will you like this movie? I have no idea. HA! If you are in a relatively good mood; if you want to see some action, but you also don't want the story to be too heavy; if you want to laugh; if you want to see 2 hours of product placement for the NAVY; then you might like it. It's a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and you shouldn't take it too seriously either. It's a romp! Just good, clean, America-glorifying, shoot 'em up fun. If you are in a serious mindset, there are plenty of Indie and mainstream movie indictments of the war in Iraq out there to satisfy you. Watch one of those and save this for a fun day. Me? I'm going to buy it on DVD. I quilt a lot and I like to quilt to disaster and action movies. And just one final thing. Sometimes, picky is a good thing. We should all develop our picky-ness to a point. And if you are someone who "has better things to do than watch movies" (read that in a deep bass voice), then you may not be entertained here. You might just be too picky, and that's great if you are. Just maybe don't watch the movie and leave supercilious reviews. Maybe you should read a book or ride a mountain bike somewhere and pick up organic goodies for the kiddos. But, if you just plain like movies, you're not after "Citizen Kane" every time you sit to devote some time to the art form, then you may be easy to entertain like me. And what is so bad about that?
on June 27, 2015
No mistaking this for anything other than what it is - a loud American action film with rock accompaniment. But it is enjoyable. The rock accompaniment plays when the miscreant underdog saves the day. Good fun. Another please?
on September 25, 2012
I think this is the lightest-weight big-budget special effects movie I've ever seen. It has some wonderful, genuine sci-fi elements that are actually integral, but somehow feel like throw-aways anyway. Don't know how they did that. It has the plot sophistication of a 2-part TV miniseries, or maybe a better-than-average pilot. The women are allowed to come *so close* to breaking out of stereotype. The emotional appeals are *so* blatant, they could have subtitles.
The hero is *such* a pathetic jerk. When he has his epiphany you can almost hear the narrator. "Suddenly, Alex realized it was time. Time... to grow up. To show leadership, compassion, judgement, teamwork, intelligence, and planning. Things he had never done. But would now do. Big-time. Because people he had never really cared about, needed him to."
I enjoyed it a lot late one evening. I would *never* watch it again - it would be like eating the same lime-flavored cotton-candy cone. Twice.
And yes, Brooklyn Decker is very nice to look at (who knew) and yes, you might end up caring more about what happens to Rihanna than anybody else on-screen. I did.
on October 21, 2014
I watched "Battleship" last night and I found it not too bad aside from there being no star in our vicinity that can be reached at the speed of light (Radio transmission speed) and back in six years round trip. Proxima Centuri is the closest know star (Excluding the Sun) and that is slightly under 4 light years and is a red dwarf that has no discernible planets. Glieses stated in the movie as the alien homeworld is 22 light years away so it would have taken 44 years for the round trip if the aliens could travel at the speed of light. Glieses is a triple star system of red dwarfs and probably does not have a Goldilocks world (Not too hot and not too cold) but if that is the case then to be in the habitable orbit zone the year would be quite short which would play hell on seasons.
If you can put that mistake aside the rest of the movie has a tongue in cheek quality that amuses if you can turn a blind eye to the carnage and total disregard for the laws of physics and safety such as storing live ammunition on a museum ship.
Best throw away line missing from the movie; no one said, "You sunk MY Battleship!"
"Battleship" is a enjoyable movie that should be watched for it's entertainment value alone. There are a lot of plot holes and the Battleship game tie-in is just cute, but there is plenty of action and special effects to make this a "popcorn" movie night standby.
No plot spoilers from me: the movie centers on gifted, but under achieving Navy Lt. Hooper (well acted by Taylor Kitsch), who is facing a less than stellar future. Things definitely change when scheduled War Games get interrupted by alien invaders bent on establishing a foothold in Hawaii.
Over analyzing why the aliens didn't use their vastly superior technology in different ways will take the fun out of this feel good movie. I choose to just enjoy the premise, likable characters, good action, and great special effects.
on May 10, 2015
Stupid painfully not fun cheesy stuff for the first part, but fast forward to the battle stuff - that is great. That's what we bought it for anyhow - husband loves ships and battle stuff. He's a guy! That part was fun.