In a world where Hollywood is running out of things to re-make, someone gets an idea to make a movie about a game that had no story to begin with. Hasbro must think pretty highly of itself now after the financial success of Transformers that they could make this movie. Was there too many plot holes in the Connect Four script?
The Movie Issues boys are back with another Dual Review and they want to sink this year’s Battleship!
First and foremost Battleship isn’t a terrible movie. It’s that special cookie cutter formulaic movie making that makes people what to go to the theater and shut their brains off for 2 hours and watch a bunch of shit blow up. And in that, the movie is very successful. If you like going to a movie that has loud noise, over-the-top-action and a Michael Bay style of movie making then go buy your ticket, because then this is the movie for you. This is the “America F@&K YEAH” movie you have been waiting for.
Now just to clear things up: This isn’t a great movie, but enjoyable never the less. The issues to be had with the movie itself come from mediocre direction by Peter Berg. Having some success with directing other movies such as 2003s The Rundown and 2008s Hancock. He should know what he’s doing with action movies. But this movie hold itself so close to the to the formula of simple filmmaking: Black and white, good vs. evil, something blows up, funny dialogue, some else blows up, etc. It writes itself, and we’ve seen it done better and bigger in other movies. So it brings up the question? Why was this made?
Simply put, people like to watch American kick ass and take names. And that’s were I think this movie is a complete victory. It takes the American Navy and shines a light on our would be hero: Alex Hopper played by Taylor Kitsch. Our “In wrong place, wrong time complete mess-up but could be more if he just applied himself more”. Being protected by his “big hearted older brother who is always there to get him out of his jams”. Played by True Blood’s Alexander Skargard. The filmmakers are definitely pulling at American’s heartstrings by using real sailors and an Army War Veteran be major character and having him kick some major ass. Much respect and honor to all those men and woman who helped make the movie.
The cliché on the movie is so played out it’s almost painful. But as said, it works for what the filmmakers are going for. Throw in our funny sidekick crew, a very sexy girlfriend, the tough talking Rhianna, killer aliens and stern but sensible Liam Neeson. Combine all of that and you now have the baby, which is the unholy progeny of Battle L.A. and Transformers 1-3. Over all not the worst movie ever made, but not the best either. In the state of the world right now people like to go to the movies and have a good time. Forget their troubles for a little while and watch a bunch of shit blow-up and Battleship is that good time for a certain number of people. During the movie itself the audience at several times clapped, cheered and generally had a damn good time. To be honest at the end of the day doesn’t matter how good or bad a movie is. If you had a good time is all that matters.
Battleship was a game that has a lot of problems that makes it boring and leaves players looking for answers, that’s why we always cheat. This movie is much of the same with its dull story and many boring plot points. What the movie does have is spaceships, explosions, and pretty people saving the day. Leland’s right in saying that Battleship is not a bad movie, it is in its purest form a popcorn movie for the summer season.
My issues with this summer blockbuster though is its failure to make me care. The only exception to this is Alexander Skarsgård who endearingly plays the loving older brother to Taylor Kitsch, the slacker with a heart of gold. Everyone else comes off as just shy of a 3 dimensional character. Credit should be given to honored war veteran Gregory D. Gadson though for his acting debut as a solider who’s still a hero when the time calls for it. His story is relatively short but inspiring. No one else in the movie can provoke such a heroic response from the crowd.
Another large issue with the film is its protagonist, who the hell are they? Yes, they are aliens but viewers are never really given much more than that, a motive would of been nice at least. We are once given a glimpse, but that information is never touched on again and the movie continues as normal. Only thanks to a Jeff Goldblum moment by Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights), which feels like a stretch, is a relatively minor weakness found in the unnamed alien invaders and the tides get turned in the Earth’s favor.
In the end the bad guys are bad for no reason, and we’re the good guys, ’nuff said. If you’re looking for real struggle or an overcoming of insurmountable odd, Battleship ain’t your movie. If you want to enjoy a big effects blockbuster that’s action packed and safe for the kiddies than Battleship is what you’re looking for. Afterall, the U.S. Navy approves.