Review: Battleship

MICAH'S REVIEW

The film stars Taylor Kitsch as Alex Hopper, a slacker with as much talent as he has recklessness. After doing something charmingly stupid to impress a woman, Alex’s brother decorated Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) is fed up and forces Alex to join the Navy.

Meanwhile NASA scientists have discovered planet very similar to Earth and decide to launch a signal to that planet in hopes of contacting intelligent life. As fate would have it, alien life is discovered and apparently they don’t like being bothered. So in response to Earth’s prank phone call, the aliens decide to send ships in to begin an invasion. It’s up to Alex, and every military stereotype you can think of, to stop this threat.

Peter Berg gives us his best Michael Bay impression and for the most part he delivers. This movie has terrible dialog, extreme patriotism, beautiful women, and a ton of explosions. Yet I couldn’t find myself caring about anything or anyone in the movie. Every character is a copy of something you’ve seen before. Because of this you know how their arcs will play out the moment you meet them. There is a subplot (one of many) involving an amputee that is so contrived that the only emotion I felt was anger at the filmmakers for trying so very blatantly to manipulate me. For me, there was no emotional investment. All this could be forgiven if there was a sense of who the aliens are, but event that is lacking. The aliens have no real reason for invading and they’re not even that interesting to look at.

The one thing positive I can say is that the cast is very diverse. Having multiple races, nationalities, genders, and ages represented in big budget action movies is something I don’t see very often. Its just a shame that such a cast consists of non-actors, first time actors, decent actors who are given laughably bad dialogue, or good actors who I feel are just there for the paycheck.

I cannot stress how much I did not enjoy this movie. I wasn’t expecting much from a board game turned movie but Battleship failed to meet my already low expectations. I wasn’t entertained on any level and cannot recommend this movie.

MATTHEW'S REVIEW

Against my better judgement, I traveled to the theater to see Battleship. Unlike Micah's review mine will be a bit more crass. I will skip the previous details covered in order to get at the heart of the matter.

Have you ever sat in the theater and wished for the movie to end? I mean that feeling where the movie is so bad that you have the urge to get up and walk out, but the hope that it will get better. That was me while watching the god awful movie Battleship. Don't get me wrong, I love the board game. In fact I played it a lot as a child. However, I would rather play the non-electronic version of the board game 1000 times before seeing this movie even once more.

The characters in the film are completely flat as Micah pointed out and the plot is all over the place. I had a hard time determining exactly what the movie was about. One plot point that I can point out is this...Kill the Aliens. Now one might wonder what I mean by this, but given Micah's comment about diversity, I would like to expand on this comment. First of all, Micah spoke about the diversity of the cast. This part is a positive aspect of the film; however, the diverse cast only gets along because they have to band together to get rid of another outside force that is encroaching on the whole planet. Whether on a macro or micro level, the message is aliens are bad. We can all get along if we have another outsider to pin our hatred on.

Number 2, there is no need to get literal with the pegs or the grid of the board game. We get it, it is Battleship. We don't need to be beat over the head with it. We are also beat over the head with the references to WWII and Pearl Harbor.  The movie takes place in Hawaii and a major plot point has to do with the U.S.S. Missouri. According to their website the following is an account of the importance of the Missouri to WWII.

On September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri, representatives of the Allied and Axis powers met in solemn ceremony to “conclude an agreement by which peace can be restored”. Following General Douglas MacArthur’s introductory speech, representatives of the Empire of Japan were directed to step forward and sign the two copies of the Instrument of Surrender. General MacArthur then signed on behalf of all the Allied powers followed by representatives of Allied nations in attendance. General MacArthur concluded the ceremony by saying: “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always. These proceeding are closed!” With those words, World War II was over.

This sentiment is exemplified by the relationship between Hopper and Captain Nagata. They work together to battle a common evil. Yeah for triteness!

My third complaint consists of two words "CHICKEN BURRITO." While I have nothing against the processed treats on a personal level, the damage they do to the overall plot is something I cannot overlook. In fact, what I would argue is that this scene from Harold and Kumar conveys my feelings about the effects of chicken burrito's on the movie more accurately than I can in words. You will have to follow the link. Embedding has been disabled.

Battleshits

If you feel like wasting two hours and 10-15 dollars, go see Battleship. If you want to keep your time but still feel like wasting the money, might I suggest using it as toilet paper. You will get the same effect emotionally as having seen the movie.

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We will talk more indepth on this week's upcoming episode of The Nerdpocalypse podcast