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Battleship: Cheesy but End-Of-The-World Fun

Director: Peter Berg
Screenplay: Erich Hoeber, search Jon Hoeber
Release Date: May 18, doctor 2012
Actors: Taylor Kitsch, read more Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna and Liam Neeson

Unfortunately for Taylor Kitsch, it hasn’t been a very good year in terms of film success. With the flop of John Carter, I’m not sure Disney wants to hire Taylor Kitsch for another movie any time soon, but viewers are given another chance to give Taylor a try by one of this summer’s earlier blockbuster movie “Battleship”. I’ve been asked whether or not it is based on the board game, and well, the answer is “yes”. Having been out for a month (or so?) in other parts of the world, I’m sure there are other reviews, but I’ll add another one to the bunch.

“Battleship” is not going to win any awards, but if you don’t expect anything more than popcorn fare, spectacular theatrics and a cheesy script, “Battleship” is for you. As someone who watches the Syfy produced sci-fi movies, knows they’re bad but watches and laughs anyway, admittedly “Battleship” is in the ballpark of being almost ten times better than the Syfy fare. Mostly in part due to the amazing graphics of the battleship and alien aircraft scenes.

In similar fashion to those Syfy movies, “Battleship” is an alien invasion film, in which the inhabitants come from a land similar in make-up to earth and for some reason or another, has invaded the U.S. to utilize their communications systems and satellites from Pearl Harbor. Taylor Kitsch plays dead beat Lieutenant Alex Hopper who is willing to go the distance to win a girl’s (Brooklyn Decker’s Sam) heart by getting himself arrested but has no self discipline in keeping himself straight to stay within the navy. His brother Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skaarsgard) is the opposite, who is well behaved and well looked upon within the navy. Liam Neeson plays Five Star Admiral Shane as well as Sam’s father (of course). During a training course west of Pearl Harbour, Alex Hopper and the rest of the battleships (including Japan’s) find themselves in a rather precarious position while the aliens invade. They can’t get out, and no one else can get in.

As with most blockbusters, there are always a few loopholes and things that don’t quite fit in the scheme of the story, but looked past since a tight nit story is not the point of these kinds of films. Taylor Kitsch has always reminded me of Timothy Olyphant, but he has so far not shown the range of talent that Olyphant displays in his film. Kitsch has only two expressions it seems – intense and somewhat goofy intense. He is well liked enough, but nothing about his character really stands out.

How is Rihanna? That’s the question I’m sure everyone is curious. She’s surprisingly… not bad. As a supporting role and given what she has to do, she does a decent job. My favorite scenes are when Alex Hopper and Captain Yugi Nagata (Tadanobu Asano) work together to save the world, and when Seaman Jimmy Ord (Jesse Plemons) makes some remark or another resulting in some laughter from the audience.

The aliens are pretty well done in their creepy reptilian fashion with their Cylon-like costumes. The best invention that they came up with were the Transformer-like spiky red balls. Okay, so it’s not a very scientific term, but when you see them on screen, it’s one thing that will frighten you because of the way it destroys everything in its path. One might not understand why they destroy what they destroy, but, as a viewer, I went with it. I thought the many tie-ins to the board game were rather clever, but I won’t name what they were otherwise that would spoil some of the fun discovery if you played the game and plan on watching the film.

Sigh, I wrote a lot more but was lost in the ether. Anyway, the short of it is if you’re looking for a fun SciFi popcorn flick without much expectation and know that the script is weak, as are the characters, then I think one will get exactly what they’re hoping – a standard summer blockbuster. I had fun. I hope that at least Taylor Kitsch has a more successful film out of this one than “John Carter”.

Recommended, as long as you know what you’re in for. 2 Buoys / 5 Buoys

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