Alright, let me get this out-of-the-way… If you are going to see Battleship to see Liam Neeson be a badass Captain, then turn right around and go see another movie, because while Liam Neeson is in the movie for a total of about seven minutes, he is not involved with the main fight at all. Now if you are going to see Battleship, because you are curious what Transformers would look like at sea, then sure…. give it a go.
Hit the jump for the full review.
So… The first thirty minutes of Battleship have a lot of talking, military stuff, and no aliens or explosions. A new planet has been located that could sustain life on it. Despite the fact the in real life we find possible candidates for this all the time, movie NASA felt it important enough to make a satellite to send a giant space signal that says “Hellloooooooo!” every five minutes to this newly discovered planet. The planet is called “Planet G“… “Planet G-6”. MmmHmmm, they went there.
After this you will be introduced to the main character in a bar as he talks to his brother. The camera will be extremely dramatic and pan left and right for no apparent reason during this. Ignore that. The definition of “Typical blonde” walks in and the main character goes all crazy over this and is like, “I want to get laid… I will go hit on her“. This leads to her wanting a chicken burrito, but the bar’s kitchen is closed. So he runs across the street, breaks into a gas station through the roof (nearly killing himself) and smashing almost three aisles of merchandise. He comes running and screaming out, burrito in hand, and gives it to the woman as the police arrive and tazer him. Then they hook up and become lovers. I couldn’t make this up if I tried! While this scene was entirely non-believable, it was really entertaining.
The next day, his older brother is all raging and nearly foaming at the mouth as he screams, “That girl is the Master Sergeant’s daughter, blah blah blah, I know you are a deadbeat but now you are ruining my life too (Because he is in the Navy), blah blah blah, well guess what? You are joining the Navy!“. Putting up zero protest to being enlisted in the Navy, despite being in his late twenties and capable of making his own decisions, he joins the Navy.
Fast forward a bit and they have been happily together for a while, her dad is Liam Neeson, they want to get married and he has to ask his permission, but oh no’z, Liam Neeson doesn’t like him!! How could he possibly win Liam Neeson’s approval? Cue alien attack.
When the aliens finally show up, they destroy a lot of Hong Kong. It is frankly refreshing to see a city other than New York get destroyed in a movie. The aliens arrive with a giant ship-platform-what-the-hell-is-it looking thing and four smaller vessels and immediately release an energy bubble that seals out the majority of the Navy fleet aside from three Destroyers, which our hero happens to be on. The alien ships don’t take kindly to the warning shots one of the Destroyers fires at it, and blows it to tiny, tiny pieces using what are an obvious homage to the pegs from the Battleship board game. They then total the second Destroyer, but leave the one Destroyer alone who is not attacking them. Strange tactic.
The aliens also have giant pinwheels that shoot out onto ground based areas and bore through anything in their path. I’m not sure when in the board game one could fire Transformers-esque pinwheels at people, but I digress. Piloting these alien crafts and pinwheels are what look to be the robots from the car commercial… You know, the one with the dancing hamsters and LMFAO’S “Party Rock” playing in the background. I’m dead serious.
The one thing that bothered me was that the aliens intentions were never clearly explained. Somebody said something about taking over the planet, somebody said extinction, and others said they were just trying to get home. Uh, okay, but “Aliens are attacking to kill us all for no reason” has been over played recently, so I really wish they had at least tried to come up with a plot for them.
The finale is something you can clearly see being set up from the beginning of the film, but it is still enjoyable when it happens.
Speaking of things I liked, Battleship gave an amputee a starring role as a side character and also gave a lot of old Navy vets badass roles near the finale. It was cool to see respect paid to the men and women of the Navy who are sometimes forgotten. There was also a lot of cute humor through out Battleship, but it was never as cheesy as somebody saying, “You sunk my battleship!“. Nobody said that, and I am thankful.
All in all Battleship is one of those movies where the camera spins dramatically around every little thing and there are a ton of CG explosions. The story is nothing new, the acting is nothing special, the special effects have all been seen before, and the dialogue is terrible at times. For this reason I give Battleship a 6 out of 10.
As a special note… You always hear the expression, “He has a mouth like a sailor” when people swear a lot. Battleship is filled with sailors and the worst they say is, “Stupid Nincompoop“. A character really does say, “Stupid nincompoop“. Wow. Just wow.