Friday, 22 March 2013

FILM: Battleship (4/10)

Why did I watch it?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I knew this film was going to sink but still, I came at it from an unbiased frame of mind. I don't mind the odd brainless action film from time to time.

What's it all about?
Supposedly inspired by the Hasbro game, think Independence Day meets Transformers with a nautical twist. Does that sound as bad as it does writing it? Aliens attack Earth, landing in the Pacific in the middle of a major training exercise involving American and Japanese navies. The aliens trap three battleships in an impenetrable force field along with three of their own fleet and it is up to troublesome maverick Weapons Officer Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) to lead the planet's defence.  

Should you watch it?
Let's get straight to it, Battleship is a bad bad film. Taylor Kitsch was greatly mocked for starring in this film and John Carter, two of 2012's lesser acclaimed releases but I don't think he can shoulder too much of the blame here. Battleship's faults lie almost solely at the feet of the writers, Jon and Erich Hoeber.

The script is riddled, absolutely riddled with stinking dialogue and the while obviously a certain amount of disbelief is required to even consider watching a film of Battleship's ilk, the plot has some laughable moments. I don't know which was worse, watching a previously decommissioned battleship being started up by a crew of geriatric veterans in no time at all, seeing said ship perform a handbrake turn at full speed by dropping anchor, the cringe-worthy references to The Art of War or seeing Rihanna try to act. Her speech about her father's alien prophecy is the stuff of nightmares. Thankfully for his sake, Liam Neeson's performance as the isolated Fleet Commander is limited.

Battleship....a floater
I was sceptical of how the film might incorporate anything resembling the Battleship game, but the night battle using educated pot-shots at grid references in the style of the board game actually worked reasonably well. The enemy, or more importantly, its odd passive-aggressive, your turn-our turn behaviour, is conveniently never explained.

I know the film is supposed to be action-led, fun and O.T.T. and visually director Peter Berg does nothing wrong but most of the action is pretty stationary and quite repetitive and there is only so much you can forgive a terrible script. Come back Michael Bay, we forgive you for Transformers!

No comments:

Post a Comment