Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Battleship: It could've been worse!

 Some of the early reviews are pretty harsh on this wanna be epic adventure, but I gotta tell you I've seen much worse. G.I. Joe, Aliens VS Predator, Skyline, and the list goes on and on. Peter Berg has made a few good movies. Most of us enjoyed Hancock and this is another trip into the Sci-Fi action genre. The bar is set higher given this is billed as a summer blockbuster so the question becomes, does it deliver ?

 Berg assembles his cast led by Liam Neeson and Taylor Kitsch. Skarsgarrd is a fan favorite and is believable as a by the book Navy Captain. The action is good and special effects are well done. It is an OK story given the premise was based on a game from the eighties or even earlier. In the present day we have discovered away to send messages to planets we believe to be similar to ours. It is this that causes an alien race to land on earth. Enter Hopper a screw up who, after a comical attempt to impress Brooklyn Decker, is forced by his brother (Skarsgarrd) to join the Navy. He becomes a uniformed screw up and is in a relationship with Dekker who is the daughter of a Naval Admiral (Neeson). War games go badly when the aliens attack and Kitsch and his crew become our only line of defense. The alien race has surrounded the Hawaiian Islands with an impenetrable shield. A lone Naval Destroyer is on the inside and Kitsch is its unlikely commander.

 The alien race I found to be cool. Some would say the aliens look like soldiers out of Halo, but I liked the concept. The look of them without armor fits well with the little back story we get on them. I wanted more about them. Where are they from. How did their tech work? Why all the destruction?
Their ships and weapons were cool. The battle scenes were very well done and I give Berg credit for the way they implement the board game into the film. Involving the Missouri is a very nice touch and the way the find the alien weakness is allright.

 I liked a lot of things about this film, but the parts that didn't work for me were big. The cast being the biggest. Dekker is great eye candy, but little else. Rihanna is useless. She is a far better singer than actress. She could've been replaced by any no name actress and it would be the same or better. She is more distraction than added value. Many will disagree, but I am still not convinced the Kitsch is leading man. He was not a strong lead in John Carter and he is average here. Liam Neeson is good, but he doesn't get enough screen time and the same can be said for some of the other cast.

 Battleship wants to be epic so very badly, but it just misses the mark. It isn't a Transformers rip off and it comes with a decent story, but in the end it's not a great summer movie. I didn't want to leave the theatre, but I wasn't cheering out loud like I did when the Avengers assembled.
The movie doesn't sink, but it certainly doesn't hit it out of the park either.

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