Friday, April 13, 2012

Battleship - Movie Review

Who's in it?

Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna and Liam Neeson

What's it About?

What happens when NASA attempt to make contact with alien life forms in Summer blockbusters? They pay us a visit and try to destroy us, of course. Based (extremely loosely) on the Hasbro game Battleship, the movie centres on the fleet of Naval ships in Hawaiian waters that are charged with stopping the alien invaders. Peter Berg of Hancock fame directs this monumental battle over land and sea.  

Any Good?

The publicity for this movie has been enormous, understandably enough, it having cost an estimated $200 Million to make. If you haven't seen a trailer, poster, bus or tweet about it then you need to get to Specsavers, sharpish. I went along, with an open mind and I'm very glad I did. With a clunking start, Battleship is hugely overacted,  Skarsgård and Kitch in the opening (seemingly neverending) scenes are cringeworthy, even Neeson's scowling begins to grate (unheard of) but once the action starts they can be forgiven, temporarily. 

Epic alien ship is Epic
The plot is all over the place, the performances (of the human variety) putting me in mind of Fair City... Fair City in Hawaii. We didn't see nearly enough of the aliens, which looked pretty cool nor did we ever find out their intention, other than to destroy the most random of objects. There are too many characters of the wooden variety to actually engage but one stand out, for me, had to be Hamish Linklater, whom at one point asked what the entire audience were thinking, 'Who talks like that?'. By the time we were an hour in I decided that, in fact, it's meant to be a clichéd, laugh at themselves, Michael Bay parody and that allowed me to actually enjoy the movie.

Rihanna's actually rather pretty when she puts her chesticles away you know

The descent into farce on several occasions jarred a little though, for example, the old Navy vets on the museum ship. I think they were meant to evoke patriotism and a can do attitude, they put me in mind of Grandpa Simpson & the Flying Hellfish. I spent a good five minutes wondering if they used a stair lift to get them to the Bird's Nest and genuinely expected to hear the famous Battleship line at every turn.

If you're buying your cinema ticket expecting an award winning film or performances, you're going to have a bad time (its nowhere near poor enough for a Razzie either) but if you're looking for a loud, CGI heavy, shoot 'em up, blow 'em and kill the aliens with fire then you're prayers have been answered. I can see Battleship appealing hugely to Transformer loving teenagers but also envisage some demographics that will LOVE it i.e. fans of Taylor Kitch, Michael Bay, Fair City, tongue in cheek, clichéd hilarity, Age Action Ireland and/or Americans. 

All of the above and you, if you're looking for a cheesy, laugh out loud blockbuster.  Grab the popcorn, switch off the frontal lobe, sit back & enjoy.  

PS.. Be sure to stay till the trailers end.


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