E – 11? Miss. D5? Miss. K7? Hit! You sunk my Battleship! Come on, admit it – you’ve played it before. Compared to the immersive video games of today the old two-man guessing game seems a little stiff, but it must still spark major excitement in some rich Hollywood types, as it’s inspired an epicly gung-ho, monumentally moronic action extravaganza.
Battleship, Directed by Peter Berg (who has been dubbed ‘the poor man’s Michael Bay’) tells the unapologetically patriotic yarn of Hopper (John Carter’s Taylor Kitsch) a smart young man who, despite his immense potential, squanders his life away blah blah blah… you know; that old chestnut.
His straight-laced brother, a high ranking Navy Captain, in a bid to get Hopper to get his act together, manages to somehow get this criminal-record holder the position of Lieutenant on his Destroyer ship (clearly the Naval HR department was having an ‘off day’ and conveniently forgot the background checks).
Cue the aliens who crash into the sea just off Oahu, Hawaii. But lucky for us mere humans, there just happens to be international Naval maneuvers going on at that very moment in that very place. Time for Hopper to get to his act together and lead his team in a battle on the high seas to sink those aliens before they sink him.
Produced in association with toy manufacturing giant Hasbro, Battleship is extremely Transformer-esque. A shameless spectacle with slatherings of over-the-top humour, Battleship feels very much like Transformers, yet is not nearly as sophisticated story or cast-wise.
The cast is likeable enough and can be forgiven for their clichéd portrayal of their even more clichéd characters. Though seriously; does Kitsch really need to talk that low? Did his voice break at the age of six or something? Cos he is rocking some seriously gravelly baritone vocals.
The special effects confuse: most are jaw-dropping, but they are off-set by occasional, really rubbish CGI
The cinematography is very cool. Fast-paced and swooping, it tells us right from the credits that we are strapped in for a thrill ride – no time to waste standing still!
The music is your usual ACDC/Creedence-fuelled exhibition of rock: So crap but oh so right.
But there are some major inconsistencies in this film. They try so hard to be clear that this is mind-numbing popcorn fodder, yet then they chuck in some intelligent concepts like references to ancient literature and the analogue vs. digital debate – new vs. old.
The climax of the film gives a nod to nostalgia as the heroes turn to crusty old veterans and their obsolete Battleship when their modern Destroyer fails them. Infact, nostalgia plays a significant role – there is even one very cool scene paying homage to the traditional Battleship game.
Despite the oodles of fun this spectacle dishes out, there are some massive plot holes. For one, the aliens are portrayed as fair, only killing those humans that offer a threat through weapons. On many occasions, our heroes ‘left free to go’ after encounters with said ETs. But then we, as the audience, are encouraged to support the humans that are so willingly blowing the aliens to smithereens. Apparently mercy is the role of the invaders, not the defenders.
Battleship is massively moronic. It is cheesy, it is mind-numbing, you laugh at it (not with it)…but hey, it’s fun!
In terms of film-making prowess, it is really a 2-star film, but it gets an extra star for the enjoyment factor. Switch off your brains and enjoy: Battleship rated 3/5