Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this” is a line that will be uttered by Lt. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch).  We’ve all heard that line in movies before, usually preceded by some ominous something or another a character is experiencing, or his sage premonition of something bad about to happen.  But at this point in director Peter Berg’s ‘Battleship’, Lt. Hopper has already seen two naval destroyers decimated by aliens with superior technology, actually met one of the aliens who was unconscious on his ship only to have his homies blow a hole in the hull to rescue him… no alien left behind… but NOW he has a bad feeling.  That’s either really stupid or subtle genius.  After watching the entire movie I’m thinking I’m gonna have to roll with the former.

Anyway, before Alex became a naval officer, we first see him as a loser / slacker living off his brother, Naval Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard), enjoying his birthday at the local bar.  Then Alex sees the pretty girl (Brooklyn Decker), she wants a burrito so he breaks into the local quick-mart to get the girl a burrito, gets tazed and locked up. It’s pretty stupid, which will be a running theme through this movie, but it was funny.  The next thing we know Alex is now a naval officer and he’s sticking his tongue down the pretty girls throat.  I saw ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ and know full well that the navy has some fairly strict requirements for their officers, but apparently all Alex had to do to gain entrance was get a haircut. 

So you know the routine.  Alex is a hothead and a screw up, he does some more stupid stuff, he’s about to be drummed out of the service, but then they arrive.  Just so you know they only came because we sent them an e-vite, locating a planet similar to ours which might hold life and sending them a message, and they took that message as meaning ‘please kill us all’.  Seriously, who thought that was good idea?

Regardless, the aliens have splashed down in our waters with their pimped out warships, they’ve setup a protective barrier for themselves that we can’t get in or out of, they’ve dispatched their amazing weaponry to take out Hong Kong, naval bases, the aforementioned destroyers and all other kind of strategic targets and they’ve also caused Lt. Alex some personal pain and he’s going to make them pay.  Watch it all go BOOM!

So I had heard that this movie ‘Battleship’ was awful.  Simply awful.  It’s not really.  I mean it’s not great or anything, and to be honest it’s not good either, but I did find it tolerable.  And as a reference point I did find it far more tolerable than the second and third ‘Transformers’ movies, if we’re sticking with Hasbro and their game properties, though it doesn’t reach the lofty heights set by the fist ‘Transformers’ film, at least in my opinion. 

So what are you getting if sign up for the ‘Battleship’ plan?  You get a movie that has lots of stuff explode real good-like, you get ILM crafted special effects that are flawless, as per usual, you get performances by a bunch of attractive people which are perfunctory at best and pretty much stay out of the way the explosions, Liam Neeson pops his head in every once in a while to lend some legitimacy to the whole exercise, Rhianna looks a little too adorable to be a hardcore naval officer , no matter how tough they try to make her sound, and Taylor Kitsch was solid as the hero, though I do fear the young man will carry the unenviable distinction of being the headliner in two of the biggest box office disappointments in recent movie history, through no real fault of his own.  Sometimes releasing your movie overseas before the domestic release is great, say like ‘The Avengers’ which probably would’ve survived the worst word of mouth, though the word on that one was mostly positive.  Sometimes releasing your movie first overseas isn’t so smart, since pretty much all anybody heard over here was how crappy it was.  I wonder how difficult it is to release the movie on the same day across the world?

But while ‘Battleship’ is tolerable, it is also plenty stupid.  Debilitatingly so.  You mean to tell me these aliens can jet across the universe at Warp 50, packing the universes most awesome weaponry, but yet they need to use our old archaic stuff to phone back home?  One would think the aliens would’ve decimated every single destroyer they ran across, but yet conveniently let a couple survive because they saw them as no threat.  Despite the big guns and missiles.  But they saw a freeway column as a threat.  These aliens are not very bright.  Like imagine if these dumb aliens had landed somewhere in our vast oceans where there were zero destroyers, then erected their impenetrable barrier?  We’d all be speaking alien now.  I would like to think that the real U.S. Armed Forces would’ve figured out that the aliens were on top of a mountain trying to use our satellites to phone back home and might’ve dropped a missile on them, considering those aliens didn’t have a special force field protecting them, but why bother when we have a hot chick, a nerd and self-pitying injured war-vet looking for his mojo to handle this business?  We thought the movie ‘Signs’ was suspect because the aliens invaded a planet that is mostly water, which they are allergic to, but here we have aliens that are invading planet that is covered in sunlight.  All the time.  And they are allergic it to it.  See what I mean by dumb aliens?  The next of set aliens that invade us will probably be allergic to dirt.  There’s more because this movie is almost wall-to-wall stupidity, but lapses in logic is par for the course in these types of movies, right?

Like I said, it’s not nearly as bad as I heard.  All the negative pre-press did for me was artificially lower my expectations for ‘Battleship’, lowered expectations that this movie was able to meet.  If not exceed.

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