Battleship (2012)

When I first heard that this unnecessary flick (ie ‘cash grab’), based on one of the most simplistic board games of my childhood, was being given the ‘big screen’ treatment, I didn’t know how to feel. On one hand, it could’ve been a smart and harrowing tale of WW2 naval combat using todays special effects technology to effectively deliver an exciting and large-scale take on a sub-genre of the ‘war movie’ that we really haven’t been privy to yet…or it could have become…THIS. Battleship sucks…and actually manages to suck worse that I feared it would. Whoever it was, at Hasbro, that thought that this ‘script’ would actually be some sort of cinematic ‘hot property’ should be tossed in the sea…and then run over by a battleship driven by sharks! Seriously…aliens? I don’t seem to remember them from my memories of yesteryear. Why wouldn’t actual naval combat work? Why the need to spruce it up with friggin aliens?! However, truth be told, the aliens actually were the most interesting thing about this puddle of dreck. Strangely, this colorful turd manages to maintain a subtle air of subversiveness in that WE (namely the US Navy…go figure) are the aggressors; the catalyst to the hostilities. The aliens turn up on our doorstep because we took it upon ourselves to blast a damn powerful laser ‘signal’ at their unsuspecting planet and they’ve come to either a) say ‘wassup?’ b) ask us to turn the volume down or 3) share their cosmic knowledge in the name of interstellar brotherhood. Bottom line is that when they turn up, war is not their first agenda. It’s only after one of their ships accidently nukes itself colliding with a satellite, while entering our atmosphere, that things take a turn for the worse. Then the US gets all up in their face and fires first, leaving the aliens no choice but to defend themselves. Hell, for a big chunk of the movie, I really did find myself rooting for the ‘invaders’. Added to which, the dialogue and acting here sucks whale testicles….which made me even more hopeful for a bloody human massacre. This script reduces capable actors to high school-level cliche’s and I have to wonder what kind of head trauma the director, Peter Berg, may have recently suffered. The others films of his that I’ve seen I’ve really enjoyed; flicks like Very Bad Things, The Kingdom and yes, even Hancock worked for me. But here, he’s going at it like Michael Bays idiot yokel cousin. With a couple MINOR tweaks, this could totally be Transformers 4 (gawd help us!)…right down to a bunch of the sound effects and the ‘over-cooking’ of certain effects sequences. Don’t get me wrong…some of the visuals are surprisingly strong but they are so few and far between that they don’t really help. And speaking of not really helping, there are a couple sub-plots at work here that had no business being at this party. Like the one that follows the moron main characters supernaturally hot, big-titted blond physiotherapist girlfriend and her stoic black double amputee patient as they trek up the side of a Hawaiian mountain, a mountain that JUST HAPPENS to be home to the devastating laser signal generator that started all the ruckus in the first place. Gee…do ya think that the pesky aliens might turn up there? Do ya think that the stoic token minortiy character is going to get the chance to prove he’s still a man (damn it!) in a mano-a-alieno head-to-head ‘dust up’? You betcha!!! And then there’s Rihanna. (face palm). The less said about that idiotic pop tart dumbass the better…except maybe “fuck you, Rihanna”. I mean, where’s Chris Brown when we need him?!! A joke in bad taste? Yes…but then again, so is this ludicrously-budgeted piece of shit ‘movie’. There are so many other pieces of fecal flotsam bobbing around in the toilet bowl that IS this flick…like the magical senior citizen veterans that beam in right when their old-school expertise is needed the most….the not so subtle forced teaming of the Japanese and American navies (um…WW2 was a while ago, guys)…the riduculous plot twist that exposes the invaders secret, not so hidden weakness (from a picture of a Leopard Gecko? Really?!)…to a whole slew of little elements of pure genius (yep, HEAVY sarcasm) sprinkled throughout. This one was a colossal blunder…but it does make for a fun heckling session…hell, it practically BEGS for it. So it you have a strong stomach and a reduced level of self-respect…check it out ( I hear weed n beer help). But if you’re better than that and opt to pass Battleship by…you’re not missing a thing.

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