“Battleship” (2012)


OK, first of all, yes, this movie has more holes than the surface of the moon. Some of the plot points, tactics, technical gaffes, etc. etc. etc. are so bad and stupid as to be insulting. Seriously, if you are up on your military technology at all it’s best to go to this movie seriously drunk so that you won’t care about the dumbness. For instance, and I’m not giving away anything vital here: taking out the bridge of an alien cruiser with 2 M82 sniper rifles and direct sunlight. No, I’m not kidding.

That said, it’s actually a pretty fun movie. And, yes, I think it’s better than “Battle Los Angeles” or even the latest “Transformers”. Why? Because this movie didn’t make the same critical mistakes of trying to have Acting in the damn film. Nothing slows down a good action flick like a damn love story in the background, or the hero dealing with his feelings or his redemption or whatever. Or, worse still, putting whiney brats in the line of fire. Battleship had none of that – just a bunch of thick-headed do-gooders doing what they do best and not really learning a whole lot about anything, including themselves, in the process.

Another thing I like is that there is an appreciation for the warships and the people who serve on them. The timing of the ACDC music for the going-into-battle scene is perfectly done. You can’t help but smile. Battleships are something from an age long gone by. Missile cruisers and aircraft carriers can do so much more damage quicker and more economically. But there’s something unmatched about a 16″ gun accurately shooting 2500 pounds of death out to a range of 20 miles. It’s pretty useless for modern naval combat, but for beating up coastal targets, that kind of direct-fire support is pretty tough to beat.

The alien technology is actually pretty imaginative and the animation is good. It’s not as over- the-top as Battle LA – where there was so much going on you get overwhelmed. But when the aliens want something blowed up, they do so with conviction. Mind you, some of the technical deficiencies of the alien technology will leave you wondering how these creatures managed to cross a galaxy. But try not to worry about that – the writers sure didn’t.

The cast is OK. Neeson is decent as the admiral or whatever, and even Rihanna does an acceptable job (and manages to stay in character and in uniform … not that she’s bad looking, but her outfits are a blatant publicity stunt and I’m glad the director kept that in check). We’re not talking about “Apocalypse Now” kinds of performances, but it wasn’t horrible either. It was at least semi-believable.

Look, this ain’t no “Bedford Incident”. But it’s a pretty decent way to kill a couple hours and snarf down some popcorn. This movie doesn’t pretend to be realistic. Hell, in the credits it’s “Based on the game by Hasbro,” so go in prepared and enjoy.