Friday, October 5, 2012

Battleship (2012)

Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a screw-up. He’s broke, sleeps on his brother’s couch, and of course, Alex doesn‘t have a job. But Stone (Alex’s brother) is sick of Alex’s laziness, and after a stern demand from his older brother, Alex joins the Navy. As a Commander, Stone (Alexander Skarsgård) keeps a close eye on his younger brother.

Eventually, Alex rises to the rank of a Lieutenant, but his relationship with Samantha Shane (Brooklyn Decker) might cause some problems. Samantha is the daughter of Admiral Terrance Shane (Liam Neeson). The Admiral is a strict man, and he won’t tolerate reckless behavior. Alex wants to marry Samantha, but first, he must ask for the Admiral’s permission. A brief scuffle with a fellow shipmate might jeopardize Alex’s job in the Navy, and his chances with Samantha, but Alex will have to face bigger challenges. An alien invasion threatens Earth, and after a series of tragic deaths, Alex becomes the Commanding Officer of the USS John Paul Jones. Alex must rise to the rank of a leader, learn responsibility, and he must find a way to defeat the alien attackers.

Peter Berg loves flashy special effects. Berg is the director for this film, and you will see his obsession for CGI and explosions here. Storytelling takes a backseat, because Berg tries to mesmerize the audience with a bunch of unnecessary and over the top effects. Berg’s Michael Bay approach did surprise me here. I’ve seen a good amount of his films (Very Bad Things, Hancock, The Rundown, and The Kingdom), but I never noticed an uncontrollable urge to abuse special effects. I didn‘t expect this approach from Berg, and his style for Battleship did surprise me.

Taylor Kitsch is a competent leading man. Samantha has some brains, but Brooklyn Decker is just eye candy for the most part. As expected, Liam Neeson delivers the best performance in this film, and Alexander Skarsgård is decent enough. Rihanna was okay at best. She plays this bad-ass tomboy, but I couldn’t take this character seriously most of the time. Overall, the acting is pretty solid. Liam Neeson provides a strong presence as a recognizable veteran, and this cast actually features a few likeable characters.

Battleship is your typical Hollywood summer blockbuster. An overload of unnecessary special effects, noisy battle scenes, a barrage of clichés, and you can see the predictable “good guys triumph” ending coming from a mile away. Battleship is garbage, but more importantly, it’s enjoyable garbage. Battleship is a fun popcorn flick, filled with mindless entertainment. If you go into this film expecting some sort of action/sci-fi masterpiece, you will be very disappointed, it’s that simple. Battleship has received a lot of hate from critics and moviegoers this year, but I’m in the minority of supporters, because Battleship is my guilty pleasure for 2012.

Final Rating: 6/10

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