Battleship is a 2012 sci-fi action film, "based on" (ie "named after") the board game of the same name. It stars Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna (in her film debut), Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker, and Alexander Skarsgård.
When aliens arrive during the biennial RIMPAC naval exercises and erect an enormous forcefield over Hawaii, a rag-tag force of American and Japanese sailors trapped inside the shield must work together to prevent them from signaling reinforcements.
Why It Sucks
- The film has no reason to exist. The original board game has no story or characters, so what would there have been to adapt?
- Clunky character introductions, particularly of the protagonist who has an excessively long scene of him trying to steal a burrito from a gas station to impress the love interest.
- Taylor Kitsch brings no personality to his role and is just kind of there.
- The film is excessively long for its content: the first 20-30 minutes, in particular, are completely unnecessary as everything in them is summarized again right afterwards.
- Incredibly formulaic plot of a loose cannon military officer whose refusal to do things by the book does not sit well with his superiors but turns out to be the exact thing needed in an unusual situation.
- The protagonist never really comes across as anything but a jackass who gets lucky.
- The film feels like it was written by at least three writers, one of whom had created an interesting story about a war with aliens that comes about as a result of a series of misunderstandings, and the other two a pair of stoners who just got a new bong.
- The attempts to integrate elements from the board game, such as the alien ships firing peg-like projectiles, come across as very artificial.
- The one scene that tries to be like the board game doesn't really succeed, since the destroyer crew can actually tell where their target is.
- The scene where the veterans are shown emerging from hiding on the USS Missouri makes them look like some kind of lost tribe who were living on the ship.
- Aggressively stupid tactics by everyone involved.
- The trick of performing a handbrake turn using the Missouri's anchor would actually rip off the ship's bow, and there is no way to remotely sever a ship's anchor chain in the way shown.
- A lot of the cast are military veterans rather than actors. While all due respect should be given to them for their service, it is very obvious that some of them are not particularly skilled when it comes to acting.
- The alien ships are Michael Bay-style CGI creations with far too many details and moving parts and have a very similar art style.
- Having the same composer as Transformers really doesn't help with the feeling of similarity.
- The titular battleship, USS Missouri, is only actually in the film for the final battle scene: all of the other naval battles only involve destroyers.
- The movie contributed significantly to funds to preserve the USS Missouri.
- The alien culture seems kind of interesting, and it would have been nice to see whatever script it was gutted out of in order to shove it into this one.
- The film is much more consistent than any of the Transformers films, with a clear tone: it is thus possible to enjoy it for the big, stupid action movie it is, without being distracted by random horrible character deaths or awkward humor.
- The battle scenes are also well-shot, without the excessive close-ups and shakycam that characterizes Bay films.
- The film is more or less a huge-budget Asylum Film version of itself (not that this stopped them making one too) and is the same kind of daft fun as their movies typically are.
From its announcement, the film was widely mocked for the absurdity of its subject matter, with College Humor mocking it with a fake trailer for a Minesweeper movie.
The film was mostly negatively received, with a 34% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was also nominated for six Razzies, winning one (Rihanna for "Worst Supporting Actress"). The film was a disappointment at the box office, grossing $303 million worldwide on a budget of $209-220 million.
- There is also tie-in a CGW. It is much, much worse.