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Battleship

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Battleship
Battleship Poster.jpg
A Bayformers film that isn't even directed by Michael Bay himself
Genre: Military
Science-fiction
Action
Directed By: Peter Berg
Written By: Joe Hoeber
Erich Hoeber
Starring: Taylor Kitsch
Alexander Skarsgård
Rihanna
Brooklyn Decker
Tadanobu Asano
Liam Neeson
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Runtime: 131 minutes


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.

Plot

Lt. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a weapons officer aboard the destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while his older brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgård), is the commanding officer of the USS Sampson. Unknown to Alex, Stone or the rest of the U.S. Navy, alien invaders have arrived on Earth with plans to steal Earth's resources. When a confrontation with the invaders knocks out the Navy's radar capability, American and Japanese forces must work together to find a way to save the planet.

Bad Qualities

  1. This movie has no reason to exist mostly because the original board game has no actual story or characters, so what would there have been to adapt?
  2. Clunky character introductions, particularly with the protagonist, Alex Hopper, who has an excessively long scene of him trying to steal a burrito from a gas station to impress the love interest.
  3. Poor acting, especially with Taylor Kitsch, who brings no personality to his role and is just kind of there, and Rihanna, who doesn't do a good job.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Alex Hopper, the protagonist, never really comes across as anything but a jackass who gets lucky.
  7. 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.
  8. The attempts to integrate elements from the board game, such as the alien ships firing peg-like projectiles, come across as very artificial and out of place.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Lots of aggressively stupid tactics are used by everyone involved.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
    1. However, there are a few who give quite decent performances despite their lack of acting experience.
  14. Some parts of the film rip off the Transformers movies:
    • 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.
  15. 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.

Good Qualities

  1. The movie contributed significantly to funds to preserve the USS Missouri.
  2. 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.
  3. The visual effects are impressive.
  4. 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, over-the-top action movie it is, without being distracted by random horrible character deaths or awkward humor.
  5. As stated above, some of the veterans perform very well despite acting for the very first time. One particular example is the double-amputee character, LT. Col. Mick Canales, who is played by Col. Gregory D. Gadson, a veteran who actually lost his legs in combat! It's a shame his talent had to be wasted in a film such as this.
  6. The battle scenes are also well-shot, without the excessive close-ups and shakycam that characterizes Bay films.
  7. The score, despite being similar to the Transformers films, is pretty good.
  8. 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.

Reception

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 and Robot Chicken eventually made a skit out of this film.

The film received mixed-to-negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 34% of 225 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 4.59/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "It may offer energetic escapism for less demanding filmgoers, but Battleship is too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense -- and a lot less fun than its source material.". Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 41 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.

It was 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.

Trivia

  • There is also tie-in a video game). The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions are much, much worse, but the Nintendo versions are surprisingly slightly better than the movie itself.

Videos

External links

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