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Battleship is a witless excuse for a film that spends its two hour running time trying to amaze you with CGI gimmicks ripped straight from Michael Bay. The characters are paper thin and horrifically acted, and every scene with dialogue in it will leave a bitter taste in your brain. Some movies are so bad they’re funny. This movie is only like that for the first few minutes. Soon, however, you realize to your horror that this movie isn’t ending.
Hasbro has inexplicably made a fortune off turning its old toy franchises into multi-million dollar blockbusters. Transformers and G.I. Joe have both seen success on the silver screen, regardless of how terrible the films were. Audiences, it seems, are willing to shell out their hard earned cash to watch directors play with over sized toys for upwards of two hours apiece.
Playing to this strange trend, Hasbro decided to produce a film version of a board game that doesn’t even come with flashy characters or an interesting backstory. Thus, was one of the worst films I’ve ever seen born. Thus, was Battleship wrought upon our planet.
Enter the world of Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch). As a thirty something ne’er do well, he enjoys spending his time living on his brother Stone’s (Alexander Skarsgard) couch. One day, on Alex’s birthday, Stone takes him to the local bar for shots and cupcakes. In the middle of Stone’s “get your shit together little brother” speech, Alex eyes a blonde beauty by herself at the bar. In the typical impulsive fashion of a film version Millennial, he tries to woo the lovely lady by BREAKING INTO A 7/11 TO STEAL A BURRITO FOR HER.
Let me pause my normal plot rundown section to get real with both you, my readers, and Peter Berg, the director of this lifeless blow up doll of a movie. If you’re going to introduce a hero to the audience, even if that hero is at the film’s onset being not so heroic, for God’s sake don’t make him do something so inexplicably stupid that no matter how he tries to redeem himself for the rest of the film he’s only remembered as the asshole who destroyed a 7/11 to procure a burrito for a potential mate. You undermined the duration of the film in one fell swoop, Berg.
In any case, for reasons necessary to move the plot along, the girl now known as Samantha (Brooklyn Decker), falls for the village idiot main character who is now trying to become something resembling a man by joining the Navy with his prone-to-hilariously-overacted-bursts-of-anger older brother. In an uninteresting twist Samantha is the daughter of their boss, Admiral Terrence Shane (Liam Neeson), and now on top of attempting to become an interesting character, Alex must not only overcome his incompetence, but also impress Admiral Shane in a quest for Samantha’s hand in marriage.
To impress the Admiral, Alex is taking part in a giant, multi-national Naval war games competition, where he plans on coming in first place. Already suffering a bitter defeat at the hands of the Japanese Navy during a soccer game, Alex channels his anger into some very shoddy leadership aboard his boat, the U.S.S John Paul Jones. Midway through the games, five objects fall from the heavens and land in the middle of the playing field. One of the objects creates a giant force field that separates Alex, Stone, and their Japanese rival Captain Nagata (Tadanobu Asano) from the rest of their fleets.
Soon, the alien ship begins firing upon the three trapped vessels and the ships they command and a deadly game of explosions and bigger explosions takes place.
In all seriousness, this is one of the most lifeless, joyless pieces of dung I’ve ever seen. There is not one redeeming quality found anywhere within this film. Aside from being a shitty parody of a love child made between a horrific orgy of Transformers, Independence Day, and some good ol’ fashioned gung ho American military bullshit, this film is seemingly written by someone who could only cobble together vague ideas for a movie from a suggestion box filled with insults written by over sugared schoolchildren. Each scene plays out in such a generic fashion that this movie isn’t just predictable, but it makes you feel like a genuine psychic for the almost limitless foresight you will have for the rest of the film’s events, well before they play out.
Each character is as flat and vapid as the scene they inhabit, as every single actor works to give the worst performances of their careers.Taylor Kitsch spends most of his time juggling the simultaneously moronic and strong leader like qualities found in Alex. Unsurprisingly, neither of these traits are represented well and he winds up just being a human MacGuffin that helps the story keep its sluggish pace.
Brooklyn Decker spends the first third of the film as nothing but eye candy with nary a personality in sight, and later becomes a sidekick to an Army veteran with no legs who insists on recklessly being a hero in an attempt to pander to actual veterans who have suffered traumatic injuries on the battlefield. The great Liam Neeson can’t even salvage the scenes he dominates, and just reads his lines.
The CGI effects that are supposed to be the big selling point of this film wind up being underwhelming as if you’ve seen Transformers, you’ve literally seen everything that this movie could possibly offer and more. And I hated Transformers. Slow motion and explosions dominate most of this movie’s action scenes, and sadly, I feel that the reason for this is that the rest of the film is so wholly underwhelming that Berg needed something to try and attract ticket buyers. For the love of all that is cinema, this is a film based off a board game where the pinnacle of excitement is achieved when your opponent mumbles the word “hit”.
This is the worst movie I have seen yet in 2013, and it’ll be a damn hard one to top. I can’t count the number of times that I just wished it would all end, or how many times I thought of goddamn Transformers. Simply, do not watch this garbage. Every time you do, you give Hollywood a big fat green light for them to produce more half hearted, asinine trash like this in a feeble and underhanded grab at your wallet. Don’t support greed. Don’t watch Battleship.