Monday, December 31, 2012

Movie Review: Battleship

Hey all, Counterfett here. It's been an awful long time since I did a proper movie review here. So KE554 and I watched the movie based on Hasbro's famous board game Battleship last night. Man did this movie get panned! I will say I came into it with very low expectations, but since it has been a long time since I watched any movie, I figured one that came on someone else's NetFlix was a pretty good option.

Surprisingly it wasn't that bad. Not to say that it was good, but it's not nearly as bad as many people were making it out to be. What transpired here is a fast paced, low character development romp through several sea battles that result from a completely contrived circumstance. Oh, and because I couldn't find a pic of the movie aliens unmasked, I figured this would work...

Seriously, for those of you who have seen the movie, they pretty much look like Brutes from Halo 3, right? Anyway, here's the pros & cons

  • Explosions. Seriously, this is probably this movie's saving grace. The explosions start early, and carry on pretty fast and furious until nearly the credits. This is as it should be with an acting ensemble of this caliber.
  • Patriotism. There is a bit of good old fashioned flag waving. Not just for the USA, the Japanese are actually portrayed very flatteringly as well. You used to see more of this in war movies, but people seem to think it's not ok to be patriotic anymore. Sorry, off the soapbox now I swear.
  • The game! I seriously did not think they were going to be able to work anything remotely resembling the game in the film, but they did. It was rather well done too, in that I didn't even notice they were doing it until KE554 pointed it out to me. It was a nice bit of tense nail-biting missile flinging as dots on the screen moved and officers barked letters and numbers back and forth. This somewhat reminds me of the rather fun 'first person shooter' scene from the end of the DOOM movie.
  • The Acting. It was pretty universally bad. Rihanna might as well have been carved from oak. The main character (who I referred to as Eddie Veder Jr. as I was not willing to learn his name) was just annoying. In fact the best acting came from the aforementioned Japanese character. Who seemed to barely speak English. Even Liam Neeson was pretty disappointing. But honestly, this is a movie to watch for explosions and CGI, not voice talent.
  • The Writing. I try not to nitpick, but there were serious logical and plot holes in this movie. Big enough to drive the title conveyance through, actually. 'Nuff said.
While the above seems pretty damning, it feels like Battleship delivered where this type of movie needed to...explosions, schlocky patriotism, and campy humor. If, like me, you like ships and missiles and cannons and aliens (if you are reading this you probably do), and you can for a minute not take yourself too seriously, you might want to check this one out on Netflix. You might have some fun.

Oh, and take my word for it, you should have some chicken burritos handy. The power of suggestion is a curious thing.


Rod Thompson said...

Speaking as someone who drove ships for a dozen years, one does not simply drop the hook and put 45,000 tons of steel into a skid; especially with 30 feet of it below the waterline.

That was good for a belly laugh when I went to see it in the theater with our current DM, another old shipdriver.

It was nice to see "poor, dumb blackshoes" getting some Hollywood love, but other than the way they worked in the game. All of the Navy related scenes were farces.

CounterFett said...

Yeah, my wife and I had a pretty good laugh about when they threw the engines in reverse and it suddenly started going backwards.

But then, much better movies have been guilty of this as well. The sub in Red October coming to a full stop jumps to mind.

Tomsche said...

I liked three minutes a lot in the movie, being the AC/DC veterans part when they launch USS Missouri. Only to have that smacked in a moment by the anchor slipping manouver of said battleship...