Fans of literate tasteful cinema beware, Battleship is everything you hate. Like a hybrid of Pearl Harbour, Transformers and Armageddon, Battleship features masturbatory military fetishism, American flags billowing in the breeze, party animals saving the world and scenes of mass destruction delivered at ear destroying, nerve shattering volume.
Add to that one Taylor Kitsch, the man who distinguished himself with a tree stump-like performance in sci fi clunker John Carter, as the alleged hero here. Kitsch plays repulsive git Alex Hopper, a goofy layabout who you just know will have his irresponsible ways set straight by that cure-all the American military. Having somehow become a naval officer, Hopper has the chance to save humanity and impress his hot girlfriend’s (Brooklyn Decker) dad (Admiral Liam Neeson in another disappointing stern-faced role) when aliens launch an attack on earth i.e. America.
When will these slimy, lunk-headed aliens learn that even though they have vastly superior technology that allows them to traverse intergalactic distances we can barely imagine, they’re no march for gun-totin’, wise crackin’ American pretty boys.
It’s not just the youngsters saving the world though. In one of the most preposterous sequences ever, the film takes patriotic silliness into another dimension when a dad’s army of long retired navy vets step up (in slow motion of course) to fight the evil non-Americans, all to the strains of ACDC’s “Thunderstruck”.
For all its cinematic crimes, though, Battleship keeps the action rolling and does so with much greater plot coherence and visual clarity than Transformers. Like Transformers, though, it contains plenty of leering shots of the lead actress, in this case Brooklyn Decker, in minuscule shorts.
The other prominent female in this boys’ own adventure is R’n’B star Rihanna in her film debut. Although she’s the most pouty and heavily made-up sailor in history, she’s actually ok in an amusing and feisty role.
It’s a film inspired by a board game so don’t expect too much but if reasonably exciting, dumb-ass action with a couple of laughs (admittedly unintentional) is you’re bag baby this one is probably for you.
Director: Peter Berg
Released: 12th April 2012
Running time: 2hrs 11min
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