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Sunday, 20 May 2012


About The Movie:
Battleship is a special-effects-heavy movie invented to extend the brand of a commercial board game — suitable for ages 7 and up! — in which two players move imaginary boats around a simple grid. Under the direction of Peter Berg — the talented, ever-maturing filmmaker behind Friday Night Lights and The Kingdom — Battleship is a sound vessel floating in Hollywood's oil-slick sea of Transformers sequels and vampire riffs. The object of the original game is simple: Attack an opponent's ''fleet'' through a combination of mental strategy, deductive logic, and luck. The movie doesn't forget these low-tech roots. There's a nifty sequence in which sailors track incoming alien fighters using similar X-marks-the-spot skills. But before getting to the hardcore blow-'em-up portion of the humans-versus-aliens warfare entertainment, we are given time to invest in the relationship between Stone Hopper (True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård) and his younger brother, Alex (Taylor Kitsch from TV's Friday Night Lights) — the former a courageous Navy officer of great character, the latter a corner-cutting showboater who is about to have his character entirely re-welded through the Navy challenges that await him. 
What Is Good About The Movie:

(Kitsch does an admirable, controlled job of steering his character from screwup to leader.) We understand that Alex loves a bombshell physical therapist named Sam (Brooklyn Decker), and that Sam happens to be the daughter of crusty U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson, barking but not biting). We see the emotional-zeitgeist logic in the special interest that Sam has taken in the physical rehabilitation of an Army veteran and amputee, authentically played by real-life Army vet and amputee Gregory D. Gadson. We appreciate the pop culture traffic jam that has musical glam girl Rihanna passing muster as a tough (yet cool!) fellow sailor. And we know to keep an eye on the conflict that rumbles at first between Alex and a Japanese officer (Tadanobu Asano) because Japanese-American hurts and fears left over from the real Pearl Harbor will be worked out before the movie is over for the benefit of boomers and assorted granddads in the audience.
What Is Bad About The Movie:
NASA fires some radio messages out into space. Some aliens attack Earth. We really don’t know what they want, but what the fuck does it matter? The writers didn’t care; the director didn’t care; the core audience for this movie won’t care. Why? Because…explosions. Explosions and Brooklyn Decker’s tits. Battleship represents everything that is wrong with Hollywood: It’s loud, it’s dumb, it’s obnoxious, and it’s expensive. 
Taylor Kitsch plays a shiftless good-ole-boy all American fuck up until Brooklyn Decker’s gigantic breasts walk into his bar one night. He finds himself smitten. Thirty minutes later, he’s an officer in the U.S. Navy and battling invading aliens in order to win daddy Liam Neeson’s approval in perhaps the most valiant effort to get laid in the history of the world.
The casting of Rihanna, however, is not only an insult to all of the legitimately talented and struggling African American actresses in Hollywood who would sell their souls for a speaking role in a non-Tyler Perry movie but an insult to every woman in the U.S. Navy as well. Hundreds of known and unknown actresses in Hollywood could ably fill the role of a tough-as-nails sailor. Rihanna isn’t one of them. If all that’s standing between the survival of the human race and extinction at the hands of a hostile alien species is Rihanna, just give me a loaded pistol so I can off myself ahead of time.
Discerning cinema goers deserve better, too. If you have to see a movie this weekend, do what everyone else is doing and see The Avengers for the fourth or fifth time instead.
  Overall Grade:

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