Battleship - Review

How can anyone NOT think "ehhhhhh Transformers...ehhhh..Battle L.A." when seeing the "Battleship" trailer for the first time. The resemblance is stunning. A CG-extravaganza of such a scale with such a great cast like RIHANNA can only mean that this bombastic picture will top the box office...because some people just can't get enough of explosions and bad actors i guess -.-

But no wait! "Battleship" is actually based on the popular children's game of the same name....yeah...that's pretty much like saying "Wall Street" is based on "Monopoly" -.-

Anyway, the question now isn't whether "Battleship" is any good or not, but more like: is it worse than a Michael Bay movie or not?

The plot:
Based on the popular naval combat game, "Battleship" is the story of an international fleet of ships who come across an alien armada whilst on a Naval war games exercise. An intense battle ensues over sea, land and air.(source: IMDb)

Well, there's really not much to add to the overall plot. The plot is as thin as it gets, even making "Independence Day" look incredibly complex in comparison. It's a typical alien invasion story, that borrows heavily from other well known alien flicks like "Independence Day", "Battle L.A." and most notably "Transformers".
Being inspired by ideas of other big movies is nothing bad, but delivering so little own originality is just a disgrace.
Additionally, neither good, meaningful character backstories nor any build-up to the actual invasion at all are given. The aliens just happen to land on Earth at some point, starting the action. Hell, even Roland Emmerich did a better build-up!

The rest of the movie (honestly) consists only out of the military shooting at the aliens with bigger and bigger and bigger guns. Once in a while the movie tries to establish some weird and stupid strategies once in a while, but those do barely count as "military tactics". Nothing more. Not even a shred of real atmosphere is created in between all the explosions.
But really...did you expect anything else?

And by the way, if the U.S. Navy really would behave and act as undisciplined and retarded as they do in the movie, then goodbye USA.

The acting department contains the biggest flaws of the entire movie (next to the script).
Well, to be fair, Taylor Kitsch still makes for a fairly sympathetic leading character who once in a while does deliver an "okay" joke that'll make you smirk a bit but it's no comedic gold. He is the actor that is held back by the terrible script the most.
Another big star in the movie is Liam Neeson. First i thought "Well, oh boy, he either makes really good movie or really embarassing ones.".
It was only after i saw the entire movie, that i recognized that he gets extraordinarily little screentime. He is probably only on screen for a total of 10 min! One will immediately realize that "Battleship" is nothing more to him than a quick cash-grab. He can barely be counted as an "actor" in this movie, rather than an extra.
Well, i guess he has to pay his bills and taxes too.

But just as expected, the worst performance by a lightyear comes from Rihanna's pseudo-Michelle-Rodriguez-wannabe-badass-character Raikes. As if ANYONE would buy that someone like her belongs to the Navy! With all her tattoos and everything she is so incredibly miscast that it hurts to watch. While her appearance is completely motivated by self-promotion, they could have just as well cast Mariah Carrey. It would have made no difference. Rihanna's sole job in the entire movie is just to say "Boom!" or some stupid punchline once in a while.

There's barely anything interesting to say about the bland characters. None of them are given a good background story or anything else making one of them stick out (except Taylor Kitsch's character maybe a little). With that said, in "Battleship" you are COMPLETELY dealing with stereotypical characters, that could easily just be from straight-to-DVD B-movies like "Sharktopus".

From horrible acting, let's get to the horrible script. The dialogue is awful and almost entirely consists out of punchlines or nonsense speeches, that most of the time are so f**king overreacted, it's either embarassing or just plain hilarous to watch. How else could you describe lines like: "They attacked Hong Kong, Scotland, France, Germany AND EVEN IOWA!".
Furthermore, despite the constant explosions and madness going on, the movie tries to keep things constantly funny with stupid one-liners or lame jokes. 98% of the comedy is just so ridiculously lame, it's pretty much written by a 5-year-old.

Of course, most of the effort is put on the CG effects. But were they worth it?
While the CG admittedly looks pretty impressive, it's no more impressive than the effects from "Battle L.A." or "Transformers".
With the constant effects everywhere, you can clearly see where all the budget went. But with all the transforming aliens and constant explosions, there's just no space to breath for a moment once the action gets going or atmosphere to be built up. Clear case of just CG-overkill.

Overall, "Battleship" is exactly what the trailers show you: one BIG overlong CG extravaganza with more explosions and characters you don't care about than you can count.
Despite the fact that "Battleship" turned out to be exactly what i expected, i am still honestly astonished how much this movie resembles a Michael Bay ("Transformers") flick. It's full of CGI-overkill, explosions, a thin plot, lame jokes, clicheed stereotypical characters, military propaganda and too much rockmusic.
Yet still, I have to say that Michael Bay's flicks are just much better produced and the action much better depicted and handled than in "Battleship". I mean even "Transformers" had ACTUAL explosions happening and not fake CG explosions all the time!
Making a crap movie is one thing, but copying a crap movie is even worse. Especially if you (Peter Berg) have no originality to boot!

If you like completely braindead CG-extravaganza movies a la Michael Bay, then this definitely is for you. And admitted, sometimes everybody wants to shut-off and just watch some stupid movie with nice explosions...but when even Michael Bay does deliver a better movie than you...then you got problems.
For everybody else, stay away as far as possible from this sinking ship, "Battleship".

Final Verdict: 2 out of 10

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