Battleship (2012)

Friday, September 28, 2012


Expected to be a hit in the tradition of Marvel’s superheroes or Disney’s crazy band of Pirates, to say this film was a dud is an understatement. When critics decimate a movie, it all but cements (I haven’t decided if that’s my defiance of arrogant critics or just from pure enjoyment *wink*) that I will enjoy it, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what is wrong with this film (while understanding its not Oscar material). It inspires and excites in a single frame.

Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) has a problem. He is a twenty-six year old who would rather spend his time at bars, cruising through life rather than making something of it, not to mention squandering his intelligence. The complete opposite of his elder brother, Stone (Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd), it's been Stone who has picked up the mess after Alex’s shenanigans time and again. A commander in the Navy, Stone realizes that when Alex’s attempts to impress a girl – a girl who just happens to be Stone’s boss’ daughter, Sam (Brooklyn Decker) land him in jail, it's time for Alex to put his mind to good use, so Stone enlists him in the Navy.

Reaching the rank of lieutenant, Alex is still messing up every opportunity and breaking the rules. The one constant, good thing in his life is Sam. Only trouble is, Alex has a few hurdles to overcome if he has a prayer of marrying the girl, namely her tough-as-nails military father (Liam Neeson). Alex’s future with the Navy looks grim until, he sets about commanding the war games with leadership skills, and those under his command, including Petty Officer Cora “Weps” Raikes (Rihanna), begin to respect him. But obtaining respect isn't going to be Alex's real problem when the fleet comes under attack, a fight for survival begins.

I’ll admit that when the trailers for this first were shown, the interest meter was low. I had no expectations for it and instead of estimating it as being something I wanted to see, I all but forgot about it until seeing it plastered across sale flyers promoting its release to DVD. For those of you who are more like me and don’t know much about this, my perception of this would place this in the category of Transformers  only with more heart a-la The Avengers. If you liked any of Marvel's extravaganzas or enjoyed, Cowboys and Aliens, this is yet another movie you will – in all likelihood, enjoy.


To say I was impressed by this stylish (albeit sometimes “silly”) sci-fi adventure would be an honest confession. If you view this as a fun, sci-fi popcorn flick, it doesn't disappoint. Battleship is one of those movies you expect next to nothing but a good time from, and walk away with a great deal more. The special effects were impressive as was the acting. Each time there was a grand battle sequence, I was constantly impressed by its “believability” (within the realm of the genre) and there was nary a trace of a green screen like so many in this genre often display. Everything is epic and comes across as a tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line in the armed forces. One  moment even gave me goosebumps due to its “powerful” representation of American pride. If there is a flaw in these scenes it would be that one or two drag on longer than they should. The film itself clocks in at nearly two hours and I felt shortening some of the scenes would have been more effective (though the real action doesn’t start until approximately halfway through) to better serve the ending – though it was adorable. Pacing is important to a story and while I am not saying I know the best route, from my personal opinion, the writer could have expanded on some things and tapered others.

The rest of my thoughts on this movie can basically be summed up in one word: fun! There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t being entertained by its crazy but clever premise. The characters are easy to like and above all, we are rooting for them to succeed, although I will warn you that not everyone makes it out of the invasion alive. To be fair, I will also admit that I yelled at Alex a time or two (yes, I literally yelled at him – not just thought it). Being a girl who wants her hero to inspire and truly be heroic, it is hard sometimes to see the hero throw away so much – and that is exactly what Alex does. Flaws and all, he wound up leading a battle that could have been avoided but was one that certainly needed to be defeated. In the end, his courage and newfound leadership was something we can all learn from.

CONTENT: There is very little “bloody violence” though the destructive nature of the film is full of implications and death. Pieces of metal wreck havoc on military bases as do mechanically engineered weapons that set their target course and are undefeatable. Creepy looking aliens terrorize victims [again, no blood]. One scene does show soldiers being pulled from the water with bloody gashes; elsewhere characters engage in some hand-to-hand combat as well as using weapons to destroy their enemies. Sam wears some inappropriate clothing and there is mild profanity but nothing worse than sh*t or da*n. Alcohol consumption is present nearer the beginning of the film, which is rated PG13.


  1. Ah, this is one that I scratched off of my to-see list when I saw the trailer. My first initial thoughts were, "They've turned a fun game into a movie???"

    Glad you enjoyed it though!

  2. I'll rent it eventually just for Liam Neeson...

  3. There is some nice eyecandy in it to keep it afloat.

    Just saw Looper.

  4. Rosie - ah! I can totally understand that mentality. I feel that way about some films and even didn't pay much mind to this until it came to DVD when all the sudden I "had" to see it. :-)

    Using a game for a movie... yeah, that doesn't inspire confidence, I'll admit to that. Still... I was surprised by how good this was. It is silly yes but from my impressions, no goofier than Transformers (haven't seen those).

    Charity - as always, Liam is a wonderful actor. I haven't seen him in a bad role yet. (His last scene was fabulous - cute even. :-D)

    Meg - well... there IS that, too. ;-)

    Thanks so much for dropping by - do so again sometime. :-)


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