Battleship

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Peter Berg
  • Cast:Brooklyn Decker, Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgård
  • Release Date:April 12, 2012
  • Distributor:Universal
  • Running time:132 minutes
  • Film Worth:$10.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Proudly proclaims itself as big, brash and brainless entertainment - and doesn't try any harder.

a9efb9b9a53f69f918f4.jpg

With Hollywood constantly on the search for a new franchise, it seems that a growing numbers of filmmakers behind expensive blockbusters are content - almost proud - to push the fact that they're simply making a brainless slice of entertainment, as if helming a popcorn flick is a justification in and of itself for producing a movie devoid of smarts or soul. But in many cases, this line of thinking simply equates to lazy filmmaking. Blockbusters like last year's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes or some of the better superhero films of late have proven that movies can be huge in scope and commercially successful without sacrificing characters or storyline, or telling audiences to leave their brain at the door. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Battleship falls into the former category of films - one ready to coast on its status as a mindless popcorn flick.

Drawing inspiration from the Hasbro board game (a premise which sadly reeks of the new lengths Hollywood will go to for a quick grab-for-cash), the thrust of the storyline revolves around some type of mysterious alien craft, which anchors itself in the waters of Hawaii after a group of scientists beam a signal into space. Preventing the aliens from launching an all-out invasion is novice navy captain, Alex Hopper (John Carter's Taylor Kitsch), but that's a little troubling considering the first third of the movie is dedicated to revealing what a hopeless case he is. That's evidenced by his stern older brother (Alexander Skarsgard) who enlists him in the navy to instil discipline in him, and the Admiral and father (Liam Neeson) of Hopper's girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker), who can't figure out what his daughter sees in the rebellious young gun.

Chiefly concerned with effects and explosions (and they're relentless), Battleship is a film completely purged of any hint of nuance whether that be in terms of character development, the clunky screenplay or the woeful dialogue (which includes such gems as, "Let's see if we can buy the world another day!" or Hopper's reflection, "I've got a bad feeling about this," - a thought he shares after the majority of navy vessels have been annihilated by alien forces). That said, somehow director Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom) manages to keep the film's head above water and that's largely due to the spunk of his cast. Kitsch never plays Hopper too earnestly, keeping the character's knockabout charm intact throughout. Likewise, Decker and Rihanna (though the latter's never really called on to seriously act) both bring sass to their girl power roles.

With its undeniably preposterous premise, there's a silliness that underlies close to every scene of Battleship (a scene replicating the board game will incite laughs and groans in equal measure). However, it's in the film's climatic moments that Berg seems to outright embrace the absurdity and goes for broke - and it's ironically this that gives the film its best moments. If he's going to make entertainment of the shamelessly mindless kind, at least he has the sense to do it with humour.   

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

Dead But Will Not Lie Down
Dead But Will Not Lie Down

Among the arthouse fare, the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, FILMART, puts up a truly international broad genre offer.

The A Women do Hong Kong
The A Women do Hong Kong

Documentarians hit Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum with proposed film about Chinese educated and independent women

This Week At The Box Office
This Week At The Box Office

'Insurgent' opened strong, and family fare starts its roll out in anticipation of the upcoming school holidays.

HAF 2015 awards its winners
HAF 2015 awards its winners

HAF organisers received over 300 applications for its 2015 edition, which were then narrowed down to the 25 narrative and five documentary projects presented from 16 countries and competing for some of the 13 awards on offer.