Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard
Michael Bay’s new film Battleship….err…sorry, Michael Bay didn’t direct Battleship. But you wouldn’t know that from seeing the trailers, or watching the actual movie. The real director, Peter Berg, seems to have a Bay fascination (note to Peter Berg…aim higher dude). Bay himself might even start to wonder if he actually directed this movie. No wait, he wouldn’t think that because he would realize that his movies aren’t as good as Battleship. So did I like Battleship? Do I like staring at a 20 foot screen while bursts of exploding light and sound penetrate my senses? Well, that depends.
In reality, Battleship’s DNA has more in common with Independence Day. Aliens come to earth, want to take over earth (or so is perceived, that wasn’t really explained, more on that later) and we, the human race find the will and the spirit to overcome when we are clearly outgunned. The Will Smith of Battleship, Taylor Kitsch, doesn’t have the charm of Big Willie, but he is our protagonist and gosh darn it, Brooklyn Decker likes him. Taylor’s Alex Hopper is a bit of an underachiever and decides to enlist in the Navy, where his brother Stone (Alexandar Skarsgard), is a commander. How do we know this? Well one scene Taylor is arrested for trying to retrieve a chicken burrito for Brooklyn Decker’s Samantha Shane, the next he’s a Lieutenant in the Navy. Thanks for not getting us involved in all that icky character development Pete. Only distracts us from watching shit blow up.
The only real thing about this movie is showing the Navy involved in RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise, which is a occurrence every even year when a military forces from different nations conduct military exercises in the Pacific Ocean) Alex and Stone are involved with their respective ships, along with Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson, in what might be the worst use of an actor of Liam’s stature…ever). Then the aliens arrive. Why did they show up? Well, we sent a signal to what is supposedly their planet and since they clearly can’t interpret that we just want to be pen pals, show up. Then, just like Han Solo, we fire first, they fire back and Battleship goes into sensory overload.
Even though we can deduce as to why the aliens have arrived, it’s always nice to have that nerdy Jeff Goldblum type to give us a quick overview as to the code he has cracked and the aliens ultimate plan The aliens in Battleship really have no game plan. They show up looking more human than alien, wear updated Robocop armor, say nothing and try to send a communiqué back home. For all we know they were just letting their peers know “Hey, the vacation is going great, wish you where here! Stopping off at this place called Earth. According to AAA, they have the best bed and breakfasts”.
The action sequences and CGI are ok. Liam Neeson looking angry and yelling during his brief on screen time like he's rehearshing for Taken 2 is ok. Taylor Kitsch is ok carrying this movie. But that's it. It’s just ok, not spectacular, not Avengers awesome, it’s not Michael Bay lazy, it’s just ok. And no, this movie has no real connection with Battleship the game. They could’ve just as easily called it Connect Four or Stratego. Can’t wait for the Game of Life movie, where aliens come to earth bent on taking over our planet, until we’re saved by Taylor Lautner and in the 2nd worst use of an actor of his stature…Liam Neeson.