Thoughts on… Battleship (2012)

Battleship, 2012.

Directed by Peter Berg.
Starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker and Tadanobu Asano.


A fleet of battleships attempt to thwart the destructive goals of an amarda of extra-terrestrial origin.

Despite the amount of negative press surrounding this movie in the run-up to its release, I actually found myself – against my better judgement – enjoying it. I thought it was witty in places, sometimes thought-provoking, and even though I usually despise action films, I found the fight sequences engaging and diverse.

You may disagree with me. You may describe Battleship as a film for a man in his mid-30s, who works in an office and is experiencing a mid-life crisis – and a bland, two-dimensional one at that. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m a girl (gosh!) and I usually have an eye for a decent film, if I say so myself. Suffice to say, Battleship definitely falls under the category of “guilty pleasure”.

The most enjoyable aspect of this film was primarily the dialogue. Although at times it was flat and unimaginative, there were some amazing one liners in there. The writers used exactly the right type and amount of comedy for the kind of demographic they’re trying to reach. Unfortunately, whilst surrounded by a highly proficient support cast, the lead role, given to Taylor Kitsch, was comparatively weak. There were also a couple of familiar faces – Alexander Skarsgard of True Blood fame, the legend that is Liam Neeson (not sure why he took this job to be honest) and of course Rihanna, who although relatively new to the film industry, did a pretty decent job.

Elsewhere the special effects were very obviously big-budget, but sadly looked like a rip-off of the Autobots. The storyline, though fairly cohesive, petered to a stall as the film wound down. I wasn’t expecting such a cop-out, happily-ever-after ending, and one so poorly written and directed at that. You’ll pretty much know the premise of this film from the trailers and media coverage, so it won’t be spoiled for you if I said I was expecting the characters to be a tad more traumatised by the fact that the Earth has just been invaded by aliens. Whilst the comedy was successful throughout the action sequences, the clichéd ending almost ruined it for me.

I was also disappointed with the fact that the actual replication of the “Battleship” board game, was actually nothing like the game, despite the credits ostentatiously telling us that the movie is based upon it. The only part that was mildly recognisable as the board game didn’t last long enough to deserve a basis and the special effects overkill and overly serious tone meant that director Peter Berg might as well have left it out.

Although Battleship has a lot of negatives, I still maintain that it is a decent movie. I enjoyed the humour and battle scenes, but I wasn’t fond of the two-dimensional characters and clichéd plot. Still a good one for a Friday night in, though.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★

Kirsty Capes

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