Battleship

Right up front? This movie is in the running for the dumbest movie of all time.

There are easily twenty to twenty-five points in the movie where you could look at what’s happening onscreen and list ten good reasons why whatever’s going on would be either impossible, improbable, incongruous, or idiotic. And that’s ALLOWING for the possibility of an alien invasion in the first place, I’m not even counting that…

Yup, this script was someone’s Jr. High creative writing assignment, but on the plus side? They blow a lot of shit up.

Seriously, anytime you have Rihanna manning heavy weapons, something silly is going on.

And that’s exactly what this movie is. Right from the opening bell, when Taylor Kitsch is “forced to join the Navy”, and then they cut to him starring in an international soccer game that’s part of a joint military exercise with Japan, you just know, “Hey, they don’t give a shit about logic or common sense here”. I mean, literally, when they talk about “turning off you brain” to watch a movie, I don’t think that’s enough for this one. You better unplug that thing too, just in case.

High level plot summary, here we go!

  • Aliens invade Earth. During entry into the atmosphere, they lose their communications ship.
  • Explosions and damage effects as the communications ship crashes.
  • Aliens create a force-field dome around Hawaii in order to justify focusing the story on just three ships in order to secure their attempts to hijack our communications uplink.
  • Explosions and damage effects as we try to penetrate the force field.
  • The three naval vessels trapped within the dome are the only military response the world can muster, they try to attack the aliens.
  • Explosions and damage effects as the Aliens eliminate 2 out of 3 of the ships.
  • The aliens’ technology is alternately super high-tech and astonishingly primitive. They easily dispose of ships when it’s convenient to the plot, and then inexplicably allow Kitsch’s ship to survive.
  • Explosions and damage effects as Kitsch and crew turn the tide.

I don’t mean to shortchange the characters here, except there are none.

Well, except for Kitsch, so here’s his bio. He’s a ne’er-do-well who’s forced to join the Navy, but still can’t get his shit together. Well, I’ll give him the fact that his girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker) is exceedingly hot. Of course, she’s the Admiral’s daughter (Liam Neeson), so that causes problems. Anyways, he’s about to be discharged for getting into a fight… except the invasion occurs. When everyone who outranks him dies during the initial exchange with the aliens, Kitsch is forced into command of his destroyer.

While all of this is going on at sea, his girlfriend - the Admiral’s daughter, is taking her physical therapy patient for a hike up the exact same mountain that the aliens are trying to attack. It’s a good thing for us that she was, too, because along the way, she and he rescue the one scientist who could help any of this, relay critical information to the battleship at sea, and delay the uplink satellite at a critical juncture! WHOO! Eat hot blonde you Alien Scum!

For those of you who have seen it, I don’t want to give any spoilers to those who haven’t, but I do want to mention that I really like the portion of the movie where they call for aid from the unexpected source towards the end. I hope that’s enough to clue you in. That was great…

I will also say that the way they tie this movie back to the board game “Source material” needs to be seen to be believed. It’s thoroughly laughable. Not that everything else isn’t…

I had fun, though. In all honesty every time something stupid happened (read: Frequently) I chuckled. I don’t think it was a case of laughing with it and not at it… I was definitely laughing at it, but I WAS laughing. In any objective measure of quality, this movie is a fail. Plot, characters, themes, dialogue, direction… anything a critic should look at in order to “rate”, this flick fails. But I think it pushes through to the other side. For those of you who enjoy dumb, loud, stupid films, I think this is a decent offering.

Grading Seriously?: F There’s really no other option

In a so bad it’s good way: B Not a classic of the genre, but enjoyable.

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72 thoughts on “Battleship

  1. This has that brain-dead, blow-shit-up with super-young-and-attractive-leads and not-bother-with-coherent-thought-or-plot to get in the way look about it. Not that that’s bad thing… Now, I’m not against a good explosives-filled, “Die Alien Scum!”, kind of movie, but if I go and plunk down cash money for this at the box office, aren’t I just encouraging them to keep heaping this kind of pseudo-entertainment upon us? Fun review, Fogs.

    • Thanks, LOL. I had fun with it…

      As to the encouraging Hollywood? I dont know. I have NO IDEA how this flick got greenlit. Seriously, this thing for me qualifies as a WTF were they thinking movie in the first place, so…

      It was fun enough to watch and laugh at how stupid it was. Beyond that, there’s little to no value in it.

      • I feel like it was greenlit because it has a branded name. That and the purely wtf factor that drew most people to still see it. It’s so out of left field that it was guaranteed to make money.

  2. I hope this film sinks like the Bismark. Has any actor been in two films in one year that are going to lose more money than Taylor Kitsch? It’s as if Costner had done Waterworld twice in one summer.

      • Maybe he should have been a bit more script selective. Look at it this way, being in terrible films has not seemed to hurt Shia LaBeouf’s career, so maybe Taylor will be ok. :-)

    • Transformers and this movie are pretty much first cousins, except the Transformers property is much more suited for a movie.

      I actually have an interest i one of those leagues on this one too… oh well.

      • Tis is true. And considering you got 3 people from the Avengers i don’t think battleship will hurt you too much(The round i was planning to snatch Evans Joel picked him before me).

  3. I think the funniest part was reading ‘serious’ reviews. Ebert said something along the lines of “It’s better than you thought it would be”, and “It’s better than Transformers, in that at least it had a 3rd act”. lol.

    Here’s my question: At anytime, does Taylor Kisch yell out grid co-ordinates like “B-12″! and then a giant spike drops from the sky and impales an alien ship? ’cause that would be AWESOME! (in a completely non-awesome way)

  4. You lambast this with no tongue in cheek and then heap second coming of god Accolades on the thoroughly mediocre Avengers? You crack me up Fogs. Battleship was a funny popcorn munching blast and should be enjoyed as such with tongue firmly planted!

    • I did enjoy it, and try to say as much. But tongue-in-cheek or no, I have to at least adress the issues here, of which there are many.

      Apparently you and your blogging “boss” see eye to eye on the Avengers… but in no way was that movie “Mediocre”, and mentioning that movie in the same breath as this one would be as ridiculous as comparing “Avengers” to say… “Lockout”. Oh. Wait. Sorry, yeah… LOL

  5. Haha. You’re in prime form with this review, buddy. I’m debating on whether or not I want to hit this up at the cheap theater. A so-bad-it’s-good movie could be a decent way to spend a weekend afternoon. :D

    • You just have to be prepared to rip into it in your head and have fun doing that. Try – just TRY – to keep a tally of things which makes you say, “That’s dumb, that could never happen” I gaurantee you give up within 15 minutes. LOL

  6. Yo an F?? That’s really bad coming from you!

    Funny, I didn’t know some countries are getting Battleship only now, we got it quite some time ago…

    • LOL. Yeah, I know. I’m usually a softee. :D

      What I heard about the release strategy is that they released it in North America last because they realized that critics would savage it, and they didnt want that hampering the foreign take.

      Least that’s what I heard on it…

  7. I’m surprised that this movie was green lit as well. I mean who honestly thought this would be a good idea? With movie ticket prices skyrocketing these days, I just can’t justify paying to see a movie like this. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing stuff blow up, but the movie has got to have some brains too. Just look at The Avengers – terrific movie that is more than just things blowing up. Great review.

    • Thanks!

      Yeah, you’re not getting much aside from stuff blowing up, that’s for sure. Unless you enjoy the comedy factor of the whole thing, there’s really nothing to recommend on it.

  8. HAHA. I love that B grade for being so bad, it’s good rating. Man, I’m not that shocked. I was hoping for the best, because Liam Neeson is in it. Come on, Neeson is bomb diggity, seriously. I remember seeing them filming at Pearl Harbor. It was cool to watch them film, I guess more entertaining than the actual movie.

  9. Oh, this is sounding every bit as wonderfully stupid as I had hoped. I’m not going to go spending full ticket prices on this, but when it winds up in the second-run theatre, it might just be time for a Morbid Curosity Files theatre experience.

  10. Hi, fogs and company:

    Today is May 20th.

    Anyone care to wager that HBO is already in negotiations with Berg and his flying monkeys to make ‘Battleship’ the Crown Jewel it will build its mid to late August, early September package of really crappy, little seen, financial disaster films around?

    Maybe flying monkeys and Hungry Hungry Hippos should have been added. To give the Task Force’s Close-In Weapons System’s Vulcan Cannons and Anti Submarine Warfare Torpedoes something to do.

  11. I am not surprised. I had an inkling to see this film, but I think common sense prevailed.

    Did Liam Neeson at least utter the words “You sank my battleship!”?

  12. Hey Fogs, don’t fret my friend…. There is always the PG version of Candyland…… or maybe you will wamt to hold out for the R rated Hi-Ho-Cherry-O! ;)

    • Ohhhgckkkhh.

      You know, seriously? There was a Candyland in production… its just been awhile since I heard anything… hold on.

      Oh my LORD. From bad to worse. Are you ready for this? So I’m replying here, and I’m like… better go to Wikipedia and see what the status on that thing is, and this is what I read:

      “On January 31, 2012, it was announced that Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison , and Adam Sandlerwere in final negotiations to develop the film, with Sandler both starring and co-writing the screenplay with Robert Smigel ”

      How do you make a bad idea worse? Give it to Adam Sandler. (Sad, slow, headshake)

  13. I have no interest in seeing this. The trailers were cringe worthy to me and awesome explosions/actions or not, life is too short for this ;) Not surprised it did so badly both at the box office and critically…

    • It’s been shown to reduce IQ permanently, but only by 4 or 5 points on average… so I should be ok. :)

      Meanwhile, the cringeworthy trailers at least honestly represented what you can expect from this flick. It was a pretty representative ad campaign.

    • Hmmmmmmmmmmm

      Well, taking your point to mean they cant be Good actors or good singers seeing as there’s obviously been lots of crappy crossover attempts…

      I thought it over and the best I could come up with was Will Smith. Who’s not great at either, but very popular at both.

      • I’ve been impressed by some of Will Smith’s work on film, actually. Examples include Men in Black, The Pursuit of Happyness (for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars that year), and I Am Legend. His music, however, is so bad it seems like comedic rap, which it isn’t. I mean worse than unintentionally funny. There is one of his songs I do like, for some bizarre reason: “Gettin’ Jiggy with It”.

        Bottom line, I’m not going to see Battleship, and my main reason is because Rihanna’s in it. I was unaware before, and I wasn’t planning on seeing this then, either, but now that I know, I think I’m going to avoid this film nothing less than my life.

      • Harry Connick Jr. is no slouch as either a singer or an actor. On the Female side, I’d suggest J.Lo can trod the boards and hit the high notes. If we move to the world of Broadway then EVERYBODY has to both sing well and act well… and that’s not even starting in on Opera.

  14. Figured this one was going to be stupid just from the title. Never mind the US Navy retired all of its battleships years ago. I think I will just skip this one totally. But I’m glad you had fun with it. I also read this morning that Comcast, parent company of Universal, lost its shirt on this one. Not as bad as John Carter in sales but close. This is supposed to affect their bottom line next quarter. I don’t know what’s worse, seeing a movie that you know is going to be bad or seeing a movie that that you think is going to be good and ends up being bad. Hey there’s something for your next open discussion.

    • Oh, definitely the disappointment of seeing one you hope will be good that turns out bad. No doubt. No doubt. I hate that feeling. Spent a lot of time this weekend around Jurassic Park 2 for an upcoming lambcast, and I can recall just being bitterly disappointed by it, and that’s just the worst feeling.

      When I KNOW a flick is going to suck, a lot of times I can just kind of mentally rag on it and have fun that way, like this one.

      At least in the movie they did give credit to the fact that Battleships have been retired… I’ll give it points for being factually correct there. LOL. Everything else though, ooooohf. :D

  15. I think you and I should have a contest: we hook ourselves up to heart monitors, watch Battleship, and then check to see whose heart rate is higher while watching the film. Whoever has the higher heart rate hates the movie more, and therefore is the winner. Since I hate Battleship more than you, I will win.

    I try to make a habit of finding redeeming value even in the movies that I hate, but I just can’t think of one single element about this overlong, badly executed hunk of industrial-grade stupid (apart from the double amputee marine, who I actually gave a damn about) worth praising. The battle scenes are either repetitive to the point of dullness, or just flat-out boring from the outset; the characters are flat and uninteresting. What am I supposed to latch onto here?

    • You need to be able to take glee in failure.

      Like watching all the loser videos on Tosh.0 or something.

      If you can’t laugh at stupidity, this movie would have nothing. But as an object of mockery, kind of a court jester of a movie that acts like a buffoon for our amusement, I had to admit I was entertained by it. It’s SO stupid. It’s laughable.

      That’s about all I could give it.

      • I can laugh at stupidity. I can’t laugh at something that offends me. Why am I letting a movie based on a fucking toy bother me? Really I just find the central messages about the military to be incredibly condescending and, frankly, totally spurious (how many military men really end up getting state-of-the-art treatment and high-quality PT as we see in this film?). I hate being preached to, and that’s just what Berg is doing; maybe if he’d ever served a day in his life in any of America’s branches of armed forces, I’d listen.

        None of this really would have mattered to me if I could escape from the film’s obnoxiousness using its action scenes, but they’re all pretty badly executed. How many times can we see arcing shots of artillery flying through the air to strike a boat’s hull before we’re just watching the same sequence ad infinitum? Drove me nuts.

        Poor Taylor Kitsch.

      • “I can laugh at stupidity. I can’t laugh at something that offends me.”

        That’s how I felt watching “The Dictator” lol.

        Hey, there’s no defense for this flick. I can even see why it might get under your skin – I mean, it’s SHAMEFUL to me that moronic garbage like this gets released in every megaplex accross America, but if I dont live in NY or LA next week, I dont get to see Moonrise Kingdom. – dont get me started.

        So I getcha. I’m not there with you on this one, other than to say if you take this movie on the level, there’s no way to not consider it a total fail. LOL

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