Movie Review: "Battleship" (2012)
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers.
Those of you who may be confusing "Battleship" with the 'Transformers' movies, I'm not surprised. It looks like a Michael Bay film and the aliens look just like the robots themselves. But the truth is that it's no better than that series of films, it's actually much worse.
The film stars Taylor Kitsch as Alex Hopper, a slacker whose brother, Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard), is the exact opposite (i.e. He's in the navy). Alex tries to impress a girl named Samantha (Brooklyn Decker) in one of the stupidest ways ever which gets him arrested.
Come to find out, Samantha is the daughter of Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson) who happens to be Stone's superior officer. All this upsets Stone so he forces his brother to join the navy and make something of himself.
While all this is going on, NASA finds an Earth-like planet and transmits a communications signal from Hawaii. Fast forward a few years later, Alex has moved up to Lieutenant in the navy and is now in a relationship with Samantha. Eventually, five or so alien ships arrive in the waters surrounding Hawaii and for some reason set up a force field around the Hawaiian islands. Why they do this I have no idea.
However this is the so-called plot that the board game-turned-movie bases itself upon. Why aliens? Another good question. Possibly because "The Hunt for Red October" is not likely to bring in the box office numbers from today's special audiences.
Speaking of board games being turned into movies, I can't wait for the film version of "Monopoly" which is reported to be helmed by Ridley Scott (WTF?).
I'm also looking forward to reviewing the film version of "Candy Land" which is being spearheaded by Adam Sandler as we speak. I was kind of hoping that director Tim Burton would take helm of the project, that way Johnny Depp could once again don that clown outfit he's been wearing for the past decade and Helena Boham Carter could put her two cents of a role in (like she usually does), but Adam Sandler will do.
Transformers and Power Rangers?
These alien invasion flicks are getting to be very annoying lately, mostly due to their lack of originality. I can't say that I'm going to give the filmmakers of "Battleship" props for designing cool spaceships and aliens. Nope.
The spaceships in "Battleship" resemble the Transformers robots but on water. As for the aliens themselves? They wear some type of sunlight-proof spacesuit that makes them look like a high tech version of the Power Rangers. Underneath the suit are bald-headed humanoid faces with black eyes and sharp, pointy beards.
Gee, way to go for the art department behind this movie! And I thought the aliens in "Battle: Los Angeles" looked stupid.
The sleazy marketing tricks behind "Battleship" stick out like a sore thumb. For one thing, Rihanna stars in this movie and she plays 'one of' the crew members. Her role is very small and only consists of less than a dozen lines or so, yet I've seen her character (if you want to call it that) exploited on some of the TV commercial spots for "Battleship".
Strange, isn't it? Even worse, there's actually a poster of the movie with Rihanna on it, front and center at that. To top it all off, they made additional 'character' posters for the rest of the cast to make it seem like the studio is not trying so hard to exploit Rihanna's involvement in the film. Nice try, but the character poster trick only works well for superhero flicks.
In addition, I know this has come up a few times before in my previous reviews (i.e. Ashanti in "Resident Evil: Extinction") but it seems that this is a reoccurring problem in today's films so I'll have to cover it yet again. Like I said, Rihanna's role is relatively small and her lines mostly consist of reaction dialogue that a two year old could write, such as:
"Get out now!"
"Haha, you got played."
"What is that?"
Those lines may not be the exact quotes, but they're pretty darn close and give you an idea of what I'm referring to. This role could have easily gone to somebody who just graduated out of UCLA or NYFA with a major in acting, but no, they decided to give it to a singer with zero experience in the craft just so they can make a few extra million bucks off of her fans.
Now, I may not have a bachelors degree in marketing or anything, but I can definitely figure out when Hollywood advertising is up to no good. Why on Earth would one bother to show off Rihanna's role when she doesn't even do anything significant in the movie to begin with?
Isn't that kind of like tricking her fanbase in a way? See, the idea is that by having Rihanna in this film, her fans will go see the movie, thus increasing box office sales. But she's not a major character and only has a few lines, the only significant role she has in "Battleship" is in its advertising and nothing more.
Don't get me wrong, her acting sucks to begin with, but what I'm trying to get across is that Beyonce had an important role in "The Pink Panther" so it made sense that we saw a good amount of her in the previews, etc. But Rihanna in "Battleship"? It's the complete opposite. It would be different if Rihanna was playing Brooklyn Decker's role of the love interest, the acting would still be a problem, but at least you can forgive them for marketing her.
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- Why is a man lecturing to a room full of NASA people about what a habitable planet is? What is this, Kindergarden?
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