Saturday, June 2, 2012

Battleship - Movie Review

Starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Hamish Linklater, Peter MacNicol, Jesse Plemons and Jerry Ferrara.
Directed by Peter Berg.


When Paramount centered Top Gun around the star power of Tom Cruise, he'd already earned it. After supporting turns in Endless Love, Taps and The Outsiders, he made the most of his big break in Risky Business.

Taylor Kitsch has been given the same opportunity here, in a movie that wants to be Top Gun with Aliens. And he's not really up to the task.

For the first half-hour, this is one of the worst movies of the year. We go through the motions of establishing that Kitsch's Alex Hopper is impulsive, irresponsible, smart, cocky, a real maverick. Heh. His disapproving older brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) is there to shout expository dialogue at him, but one too many stunts has led to Alex possibly getting kicked out of the Navy, right after these combat exercises the US is doing with Japan.

Then the aliens finally show up and it gets more interesting. They drop a dome over a few-miles radius, trapping some ships in there with them, and no one can get in or out. What's their motivation? Well, once they blow up the first ship, that's all they need to know.

It never goes off the Roland Emmerich rails, nor does it go into that "commercial for itself" Michael Bay mode. It really stays the whole time in Jerry Bruckheimer-wannabe land. Top Gun more than anything, but it reminded me of Pearl Harbor at one point too.  And, yeah, Transformers.  By the way, Transformers 1 & 3 were better movies than this.

I can't think of an actor though, that could have saved this movie. I mean, I liked Skarsgard and Rihanna and the others in their supporting roles fine, but no one is required to do much. Liam Neeson's part could have been played by anybody. Could have just as easily been Beau Bridges.

And no one ever says "You sank my battleship!"

P.S. I did like the one sequence with AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."

P.P.S. I hated the obvious product placement. Coke Zero, I'm talking about you!

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