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Battleship (2012)

A movie directed by Peter Berg

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  • May 18, 2012

No doubt when people heard they were coming out with a movie based on the board game Battleship there were a lot of eye rolls and heavy sighs. Director Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights fame and the writing team of Jon and Erich Hoeber, who also wrote the Bruce Willis movie Red, heard the heavy sighs and decided to roll with it.

If people are already going into this movie thinking it is going to be ridiculous then why not just go full tilt. Battleship is an overly computer generated action movie that follows every cliché in the genre, and the only thing that makes the movie enjoyable is just how ridiculous the movie becomes.

The movie feels a lot like Transformers and in a lot of respects it is, aliens coming down to earth with a plan to destroy it. Actually I think once the aliens landed we were the ones who fired first, but that is not the point. Where Michael Bay and Peter Berg differ is Bay took his action movies much more seriously. Berg has seen a summer blockbuster before and knows that the demand for action is much higher than the demand for story. So he makes the premise completely ridiculous and decides to not take the movie based on a 60's board game too seriously.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The movie opens on Lieutenant Alex Hopper played by Tim Riggins. With no real direction in his life his brother played by Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood, forces him to join the navy under his command. And I kid you not almost as soon as Skarsgard delivers the line "Do you think this is a game?" the title card for the movie flashes on the screen. I have to believe they did that intentionally to set the tone for just how ridiculous the movie was going to be. Because if they didn't, then really, just wow.

With a rocking soundtrack playing in the background that is just one of the many laughable moments of the movie, and I would love to give them away, but doing that would be like telling you the punch line to a joke before giving you the set-up. Just know that during some of these moments the entire audience let out a bellowing moan, they are just that bad. Thankfully no one in the movie says anything to the effect of "You sunk my battleship," but as soon as the reference to the grid board comes into play the movie becomes something so awful it just loops right back around to being awesome.

That being said it does take a while to get there. The first half of the movie drags. It may even be more than half the movie, it really is just that difficult to tell how long and how far the movie drags. There are a lot of clichés the writing team need to set up first and the Hoeber brothers take their time getting to the point. They always have a tough time getting all the information out in the first act like in their previous films Whiteout and Red. This tactic though lets the duo put all their best lines and big action sequences towards the end of the movie.  It wasn't till the action picked up that they seem to excel with pacing and finding the correct dialogue to fit the scene.

Since the movie was so hoke not much was demanded from the actors, which is important because none of the main actors have too much to offer. You may be saying to yourself, but Liam Neeson is starring in the movie.  While his name may be on all the advertising, really he is just there to collect a paycheck, he gets left out of most of the action as the commanding officer. Most of the heavy lifting is done by Taylor Kitsch who some of you may remember, or most likely remember hearing about from the recent bomb John Carter.

It makes sense that Berg would go back to cast one of his biggest actors in his critically acclaimed television show, but in Friday Night Lights he was asked to be soft spoken off the field, and intense on it. That soft spoken nature, which was captured well in the series, does not translate when you are asked to be the lead star in an action movie. Rihanna also makes her feature film debut and while I went in wanting to make fun of her, she does fine in the movie as the spunky private with attitude.

Brooklyn Decker is always a great choice as eye candy, and she even gets her own storyline to stop the alien invasion. All the actors do exactly what is expected from them and deliver all their lines with a smile on their face, everyone is in on the joke.

Unless you are a glutton for punishment, you probably shouldn't be paying the exorbitant ticket prices to see this movie. The only relief to the movie is all the action doesn't come flying at you as they chose not to put the movie in 3-D although the visuals to the movie would certainly justify it. A lot of the people walked out of the theater with a look of disgust on their face. But I had a huge smile on mine.

The movie is laughably bad, and I can't remember a major blockbuster recently released like this. I loved this movie, but could see why people would hate it if they had expected something more. I suppose they will have to wait for the theatrical release of Crossfire, because if it’s anything like the commercials, that movie would be epic. C+

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May 18, 2012
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More Battleship (2012) reviews
review by . May 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
All Hands on
Let’s get some things straight. A movie based on a board game sounds theoretically stupid and honestly, I have to wonder what the filmmakers behind the 2012 film “Battleship” were thinking when they decided to make a film out of the concept of a board game. Ok, the game was fun in its own way, but obviously this movie was meant as a marketing ploy to sell a new video game or maybe re-launch the Hasbro board game. So if you are expecting something special and creative, then it would …
review by . May 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
         By Joan Alperin Schwartz   'Battleship' directed by Peter Berg (Hancock) has a poorly constructed script, ridiculous dialogue, cardboard charcters and it's really, really loud.        It does have bad ass aliens and some exciting visual effects, but that is not enough to save this $200,000,000 fiasco.      When the film opens, we find out that a group of …
review by . May 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Peter Berg’s Battleship is better than the Transformers trilogy in the same way that having a cold is better than having the flu. And yet it’s very much cut from the same cloth as Transformers, not just because both feature outer space robots but also because both are noisy, thoughtlessly inundated with action and special effects, and generally free from any semblance of plot, character development, or theme. I guess one should expect …
review by . May 18, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
There is More Entertainment Playing the Game Than in Watching the Movie
Basing a movie off of a videogame is often a risky proposition. For every “Resident Evil”, there at least a dozen others that are out and out disasters, “Mario Brothers”, “Wing Commander”, and “Double Dragon” are a few examples of how not to do it. While Hollywood shows no signs of stopping videogame adaptations anytime soon, game development companies are becoming more savvy with allowing their products to become movies and are requiring uality …
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About this movie


Battleship is an upcoming 2012 Fantasy, naval war film based on the Hasbro game of the same name. The film is being directed by Peter Berg and will be released by Universal Pictures. Starring in the film are Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna and Liam Neeson.
The film was originally planned to be released in 2011, but rescheduled to May 18, 2012

A story of an international Navy fleet engaged in a very dynamic and intense battle against an alien race known as "The Regents". The aliens come to planet Earth, on a mission to build a power source in the ocean. Upon their visit, they come in contact with a navy fleet. The film is also purported to show both sides of the story, from the aliens' perspective, as well as the humans' so the audience knows exactly where the opponent's ships are.

The estimated US$200 million project was to begin filming in Australia's Gold Coast in 2010, but the production company changed locale due to a lack of Australian government tax incentives.

Filming is taking place in the United States on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Oahu, as well as in Sherman Oaks, California to do a few apartment scenes and in Playa del Rey, California where they will film a driving scene along with a shootout.[10] Battleship will also be filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. The Science & Entertainment Exchange provided science consultation for the film.[

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Director: Peter Berg
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, War
Release Date: 18 May 2012 (USA)
Screen Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
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