out of Five
Running time: 131
An over-the-top, action-packed, special-effects heavy blockbuster movie in all the right ways. Despite Battleship’s obvious shortcomings it is a highly enjoyable popcorn flick with the right mix of impressive set pieces, ironic comedy and beautiful people to make its long runtime un-noticeable.
What’s it all about?
Inspired by the classic children’s game from Hasbro the film follows Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) on his journey from slacker to Navy Captain during an alien invasion centred on a satellite relay station near the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker and Liam Neeson also appear, playing rough tough military-types commanding ships, blowing stuff up and just generally being badasses defending Earth against the alien invaders.
Battleship is a long movie, but despite this it’s entertaining throughout. The action sequences are big, Transformers-big and they really do work, especially when the Navy ships and alien ships start blowing each other up. The story is simple and straightforward and, unlike the Transformers movies, doesn’t try to be anything more than it is. The characters aren’t heroes they’re just average people fighting aliens. There’s no overstated purpose. Taylor Kitsch does a great job with the slacker turned Captain character, Rihanna channels her best Michelle Rodriguez impression and Liam Neeson is Liam Neeson. The movie is well-made, the special effects are good, the score sufficient, and the best part about it? IT’S NOT IN 3D!
The movie is cheesy as hell. There is particularly one moment in the film where the audience I saw it with literally laughed out loud (and it wasn’t supposed to be funny). The cheesiness kind of works though because the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite it being about global annihilation and alien invasion. Liam Neeson is also grossly underutilised, I say give him more to do in the inevitable sequel.
Sure this movie is cheesy, and it’s not a game-changer by any means, but it’s well made, honest and a lot of fun to watch. If you’re looking for this year’s guilty pleasure popcorn flick this is it.