ALRIGHT SO this movie has been the butt of a lot of shit talk this year. Lots of people want to look very educated and intelligent by scoffing at the mere mention of it, but I finally watched it and I can tell you this might possibly be the most complete, well thought-out, and clever film of 2012. It takes a lot of plot gymnastics to convert the concept of Battleship into a real story, let alone one good enough to result in a solid and engaging action film, and this movie fucking did it. Now that the bullshit is out of the way let’s talk about how BDC this movie is.
The thing that makes this movie work is that right off the bat, from the marketing onward, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Simply that alone allows you to take it more seriously when it comes down to things like dialogue and plot, and because of it the whole thing works. It presents itself as what everyone wants it to be, a shameless adaptation of a boardgame, then blindsides you with all this shit that makes it engaging and believable. Liam Neeson isn’t used as a gimmick, he’s there just as much as he needs to be, and there’s a surprising amount of rational decision making by the main characters. This movie is pretty damn long, but that’s because out of fucking nowhere they have all this buildup and character development, and it actually pays off because in the thick of the alien shit you genuinely want to see them succeed, and not just skip to the explosions. Seriously dude, this is a legit FILM right here.
Also there’s little nuggets of fun here and there like Rihanna wearing a HOODS shirt
There’s a lot of hidden brilliance in this film regarding the way they translate the game elements to the action and story. The pegs function in a way that mirrors the game, but actually makes sense as a weapon. Hell they even managed to make the whole idea of “i’m shooting blindly on a grid” totally plausible and functional. It’s fuckin’ awesome. The meat of this movie though is in how they handle the tension and release of those scenes, and it seriously works. People can make all the comparisons to Transformers they want, but this is basically U571 with a bigger budget. Also I loved Transformers so fuck you.
My God this lens flare
Let’s talk about the ACTION. This is some high quality Michael Bay shit going on. We have massive amounts of real guns shooting real bullets, against lazers and mazers and photon torpedoes. THEN we have the actual alien bad guys which are pretty much Master Chiefs with spikey goatees, fuggin Ozzfest 03 in this bitch. They beat the shit out of EEEEVERYTHING and slam that sickness. There’s a joke about Rihanna and getting beat up somewhere to be made but I’m too busy mirin how dreamy Taylor Kitsch is to make it. The guy was awesome as shit in John Carter, which none of you saw because apparently you haven’t realized that big budget CGI=always worth giving a shot even if it disappoints on other levels, and in Battleship he’s basically Captain Kirk but irl. This movie WILL remind you of other movies, but you won’t mind. Trust me, I was one of the people who were PISSED about how G.I. Joe ripped off action sequences from Star Wars, and none of the similarities between this movie and Star Trek/Transformers bothered me a bit. It all just works. It’s shiny enough to keep the adrenaline going, dirty enough to make you feel like it really hurt, and loud enough to warrant some “shit yeah”s.
This movie will surprise you. It surprised me. When the inevitable sequel comes out, I will be moshing in the theater on premiere night, and you should be too. Redbox this bitch, get drunk, and prepare for fun.