“Battleship” Review: This ship sunk itself


By Wesley Emblidge

The pegs that aliens fire at the ships in "Battleship."

“They ain’t gonna sink this battleship, no way,” says one Navy officer toward the last act of “Battleship,” in total seriousness. It made me contemplate, for maybe the hundredth time, how did we get here? How is hollywood so creatively bankrupt they resort to adapting a boring board game into a Transformers rip-off? But not just any Transformers rip-off, one that manages to be just as boring, nonsensical and cheesy as the Transformer movies themselves! That, perhaps, deserves some credit, I’m sure it’s difficult to copy a film to that extent.

Let’s just lay out the plot: basically, aliens show up on earth because some scientists (in a terrible opening scene full of boring exposition and bad effects) sent some signal to their planet for some damn reason. They destroy a little bit of Hong Kong to get some explosions in there early, and then land in the ocean right nearby Hawaii and a bunch of….wait for it….BATTLESHIPS. Then, they put the dome from the Simpsons movie over the entire island and the ships. Maybe it’s to keep people from coming in, maybe it’s to keep them from leaving, we never really see either attempted. Who cares? Look! Explosions! Guns! Breasts!

Oh, right, breasts. I forgot that this movie had “characters.” Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is our main character, apparently, but really all I knew about him was that he has a lot of potential but screws up a lot (as his brother, Liam Neeson and his girlfriend all tell him repeatedly). At a bar in the beginning of the film we meet him, his brother, and the girl who would become his girlfriend. I never heard her name, so in my head she was just “Tits McGee,” as the film puts a lot of effort in to put her in see-through tank tops as much as possible.

Brooklyn Decker is weirded out by alien ships.

So, at the bar, Alex hits on Tits McGee, and she asks him to get her a chicken burrito. So, for the next ten or so minutes, we see a parody of some internet video, where Alex breaks into a store while the pink panther theme plays in the background. He gets the burrito, but is caught by the cops: but first gives Tits the burrito. Cut to, the next scene, and Alex has become a high ranking Naval officer and is getting ready to ask Tits’ dad (Liam Neeson, doing this for a paycheck), who is a superior Naval officer, if he can marry his daughter. But he’s too scared to (Rightfully so, it is Liam Neeson after all), especially after he screws up again, and Neeson tells him how after this next mission he’s fired.

So, fast forward: the aliens are here. Through a variety of circumstances, Alex ends up being in charge, and then for the rest of the movie they work to take down the aliens. Most of it’s fairly boring, an explosion here and there, aliens firing bombs that look exactly like the pegs you use in the board game. You can’t make stuff like that up. The aliens themselves are really boring, they look like slightly deformed humans in big robot suits, and they make unbelievably stupid choices.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned that Rihanna is in this movie, for some reason. First time we see her, she’s slapping some fellow naval officer on the ass. Doesn’t really get much better from there.

In the final act, the movie goes even further past believability, which I hadn’t thought possible. The film as a whole is pretty boring, it can’t even satisfy on a basic action movie level. There’s a long time in between the mildly satisfying explosions, and that time in between is pretty slow. “Battleship” is about as bad as I thought it would be, it didn’t exactly have much going for it in the first place. What did it have? A high budget and Liam Neeson? Squanders both. It looks expensive at times, but even with all that money there are some effects that are just terrible or nonsensical. When your movie has Liam Neeson in it but it’s boring as all hell, you know you’ve gone wrong.

2/5 Stars