Sorry everyone…I know you want me to keep on creating more wargaming content but I thought I would take a Sunday afternoon to watch a film and put a review of it up here. I like movies, I like science fiction a lot, so it stands I would like a big budget Hollywood title along those lines. Plus I own the game its based on and my three sons enjoy playing it. But….
Ha,Ha,Ha…this is one of the worst films I have ever watched! It is has one, yes, one plus point. The CGI special effects are superb, really well done and the only thing worth watching in the movie. What of the rest of it?
I could say that making a film based on toys is a bad idea but it’s not. Lots of good and average productions have come from Transformers, GI Joe, Thomas the Tank Engine and so on. Making a film based on a board game though, aside from Jumanji I cannot think of any (not true, Mousetrap is a great comedy) is a bit more dubious. Hasbro made it work with Transformers so why not Battleship? Well here is a list of what I saw and thought based on watching it all the way through.
- The plot is super thin. Never mind physics or anything like that. Talk to the stars so they send an invasion force to Earth to kills us all (an invasion force unable to steer their own ships incidentally). They lose their ‘comms’ ship and need the messaging system here on Earth to send for extra troops…but they have tech that allows for crossing space REALLY FAST (light years in days) and they MUST have told their mates they were invading another planet! They don’t need the primitive Human tech at bloody all!
- The acting is ruddy awful from start to end. Aside from Liam Neeson who despite changing his accent in every scene makes his dialogue work the rest of the acting is turgid and at times actually ‘mentally handicapped’ too. It reminded me of all things a 1980′s kids cartoon. I will not quote examples but adding swearing would actually have helped. Rihanna might not mime to her songs but she should have in this film she is not an actress and the real life navy veterans were just made to look foolish.
- Formulaic at every step. Painfully so. The film is a like a path of falling domino’s or a tick list of idiocy. The central character is a loud mouth looser and criminal (breaking and entering) but he is convinced to join the navy (why?) and is made an officer right away! All the characters tell him he has skills and such but I never saw any and he never inspires any confidence as a lead. He gets the girl which makes no sense. He survives when he should not…and he smart mouths everyone (there is no respect for superiors in this mans navy!). Best example. When the alien ship surfaces he heads over to it on a launch and jumps onto it. ’Dude its like totally might be alien and shit’. Rhianna ‘well I think so too duh’. Then he turns to face his commander and shrugs…real professional. Then as everyone says ‘bad idea dude, bad idea’ he touches a glyph and lost world style it begins the whole shooting match. No First Contact trauma for this chump. Then they make him a Captain! A captain in a ship of cretins. No First Contact trauma but at the sight of dead sailors…arrgh…panic!
- The Aliens. They looked great and that is it. They were awesomely dense at all times, unable to use their own weapons and throwing away every advantage they had over Humanity. With such bad acting, horrid lines and so on you want them to win but they cannot fly their ships or fight at all. They seem to be psychotic pacifists…work that one out. Is it flickering RED for kill it or GREEN for don’t kill it or is it RED with GREEN on it like a road bridge but we kill it anyway?
- The Shield. Yes, the aliens can generate a shield that forms a several mile high dome over a large area..kind of like a Battleship board game board limiting the pieces in play… More awful dialogue follows…its not North Korea or some navy secret experiment….pathological avoidance of the bleeding obvious. It cannot be Human in origin. Oh the aliens are shooting at us…what do we do…oh no its like Battlestar Galactica none of our advance weapons work anymore…panic. We had training and procedure for being shot at…what was it dude…I don’t know. Oh, yeah its personal dude attack them Ok Corral style. Plus we can confuse them with sunlight!
- Sugar Coated Boak. Boak is a Scottish word which means to be violently sick and it suits this movie. I know Americans like to salute their flag and that is totally fine with me but this film takes it WAY too far. It takes every heart on sleeve moment possible and wrings the life out of them while screaming ‘USA,USA’ over and over. I am not American so I can’t say but it must have made people there cringe with embarrassment; it did for me over and over. You can love your country, your navy, your service personnel without insulting them like Battleship did. The final scene with the real life veterans was appalling. If the characters from this film were real it would make me very scared that they had access to a handgun never mind cruise missiles and nuclear weapons too.
- Putting the Board game in the Film. Several scenes and events (tracking ocean movements, milk can projectiles etc) are put in for reference to the board game. Nice touch, but it does not add anything except to confuse the thin plot further.
- Final loss of Believability. The USS Missouri is a 70 year old museum piece but that is ok we can take twenty geriatric former sailors and get her sailing again in hours with no prep and one hundredth of the needed crew. These are real sailors and their dialogue is horrid! Quick turn the battleship, the aliens cannot traverse their own weapon pods! It gets worse…they beat the aliens with the ancient ship by dropping anchor and making one hundred thousand tons of steel skid in the water like a bloody touring car on a racetrack!
All in all its a terrible wooden movie which is so bad its actually funny. It ends with a little scene after the credits which sealed it for me….Scottish Highlands…NO, totally wrong landscape, Scottish Barn…NO unlike any architecture you would see outside of Ohio, Scottish Workman…NO totally wrong kind of Asian van and equipment…if that is Scotland then I am an Admiral. Sums up Battleship really..treats the audience like mugs.
In saying all this it makes me want to start a regular feature of reviewing bad or poor films that are in this or similar genres. I get inspiration for wargaming from some strange places so both you lot reading this and me viewing might both learn something or at least have a chuckle in trying.
Seriously…wait for Battleship to be on free view television. I did and it saved me a few pounds I would have regretted spending.