Written by / 5/19/2012 / No comments / , , , , ,

BATTLESHIP

title: BATTLESHIP
year: 2012
cast: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson
rating: **1/2

The classic board game BATTLESHIP is a lot more involving to play than watch. That being said, the worst parts are attempts to simulate the game itself: opponents stare at a grid and figure the other battleship's location to sink it. Switch that to a spacecraft and… well let’s not skip ahead. We begin with the typical slacker antihero; long-haired Alex Hopper (JOHN CARTER’s Taylor Kitsch) breaks the law to make sure gorgeous blond Samantha (Brooklyn Decker), who ordered a burrito in a bar after the grill closed, gets her wish by robbing a convenient store. His Navy Officer brother Stone tells him to shape up – we skip to the near future where Alex and Stone work within a fleet of battleships. Alex hasn’t changed much except for a haircut: he’s about to be thrown out of the Navy for his bad behavior… and his girlfriend’s Admiral father (Liam Neeson) might just wring his neck. At this point you’re thinking... what this particular hotshot needs is a real challenge – and he gets just that when aliens land in the ocean and eventually blow up (using exploding “pegs” like the game) all but one Destroyer – and now everything’s up to Alex, reluctantly in charge of the sole vessel. Here’s where the board game tactics take over. As the crew stare at a grid consul to figure the alien's underwater location, the silly fun is absent for much too long. But thankfully the third act pits the aliens against the “antique” Battleship U.S.S. Missouri, where a crew of real life old-timers help save the world (as AC/DC blares nonstop). Meanwhile, on land, real life war hero Gregory D. Gadson, who lost both his legs and uses metal prosthetics to walk, aids Hopper’s love interest in… doing something technical along with a nerdy comic relief. But even these scenes needed more cool stuff to happen and less cliché militaristic dialog. All in all it’s not a bad film – if you long for the retro "America Rules" kinda flick, this will do just fine. But even the most patriotic viewer might feel that flag waving a bit too much. Who knows, perhaps STRATEGO will get it right!
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