1 1/2 Stars
The outer-space armada shows up right at the 30 minute mark, and from then on Battleship begins to sink under its own weight. The script runs out of ideas early on and the actors aren’t charismatic enough to hold our attention. It all becomes a glossy product with no identifiable characters or soul. Out of the three lead stars not one is a legitimate actor. Kitsch, a former model, is as wooden as a cigar store Indian. Rihanna is attractive but sorely miscast. Its Brooklyn Decker who posses the most charisma and seems poised to have the longest screen career of the trio. As dull as I felt Kitsch’s performance in John Carter was, he is even less expressive here. The surprise is that he and director Peter Burg have had a long and successful relationship.
Above all Battleship is one great big disappointment. I will admit that my curiosity was ignited by the coming attractions trailer, then my skepticism began to grow as the marketing outright mimicked the Transformers blue-print. In terms of direction, Berg is a strong enough filmmaker to not have to ape Michael Bay’s territory. I will give credit to the special effects gurus. There are also a few very effective images that seem right out of Spielberg and Kubrick heaven, most memorably, the image of Kitsch being dwarfed by the monolith raising out of the sea. I think a crucial error on the part of the creative team, is not giving us a clear-cut villain or any sense of why these extra-terrestrials have landed in the first place. Battleship is the kind of infantile movie that ends with multiple characters giving one another nods of approval, even though siblings and countless service men and women have been slain. Oh, and by the way, where is the President or any other branch of the military in all this? How does the public react to an alien invasion at sea? These are just a few of the many questions that I had time to think about as my eyes glazed over and my mind began to wonder during the course of the punishing 130 minute running-time.
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker