Battleship

"Very Good"

Battleship Review


You'd have to go back to 1998's Armageddon to find another film that so adeptly combines whopping apocalyptic action and corny save-the-planet heroics. Even if this feels like low-rent Michael Bay, it's a definitive popcorn blockbuster: a dumb movie that keeps us blissfully entertained.

Alex (Kitsch) is a smart guy who has wasted his life so, after getting in trouble while impressing a hot girl (Decker), his Naval-officer brother (Skarsgard) drafts him into service. Later on a Pacific Rim war-game exercise, Alex ends up in charge of the only ship nearby after aliens invade earth and put a force-field around Hawaii. Working with his plucky crew (including Rihanna, Asano, Tui and Plemons), Alex must figure out how to out-wit these Transformer-like killers. By the way, the hot girl turns out to be the daughter of the admiral (Neeson).

There's no actual wit on display; even references to the board-game source material are rather blunt. But the script is a cleverly assembled riot of cheesy comedy, macho action and contrived emotion, and you could sail an aircraft carrier through the gaping holes in the premise. For example, if these aliens are so technologically awesome, why hadn't they discovered Earth before we sent them a friendly "hello"? But if you stop to contemplate these anomalies, you might miss something terribly cool on-screen.

As the action set pieces escalate noisily, the above-average effects work and propulsive narrative keep us smiling. Watching a massive battleship skid sideways to a stop is pretty ridiculous, but we can't help but cheer. And as handy discoveries about the aliens help push the plot conveniently forward, the way they look inside their armour weirdly shifts the film into heavy-metal mode.

Physically, the cast is put through their paces. Kitsch has the muscly-scruffy charm we saw in John Carter (but a better haircut), while Rihanna proves that she can play with the big boys. Neeson doesn't have much to do beyond scowling from outside the force-field and adding a gruff presence to the romantic subplot as the vacuous Decker's dad. And director Berg keeps things charging full-speed, pounding us into submission with whizzy visuals, ear-pounding action and undemanding comedy. In troubled times, this could be just what we need.



Battleship

Facts and Figures

Run time: 131 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th May 2012

Box Office USA: $65.2M

Distributed by: Universal

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 34%
Fresh: 71 Rotten: 137

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Brian Goldner, , Bennett Schneir, Scott Stuber

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.