And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Battleship (2012)

Our review of yet another the Alien Invasion movie from Hasboro, “the company that brought you Transformers.” Directed by Peter Berg, the director of Hancock, God help him.  Indeed, God help us all.

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This movie is one of the first to actually tease me with joy, and then kill it horrifically. The first 20 minutes were boring, but necessary, I get that. You can literally jump in at the 20 minute mark and be fully up to speed, that’s when the aliens arrive.

What filled me with joy was the realization that they were going to (minor spoiler but people shouldn’t watch this anyway) portray the aliens as BETTER than the humans! EVERY encounter showed the aliens to be more caring, more compassionate, more restrained than their human navy counterparts and I was like “YES, an original bold idea!!! Dare to say that the millitary might not be the good guys here!” The perfect line was when the PT boat calls out listlessly “Alien craft I am attempting to communicate!” and 5 seconds later ” Alright, prepare to be boarded” I laughed and thought “Yeah, like YOU’D just sit there and let the alien board YOUR ship without escort, and you know they don’t speak english, right?” I was waiting for the characters to slap themselves in the head and realize after the umpteenth time the alien refused to hurt innocents or the army any more than necessary for defense that “Hey, this is THEIR navy! They recieved a signal from earth and investigated. They damaged their communications equipment and wanted to use the one that sent the signal in the first place. That’s all! They want to phone home and tell them that all’s cool. it’s NOT an invasion but a fight WE started!”

Right up to the very end they were leaning that way…and then it was all thrown in the trash as the “invasion” was treated at face value, and the heroic navy celebrates! I was SO pissed off I screamed out “WHAT??? You can’t just throw away that link of plot development you obviously went out of your way to create! Who threatened the director to make him do this???”

I honestly liked the main body of the movie, but the beginning and end were physically painful to me. How they can screw up this way has to be deliberate, you can’t be that idiotic a director with the name Uri, right?

As for the “sonar peg bombs” part…we don’t speak of that aloud.

Comment by Mamba

Hell yes! You’re far from the only one who picked up on this seemingly-abandoned plot point. To my mind, it might’ve redeemed some of the film’s more dunderheaded excesses. Not nesessarily made the whole experience worthwhile but, like you said, “Hazah for something DIFFERENT!” We’re living in a post Battle: Los Angeles world so no one needs to make another shakey-cam Alien Invasion movie unless/until they come up with some manner of twist to it. But having actual vets square off against CGI lens flares was the boldest thing they were willing to do. If the aliens weren’t unrepentant bad guys, and if the movie didn’t end celebrating the U.S. Navy as the paragons of human civilization they (and the Pentagon) would like us to believe they are, the mouth-breathers and low-attention-spaners might leave the theater feeling…uncomfortable. And the movie can’t stand for that. It’s got to appeal to them. In fact, it’s got to go out of its way to appeal to everyone. So its underwear models, big, orange explosions and shinny military hardware for sir and some Taylor Kitsch, some Liam Neeson, and plenty of guiltless schmlatz for the lady. Stuff from Independence Day, stuff from Battle: LA, stuff from the wet dreams of some Iowa-class battleship enthusiast. All in a desperate ploy to be liked by as many people as possible because this movie cost too much to do anything else. I’m tempted to think they threw in that little bit of ambiguity about the aliens intent just to appeal to us – the thinking individuals who’ve seen too many of these damn things done poorly. Peter Berg’s no slouch – he knows we’re out there. He made at least half of Hancock specifically for us. He must’ve known we’d wind up watching it eventually. So he either threw that in as a tinsy bit of fanservice, so small it could squeeze through the “creative” committees Hasboro more than likely has…or it’s another joke, this time on us, and he’s sitting back on his throne of cash laughing. Forget that we spent the whole time hoping and praying something interesting would happen: he got us to sit through the whole thing. So, for him, mission accomplished.

Comment by David DeMoss

For me this was a film that did the unforgivable: promised prime cheese, and delivered dullness. The earlier trailers got my hopes up, but ended up looking more cheesy than the final product.

Comment by RogerBW

I know what you mean: I went in expecting a complete clusterfuck, not the awkward, half-hearted kind I wound up staring at. It’s not even bad enough to face the worst of the Twilight series. I’d take Green Lantern over this since (a) it’s lens flares are less intrusive, and (b) it’s Badness comes in distinct, identifiable troughs and rises. There’s a rhythm to it, something you can get into if you’re not the type who snarks their way through shit…and, even if you are, the rhythm will carry you through, with plenty of points to moan and throw up your hands throughout. There’s no rhythm to Battleship. It’s uniformly bad, it’s badness spread across itself like a layer of peanut butter. And like Bane said, “There can be no true despair without hope.” With no hope going into it, we get nothing out of it.

Comment by David DeMoss

Well, at the very least you, I and the rest of the world can take comfort in the fact that Avengers beat Battleshit down at the box office. This, along with Pain & Gain not getting that much advertising, I’d like to think is signaling we’re getting closer to a post-Bay age. But that could just be the romantic in me. Either way, excellent review and may this film slowly fall into obscurity.

Comment by Jordan Levells

Much as I support your Inner Romantic’s hopes for a post-Bay Age, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I take comfort in the still-incredible-to-me fact that The Avengers was any good at all, nevermind as good as it turned out. But, for all that – and all the money, praise, supposed popularity, and money – the critical and popular consensus dismissed Avengers as “Transformers For The Slightly Less-Dumb” even before the end of Summer. There could be all kinds of reasons why we’re not seeing a big blitz for Pain & Gain. (Hell, look at what happened to John Carter). Personally, I vote its because Bay’s neck deep in the pre-production of Transformers 4… or Trans4mers, if you will (copyright David DeMoss, 2013)…which he had to agree to do in order to get Pain & Gain made. I honestly felt sorry for him when I heard that – he’s never missed an opportunity to bring it up as The Dream Project I Wanna Do Someday, When I’m Done With This Blockbuster Crap. Then I heard about the Ninja Turtles and my sympathies dried up faster than a corpse in the Mojave.

Comment by David DeMoss




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