Battleship (12A)

Film

War films

Taylor Kitsch, left, in Battleship

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Wed Apr 11 2012

To think this started life as a game of detection you could play with pencils and paper, trying to guess where each other’s naval forces were secretly lurking on a hand-drawn grid. Nowadays, the same basic principles are played out on your tablets and smartphones, though there’s one common factor – a distinct lack of aliens.

That’s now been rectified, as this pixellated extravaganza pits combined US and Japanese seagoing forces against powerful extraterrestrial foes, who look suspiciously like kiddies’ action figures, presumably because the same toy company which has the rights to the ‘Battleship’ game also brought you the ‘Transformers’ range. Essentially, then, we’re talking a marketing exercise as much as a movie.

And not much of a movie either. Predictably big on military hardware, explosions, explosions and, yes, more explosions, its appeal would seem largely limited to little boys who like playing with plastic figures and detachable accessories, an age group forbidden from seeing it by the 12A certification.

Taylor ‘John Carter’ Kitsch confirms that he lacks leading-man charisma as Alex, a youthful rapscallion who shows his mettle when he joins the navy, taking on the invaders so Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson, not over-taxed) will let him marry his blonde bombshell daughter, Samantha (Brooklyn Decker). Oh yeah, and he might save the world while he’s at it.

The action delivers a certain amount of mass destruction – did we mention the explosions? – but tends to assume the viewer has a four-second attention span, since the aliens seem all-powerful one minute, laughably vulnerable the next. This dampens any prospect of excitement, and though director Peter Berg (‘Hancock’, ‘The Kingdom’) seems to have played his most spectacular cards too early, the movie rallies in a final reel of such outrageous, shameless, unrepentant (not to say explosive) idiocy that one can’t help but smile.Briefly.

Elsewhere pop foxtress Rihanna gets little to do in a Lt Uhuru-type supporting slot; Hamish Linklater graduates from Miranda July’s indie quirkfest ‘The Future’ to prosper in the beardy/speccy/scientist geek role; while otherwise supercool Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano seriously dents his arthouse cred in a clunky turn as Kitsch’s rival-turned-pal. Guess his presence takes care of the Asian market, though, in a package which never, ever lets you forget its brand-led priorities. Still, when the name of the toy company is above the title on the poster, you can’t say you weren’t given fair warning.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Wed Apr 11, 2012

Duration:

131 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|20
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Lucie

I would like to rename this movie...Battleshit. It's up there with The happening.

Chris

As a veteran I really appreciated everything about this film. Okay it was all gun ho US Navy fighting the aliens but it didn't stop for a minute and the Navy Vets saving the day was just brilliant.

Chris

As a veteran I really appreciated everything about this film. Okay it was all gun ho US Navy fighting the aliens but it didn't stop for a minute and the Navy Vets saving the day was just brilliant.

Blaize67

I don’t understand the negative crits for this movie, it doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. A well accomplished action/adventure with all the ingredients – heroes, villains, earth threatening danger and love interest – as expected. Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) and Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) transfer their charisma status admirably from the TV and a real All-American hero Gregory D. Gadson as the colonel. And with Rihanna looking cute in her navy duds frolicking about with a great big cannon – what’s not to like! Recommended for fans of the genre. Those looking for deep meaningful social comment in an arty foreign language film with sub-titles – look elsewhere.

MrParker

I would say this movie was actually a missed opportunity. I was afraid we might be plunged into the explosions from second one, but the film takes it's time to build up the characters a bit (all be it very cliche) and effectively uses humor to make us like the main man. But as soon as the aliens land the script gives us the most stupid and ridicules turn of events ever. First: the super advanced aliens somehow lose their communication device, so they now need our special satellite?? (So if aliens send three heavy fighters and none of them comes back and they don;t hear anything for days.....they'll just figure....let's forget about that planet....??) Second: Somehow aliens able to travel across the universe didn't figure out how to see with their eyes....No they can only see a weapon as long as it is aimed at them...? WTF??? Then once the three alien frigates are blasted the army apparently assumes that "All is well". Since the aliens who send the ships surely won;t miss their ships or send another party over to investigate. No No! It's time to celebrate and nothing else....? If this movie reflects the actual intelligence of the US army then I would say we would be better of to have some polar beers deal with any aliens if they ever come over.... Nice effects though! and I like the hot blond girl...

Simon

I find vehement criticism of this kind of film completely disingenuous. Everyone knows what they're going to get with the likes of Battleship, and yet there's always a transparently smug contingent who will see it solely to feel some intellectual superiority, though I suspect their tendency to watch these popcorn films is because of their hidden enjoyment of them, otherwise why fork out £10-15 for something you know you'll dislike? I wouldn't spend that much money to watch a Hugh Grant film when I hate the talentless twat. As for Battleship, it does what it says on the tin. It's an entertaining action adventure flick. And how often do you see a mainstream Hollywood film that features a disabled character in a prominent role? And not only that but actually played by a disabled actor. You won't see one in any of Ken Loach's heartfelt dramas about brave council estate benefit claimants or heroic IRA terrorists.

the gambler

EPIC EPIC EPIC, Must watch I thought it was going to be a rubbish take on the board game but turns out it was awsome Probably best to see it if you,re in to cgi explosions and beast aliens and action. If you're not then its probably not worth the cash but you should see it anyway Silly story line but is good fun either way so yes I'm definately going to watch this film again

the gambler

EPIC EPIC EPIC, Must watch I thought it was going to be a rubbish take on the board game but turns out it was awsome Probably best to see it if you,re in to cgi explosions and beast aliens and action. If you're not then its probably not worth the cash but you should see it anyway Silly story line but is good fun either way so yes I'm definately going to watch this film again

matt

You boring lot!! i found the film fun and enjoyable!! me and my mates loved it!!

matt

You boring lot!! i found the film fun and enjoyable!! me and my mates loved it!!

mike

Went with my 15 year old son, I had very low expectations but was suprised at how enjoyable the movie was.............. most story lines are stupid, it is called 'artistic licence' I think... so just ignore the story and enjoy !! Everyone in the theatre enjoyed the movie as did my son.... many even stayed to watch the credits... infinitily better than that rubbish film called 'the road' which attempted to be serious !!

mike

Went with my 15 year old son, I had very low expectations but was suprised at how enjoyable the movie was.............. most story lines are stupid, it is called 'artistic licence' I think... so just ignore the story and enjoy !! Everyone in the theatre enjoyed the movie as did my son.... many even stayed to watch the credits... infinitily better than that rubbish film called 'the road' which attempted to be serious !!

mooney

i went to see this movie with my wife,and other than it was noisy,we both enjoyed it,an would watch it again

Marsellus

I went in with low expectations thanks to the trailer and was pleasantly surprised. Yes it is stupid (very!) and yes it is loud (very!) but it is fun. The film doesn't take itself seriously and made me laugh quite a few times (due to intentional and unintentional bits). What more could a person expect from a film based on such a straight-forward board game? If you liked Independence Day but wished it was just a little bit more stupid then Battleship is for you!

Paul

I went to see it with my teenage daughter on the strength of it having Rihanna in it. The oblique references to Pearl Harbour went over her head. It's a film for young boys and delivers the sort of action they enjoy. Not worth analysing as it is just a basic cgi action film with the usual formula. Rihanna did not shine and my daughter thought she looked ugly, so there you go.

miles

ANOTHER TURD WITH LIAM NEESON -this one takes on INDEPENDENCE DAY TOO ,

Ian

This is truly an awful film. Its a cliche heavy tub thumping mindless mess, When the trailers for this film first cam out I am sure it was advertised as being in 3D and some of the scenes in the original trailer didn't make it to the final cut. The default mode in the film is play it dumb, play it loud and have lots of explosions and join the mess together with lots of heavy metal music. I imagine the aim is to get teenage American's come out of the movie shouting USA and marching straight to the nearest navy recruitment office. Berg seems to have rounded up every war cliche he can and then found a few more for good measure. After about half of the film I gave up on the plot and started counting the cliches. My particular favourites were how they managed to get the Battleship into action and also how the last round from the last working turret provided the kill. Don't expect to be entertained more bludgened to death with explosions, very loud music and lots of cliches. Kitsch confirms the inkling from John Carter that he isn't leading man material and Rihanna joins a long list of singers who should forget about acting and stick to the day job. Just worth two stars if only for the audacity with all the cliches.