Saturday, June 2, 2012

Movie Review: Battleship

(Don't forget to check out today's Midsummer Songaday as well, it's right under this review!)

So, finally got to the theater to see this. My verdict is that it's definitely better than I expected. I was expecting pretty much nothing though, so improvement wouldn't take much. However, I'll still say that it's a good movie.

Plot/Writing: So this is both a weak point and an okay one at the same time. Basically, the weak points come from the actual execution of the plot and the forcible shoe-horning in of the Battleship game mechanics. While it didn't seem like actual nonsense at any point, it did seem superfluous and convoluted.
On the other hand, the aliens were sweet. They had interesting concepts and a couple spots where they could have easily said more about the alien race and made it into a legitimately cool alien invasion movie. A lot of them owes to the excellent work performed by concept artists and designers and not the plot writers though - if the writers knew what was good for their movie, they would have given us a lot more on the aliens. One scene in the movie involves a captured one that suddenly wakes up and, upon locking eyes with the lead character Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) Alex has this vision (looks like the aliens destorying a world or something). This  imparting visions and such could have made for a very neat element and created a communication link between the two, but instead the vision is never explained and that particular ability is never mentioned again.
That's not to say that the plot itself is bad all the time. It has high points, and watching Alex struggle into his field-promoted command position was very humanizing actually, as was his subplot with Samantha - I expected it to go quite cheesily, but it managed to be underplayed enough to be nice and the characters had enough quirk to make it worth seeing those bits.
Probably my favorite little plotline was the Mick character (a double amputee)'s regaining of the will to fight. It's a progression, not all one rush of courage, and it worked for me. Samantha's role in it was a bit underwhelming after the first scene of them, but his own arc was nice for me.
I'll say one thing about the beginning: wow does it give an odd tone to the movie. It set up the three characters (Alex, Stone Hopper, and Samantha) quite well, showed us who they were, and succeeded at being regularly funny. I expected to be swept up by the action in this movie, but I didn't expect to laugh in the way I did with that opening scene. Chicken burrito indeed.

Acting: So Taylor Kitsch has been showing up quite a bit lately, hasn't he? Playing John Carter, this, and acting in the upcoming Savages. He does a decent job with it, and his quiet moments are just as good as his action. Good job man.
Liam Neeson was sorely underused. The scenes with him doing anything more than saying "What's going on in the dome?" were always excellent. However, he probably would have overpowered the rest of the cast. He did a good job, especially when he was showing his humorous side.
Brooklyn Decker as Samantha was fine - not particularly special, but not really bad either.
Rihanna. I wanted to talk about this one. Here goes: Good job gal! I was worried about a pop star's ability to act, especially when surrounded by Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, and others. She didn't falter! It helps that her part wasn't exactly too involved (mostly shooting and yelling military jargon, though her interaction with Ordy especially at the beginning was very nice), but she did a good job with what was there. I know she said she took it because it didn't seem like too big of a role, and I agree - I didn't want to see the "Rihanna is in a movie" movie, and her involvement was sufficiently underplayed. Keep it up, and I'm actually hoping to see you in a serious acting role in the future should your music career allow it.
So yes, I just complimented Rihanna on her acting. Shut up.

Visuals (SFX + Directing): They were fine. A couple interesting shots, but nothing that stays with me hugely. A lot of great CG and explosions, as we all expected. The sci-fi look of inside the alien's visors (and indeed the whole alien design, suit look, and ship design) was very cool and were the main thing to spice up the movie with something I wasn't expecting.
One note to the visuals team: who turned and said "I think signal messages to space should be giant flaming glowing laser beams."? Because you're an idiot.

Sound: Boom bang bang crack crack whirr snap crack bang bang bang sheeeoooooom BOOM. Anyway, they brought in the guy who did the Transformers soundtrack, Steve Jablonsky, and they featured Tom Morello on a few songs. By the way, Jablonsky has a decent track record for scores - aside from Transformers his film soundtracks have pretty much all been horror, but for video games he's worked on Metal Gear Solid 2 (along with Harry Gregson-Williams, of course), Gears of War 2 and 3, and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. He does a good job, I enjoyed the actual composed stuff quite a lot. There was some AC/DC in there too. I must say, seeing those aliens marching around in power armor with AC/DC going really just made me want to go watch Iron Man.

So yeah, conclusion stuff.
Watch This Movie If You Like: the Transformers movies, big action flicks.
Don't Watch This Movie If You're Expecting: A movie that could get an Oscar nomination for anything other than special effects.
Final Score: Quality-wise, it's probably a 6.5/10. Fun-wise though, I'd be willing to go as high as 8/10 (though that's a tad generous, but not by much).

I'd recommend seeing it, and I'd DEFINITELY recommend seeing it in theaters - movies like this need either the theater or a damn good home theater system to make it work, average viewers won't get the best experience out of their TVs.

End Recording,

No comments :

Post a Comment