The plot: alien spacecraft spring out of our oceans and start shooting at us. We fight back. It looks like we won't win, but we do win. Along the way, explosions happen, people die by the thousands, and sparks fly between the two young so-and-soes. We don't care, and it can all go to hell. Your three hours would be better spent sleeping, reading, or just playing basketball with your friends!
Most board games would make poor movies, with one or two exceptions. Clue is obviously a classic, though a sorry remake is surely on its way; Scrabble got its due during that spelling-bee craze a few years back; and I think There Will Be Blood was based on Monopoly. But Battleship is one of the dullest, least imaginative board games a fool could choose to turn into a screenplay. The game puts you in the captain's chair of a naval fleet as you blindly fire warheads into the ocean, hoping to hit your enemy! The best part of the game was the board, with its blue plastic ocean and little toy ships. The game play was more of a chore: gimp-slow, and pointless. In that, at least, the film remains faithful.
Peter Berg has given us some real dogs in his day, like The Rundown, The Kingdom, and Hancock, but he's outdone himself this time. Battleship is not original, interesting, or particularly entertaining; it contains no joy, and its sense of action-movie "humor" is something I hate very much. (The spaceship opens... "That's not good," quips the moron.) This dog should be taken out back, beaten til it's miserable, then put out of its misery.
Battleship is definitely a product of its time. It is bloated, excessive, and shallow. It'll take your money and offer a sideshow in return. The amount of resources required to make this film must have been staggering, and its carbon footprint sizable. What's more, it seems to have a fixation bordering on lust for guns, fire, destruction, and the long schlong of the American military. In spirit and execution, waste is the word that comes to mind. It was a different world sixteen years ago, when a gentleman made a good action movie on the water for $172 million and was deemed an irresponsible failure. Nowadays, Berg can drop two-hondo mil on a paint-by-numbers alien invasion movie with a shameless promotional tie-in, and if it makes a buck, he's got a VMA movie award coming his way. I know we're in the age of excess, but god almighty. Take it down a notch, Berg.
Costner, meanwhile? He's cleaning up the Gulf.
Who's the asshole now, world?
Dorien Sez: F
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