Thursday, 24 May 2012

Battleship Commentary

I'm really trying to figure out why they had to "base" this movie on the Hasbro game of the same name.  There are really only two things that could be construed as being like the game and both would have been easily tweaked to avoid it.  First, the grid battle (that's all I will say) could have easily been done differently.  Second, the ships didn't have to be in a uniform formation like a rookie Battleship player would put them in.  But it would have taken some writing with some effort and thought put into it and this movie definitely did not have that.

Don't get me wrong.  There are aspects to this movie that are very good.  The effects are absolutely top notch.  The action is as good as you can get in movies today.  Everything looked realistic and well groomed.  The aliens are pretty decent too even if their fatal flaw is something that could not happen to a species from a planet that is almost identical to ours in its proximity from its sun.  The fact that they are the most humanoid aliens we've seen outside of Star Trek was an angle that I liked.  It also allows for less budget to be spent on alien effects and more on explosions and such (I like watching stuff blow up in AVX).  But maybe some of that could have been funnelled to decent writing or actors.

The movie is actually engaging as long as nobody is talking.  It's over two hours long and I didn't feel that because there's a lot of action and tension building which keeps it moving.  It looked like they were going to dwell on a human relationship story too much like in Pearl Harbor or Armageddon and completely slow the pace to snail.  But, thankfully, they didn't do that.  As long as they stick to that action it's OK.  But then the actors start talking and you find yourself laughing regardless of what is being said.  The comic relief is actually decent and you laugh at that (especially the burrito "quest" at the beginning.  That was great).  But the dramatic dialogue is just so bad that you laugh at it as well.  It gets to the point of actually being difficult to watch when this happens.  For example, in Hawaiian, "mahalo" means "thank you."  Trying to use it followed by "mother******" in conjunction with shooting an alien at point blank range with a cannon to be the next "yippee ki yay" makes no sense.  It would have been better if you actually said the second word because you'd have the alliteration factor but it would still would make no sense.  The fact is that "thank you" just doesn't work in that context.  "Aloha" would have been a much better choice.  And the movie is full of more examples of cool oneliner attempts that are just so bad.  Add the terrible acting to the terrible writing and it almost makes the movie unwatchable.  Even Liam Neeson couldn't save it because he's hardly in it.  Instead, we have to put up with Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna leading the charge to crap.

Don't see it.  While the action is great and the effects are fantastic, for an alien invasion movie it's almost as bad as Skyline.  It's easy to do the effects in a movie now.  Film makers need to start balancing that with better writing and acting.

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