04/11/2012 14:21

Battleship movie review

Big boats do battle with even bigger spaceships in a ludicrously entertaining upgrade of the classic children’s guessing game.

Battleship (© Universal)

Release date: 11 April 2012
Certificate: 12A
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Rihanna

What's the story?
When hostile aliens splash down off the coast of Hawaii, a hothead US sailor (Kitsch) and his flotilla of outgunned warships are all that stands between them and worldwide domination.

What did we think?
Hancock director Peter Berg serves up a long, loud and very spectacular actioner that does on the sea what Independence Day did in the skies. Beyond stupid at times with situations that are often laughable, it's just enjoyable enough to remain afloat.

2012 blockbuster preview!

If you ever played Battleship as a child, chances are it didn't involve extra-terrestrial hovercraft cordoning off a patch of the Pacific ahead of a full-scale invasion of Earth. If nothing else, then, Peter Berg's adaptation ups the ante, not least in supplanting the imagined sinkings of its inspiration with the most explosive celluloid capsizings since Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor.

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Yet it's not just naval mayhem that Berg's pic shares with that title. It also clones its two-dimensional characters, flag-waving patriotism and an obsession with artillery - both alien and earthbound - that borders on the creepy. Rarely have shells, mines and missiles been so lovingly shot as they accelerate towards their targets, or cannons so glorified as they swivel and lock into position. Hell, even the lizard-like villains look super cool in their gleaming, whirring armour and futuristic sun visors.

With all this focus on the military hardware, it's hardly surprising that John Carter's Taylor Kitsch gets lost in the crush as a disgraced officer shocked to find himself in charge of the human resistance. Rihanna, in contrast, comes out of it pretty well as a spunky munitions ace, largely because she knows when to let the guns do the talking.

3 stars

Verdict: Next year - Yahtzee!

Below: 2012 blockbuster preview!

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