Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 23, 2012

Low expectations only move for “Battleship”

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — As a movie going geek with sufficient brain rot watching all sorts of scenarios where humans battle aliens for survival, it takes an almost criminal level of plot destruction to even get past the numbness barrier. This is why when even my wife tries to preserve remaining brain cells avoiding such titles like this I have no problem with a little more groan worthy assault and how I was able to create low enough expectations.

Trust me, after watching this latest Hasbro annihilation on story telling I can see why people might rank it low or even avoid it entirely. However, even though it’s every bit as corny and lacking in substance beyond Baytastic explosions, in the grand scheme it turns out to be a little better than I thought beforehand. “Battleship” still makes me giggle thinking they spent and lost this much dough adapting a board game to the silverscreen, but it actually has some moments worthy of the guy’s night out need for action.

The invented story basically kicks off with the premise of NASA’s interest with discovering new planets way out in the galaxy with conditions much like Earth and their attempt to establish communication by sending out signals in case any one wants to hang out. Intersecting this is the uninspiring free fall of a loser named Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) whose life is only turned slightly toward the better after his brother Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) intervenes by forcing him to join him in the Navy.

Fast forward to 2012 when Alex is still managing to screw everything up in disastrous fashion, including his relationship with eye candy Samantha Shane (Brooklyn Decker), daughter of Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson) when ET phones home and isn’t here for tea. Loser boy is shocked into not only finally being responsible, but the only one who can save the planet with the help of those that remain. Oh, and despite most of the movie not actually having a battleship until most of it is over, there are a few silly references one can catch from a grid much like the board game to the alien’s own missiles looking like pegs on the board.

There have been a lot of comparisons along the lines of “Pearl Harbor” meets “Transformers” and those I would agree with and though the aliens are about as bland and disposable as those in “Battle: Los Angeles,” their humanoid-like form made me want to actually know more than their conquering nature led on. My favorite moment of the film was actually when retired Navy guys from WII amusingly team up with the younger Navy guys and was the only point when I heard cheers from my fellow moviegoers.

Don’t expect much from most of the characters, even the lead and his dumb as rocks love interest, but I do tip my hat to those like the Japanese sidekick Captain Nagata (Tadanobu Asano) and Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales (Gregory D. Gadson) for at least providing some noticeable depth. In other words, it’s fine enough if you just want to see something for blow ‘em’ up sake and fun if you haven’t burnt out from this year’s other invasion themed selections. Final verdict on “Battleship” is two and one fourth out five leagues.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.