Saturday, 1 November 2014

Battleship (2012)

I decided to celebrate the first day where I'm not actually scheduled to write a review by ... well, by watching my favourite film of 2012 and writing a review of it :)

At least one critic would tell you that my enjoyment of this film indicates that I am part of the "less demanding audience", but I don't think that's at all accurate.  Battleship is certainly a film with a very specific aesthetic, and its mix of weapons grade hokum and undiluted testosterone will not appeal to all viewers, but it's a movie that commits 100% to its own premise (however silly that premise might be), and for that I salute and applaud it.  Too many films make 'safe' choices.  This one is not afraid to be gonzo.

It's not that the film has a particularly original arc, you understand: Alex Hopper is a hot-headed and impetuous young man with little direction in his life.  His drunken antics one night compel his brother to force him into the navy: where Hopper's hot-headed and impetuous nature soon has him on the verge of being cashiered.

Fortunately for his career - and his chances of marrying the admiral's daughter - Earth's about to be invaded by aliens, and Hopper will end up leading the battle against them.

So yeah, nothing especially innovative.  Where Battleship is out of the ordinary is the wholehearted way it leaps into the story.  This is a film where it is not enough to have a montage.  It's gotta have a montage that runs for the entire run time of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck".  It's a movie that goes to significant lengths to have a naval battle play out like an actual game of Hasbro's "Battleship".

This is not to say that there aren't some subtler things at work in the script.  I won't spoil anything, but let's just say that there are a couple of interpretations to how events on screen play out, and the movie never definitively establishes which is true (apparently the novelisation lacks this ambiguity, but I've not read it).

Ultimately this is a BIG, (perhaps not-so-)dumb action film with a commitment to being as over the top as it can be in terms of the action and humour it portrays.  It's not going to be to all tastes, but my word I have a great time watching it.

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