I’m not going to joke around in this review. I’m not going to use clever wordplay or use stupid puns. They wouldn’t do justice to this movie. It would be like making jokes about some horrible historical tragedy, completely unwarranted and inappropriate. I walked into Battleship desperately hoping for some great comedic material for a review. I walked out a changed man, a shellshocked ghost of my former self. Stop laughing, because I’m being serious. Battleship is more than just the cheesy, awful movie we all anticipated. It is a cinematic shitstorm of Biblical proportions. It’s like a terrible YouTube parody of Transformers gone horrendously over-budget. It is, truly, beyond my skills as a wordsmith. The words to describe it do not exist on our mortal plain. Battleship is like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Now, I’ve seen a lot of bad movies, far more than I care to admit. And I’m even more ashamed of the fact that I often spend good money to watch those bad movies (watch out for my Chernobyl Diaries review next week), sometimes purely for the joy of reviewing them. It is you, dear reader, for whom I make these great sacrifices. So don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Battleship is one of the worst films I have ever seen. Ever.
“Worse than Battlefield: Earth?” you say. Yes, without question.
“Worse than Troll 2?” Certainly. Keep going.
“Surely it can’t be worse than The Room!” It comes pretty damn close, let me tell you.
In fact, The Room is a perfect example of a comparable film. Both display embarrassing incompetence in nearly every aspect of filmmaking, and both alternate between laughable stupidity and painful…boringness? Is that a word?
In any case, it’s an accurate one. Battleship is one of those rare movies that gets absolutely nothing right. The direction from Peter Berg is terrible. The editing is flashy and impossible to follow. The production design is lazy, ripping off dozens of other sci-fi properties, everything from Halo to Half-Life. The acting, as I’m sure you could imagine, is okay at best and monotonous at worst. Why is Rihanna in this movie, and who told her that acting was a good career move? Between this and John Carter, I doubt Taylor Kitsch is getting a lead role any time soon. And Liam Neeson completely phones it in. Seriously, he spends most of his screentime yelling at people on the phone. And I won’t even go in to the script, which contained characters that made me root for the aliens to win. I actively wished death upon all of them. I could go into every single little nitpick about the story, but I won’t. Because it would take pages and pages and it would encompass the entire length of the film. Not a single scene goes by without introducing a plot hole of some kind. It would actually cause me pain to start listing them.
Hey, let’s talk about “laughably stupid” to get my mind off it, okay? There were several moments in the theater where I burst out laughing, either due to awful acting or the sheer ridiculousness of certain plot points. You can’t help but laugh at scenes like these:
- “All the veterans from the beginning are littered around the ship, waiting to be asked to help fight in the climax.”
- “The guy with no legs finds the courage to engage an armored alien in hand-to-hand combat.”
- “The soldiers and the veterans carry the thousand-pound torpedo on their backs from one end of the ship to the other.”
- “A scene of a sinking ship that is stolen shot-for-shot from Titanic.”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, that’s all there is to say about it. I think I might do a more in-depth criticism when it comes out on DVD, but for now I think I’m going to take a nap and think about my life. I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I didn’t enjoy watching Battleship. Which is to say, more than you can possibly bear.