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Battleship Review


Sink or Swim?



This is kind of the adventures of Friday, continued.

We’d seen The Avengers, we had filled our bellies with more than enough KFC to kill ordinary men, now Steve and I were heading in for our second movie of the day.

There had been some discussion over what we’d see. The other contender was Cabin in the Woods - and that was always going to be the better film, we knew that. The fact that it was another Joss Whedon film also made it appealing, (I mean what self respecting geek wouldn’t want a Whedon double bill?) But in the final cut, it all came down to timing. If we wanted to see Cabin in the Woods - we’d have to hang around the multiplex foyer for an extra hour after we’d eaten. Option 2 was the logical choice.

Battleships was the second option we’d discussed, on the grounds that we would enjoy a day of cinematic mayhem and destruction.

I had my doubts about a film based on the simple game of Battleships, when I heard it was in production. I mean, really, what’s next - Ker Plunk! - the Movie?

When we took our seats and started to watch it, on the plus side - it bore no resemblance to the game, other than there was a war game in progress, I suppose. The film looks great - there’s no denying that. The CGI is amazing and the film comes across as a cross between Transformers and Independence Day, but at sea. 

Alien invaders decide to hit during a huge naval exercise off the islands of Hawaii.

If you can just walk away from the movie having enjoyed that - you’re laughing.

Spectacle and effects aside, there are some pretty big faults. The performances are, in the main pretty dire. As bad as the characters’ situations get - you don’t feel a sense of urgency or even compassion. Liam Neeson tries his best to elevate the film but despite his gravitas, there’s no denying that the script had big enough holes to pilot...well, a battleship through.

Examples? A missile is fired from one of the alien craft toward a destroyer. Seeing that the missile will strike the ship, the commander orders full reverse and the ship immediately goes backward, causing the missile to strike the ocean right in front of where the destroyer would have been had they not reversed.

Now I’m not a naval man, nor a sea going person. Hell, I can’t even swim. But surely the fact that the ship was travelling forward at a rate of knots would mean that momentum would’ve prevented such a sudden change of direction. And in case - if it was that easy to change a ship’s direction, how come the Titanic sank. Why didn’t THEY just slam it into reverse?

It gets better - apparently (and this was news to me) another was to turn a huge ship quickly is to drop the anchor while it’s going at full speed. The anchor stops the ship and there’s enough momentum (oh, NOW there’s momentum) with the anchor lodged firmly in the sea bed, to perform the ocean going equivalent of a hand brake turn. Really? And the ship’s NOT torn apart? Wow.

The communication satellite used at the end??? I was certain I had seen that thing destroyed as the aliens approached the Earth at the beginning of all this - or maybe that was just a random other communications satellite that just looked like the one at the end...? Oh, never mind. By that point my eyes were glazing over.

To be fair, despite all my griping - nothing I could have seen that day would’ve beaten my experience of watching The Avengers, but maybe, in retrospect, we should’ve hung around the multiplex foyer for that extra hour.

 

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