What I'm Watching: Battleship
So, if someone said to you, hey! Let's make a movie based on the old board game Battleship! you would probably laugh.
Heck, I know I did.
And people continued to laugh as the movie was released. The trailers looked fun, in a Michael Bay sorta way. But we all saw the title, and we all stayed away, because, well...it just sounds laughable.
Even I didn't get out to the theatre, but for more reasons than just not wanting to see the silly movie. So, I bought the DVD, watched the movie, and you know what? I was pleasantly surprised.
This was actually a pretty decent movie. Yes, sure. We're talking Battleship. We're talking about an alien invasion. It's big, it's over the top, and it IS Michael Baysian.
But unlike a Bay movie, the characters feel real. Hell, they ARE characters. They have personalities, they have arcs, they have purpose. They are not there just to stand around and gawp at explosions and spinning metal.
The movie is directed by Peter Berg (Star of Shocker! Yes!) and he's actually a really decent director. He knows what he's in for, and does the best job possible.
Battleship, as a concept, should NOT be this good. It SHOULD be Transformers 4, in all seriousness. But it's not. There's real heart here, good acting, effects...it's the movie any of the Transformers movies should have been. I wonder if none of those movies had come out, if this one might have been better received. I think after three Bay-made TF movies of explosions and gnashing metal, we were a bit done. And throwing this out at the same time, or near enough, was just too much.
I've become a pretty big fan of Taylor Kitsch lately, as he keeps giving these multi-layered performances of characters with so many layers. He's actually quite good. He just needs to stop being in movies that no one wants to watch, but end up being pretty damned good!
They did have to do a bit of bending over backwards to get an ACTUAL battleship into the plot, but the way they get there absolutely works, and I was kinda cheering at bringing in the old crew members to help save the day. It was one of the best moments of the film.
Battleship is destined to become a cult favourite. There really is a LOT here to like. If you want a popcorn movie that's got a little more heart and character to it, you MUST see this movie.