I was going to start off my review with some cliched smart ass comment about how Battleship will sink the careers of almost everyone involved. I figured at a price tag of $200M, this thing was going to be lucky to pull in Battle: Los Angeles numbers. But I see that it’s already brought in $215M overseas so after the domestic and international runs are over, this ironclad turd will make bank and then some. Meaning we’ll continue to get shitty insulting alien invasion flicks for quite some time.
Rihanna is barely in it and when she is she’s mostly firing guns and cannons into aliens. And, frankly, as an actress in a shitty action movie she’s fine. She is however given some of the worst dialogue in the movie talking about how her father predicted the day aliens would come to Earth and how he wished he would be dead not to see the fallout. Yeah, that’s a conversation that every father has with their kids.
Unlike movies like Super 8 and War of the Worlds were aliens walk around a completely foreign and fairly violent environment naked or Independence Day with those idiotic bio-suits that are anything but bulletproof, we finally get some realistic body armor on alien invaders. These suits are totally generic looking (think of the armor in Halo), but no amount of bullets can penetrate them. And that makes sense to me. I’m no genius military tactician but I know enough that if 21st century soldiers are wearing body armor in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, then an alien species with 31st century level technology ain’t going to visit us in the nude. A lack of shame is one thing, utter stupidity is another. So let’s end this argument right here and right now. Naked aliens coming to a hostile environment is really fucking stupid. And here it’s one of the only things they get right.
The first twenty minutes are actually very promising. Yes, we get that stupid shit about the discovery of a goldilocks planet and us beaming a signal directly to it at the speed of light hoping there will be somebody to receive it and say hello back. And then there’s the intro of our hero who, surprise surprise, is a major fuck up who is pissing away his potential. When he meets the hot girl, we get the best scene in the whole damn movie: the hero breaking into a 7-11 to get her a burrito. The whole sequence is seen through the lens of security cameras and watching Kitsch fall through the ceiling and wipe out an enter aisle is sort of charming.
But the whole sequence is wasted because as soon as boy gets girl, they flash forward 7 years and we never really see boy and girl together again. It’s a complete non-romance so other than trying to appease the female demographic, you wonder why they shoehorned it into the movie in the first place.
So yeah, they fast forward 7 years and the fuck up is now a goddamn lieutenant in the Navy. I guess they really are as desperate and sad as Xiphos says they are. And of course the hot girl is the Admiral’s daughter and he doesn’t approve of her dating a fuck up, even though he managed to go from convenience store felon to Naval lieutenant in 7 years.
I knew the movie was starting to go south when the aliens arrived. The trailers have you believing the aliens have been here for a while and are hiding under the sea. Which is sort of cool. But we actually see them arrive and it’s a really shitty reveal, especially since after having traveled countless light years to get here and encountering all sorts of crazy shit in space, one of the ships hits a satellite upon arrival and it just so happens, it’s their communication ship. Yup, they send 5 ships and only ONE of them is capable of sending a signal back home. So while the remains of the communication ship rain down over Hong Kong, the other 4 head for Hawaii. Why? Because that’s where the relay station is and the aliens need to take control of it so they can fucking phone home. And yes, they have a fucking E.T. phone home joke in there.
Unfortunately for the aliens, it just so happens there’s a huge international naval exercise going on around Pearl Harbor. And lieutenant fuck up and Rihanna aren’t going to go down without a fight. And you know what, I’m getting tired of talking about this fucking worthless movie so I’m going to speed it up.
Essentially what we have is a second hour that’s like one prolonged game of Battleship. Yup, they manage to work a grid system in there. The aliens put up a huge force field around one of the Hawaiian islands so that nothing can get through, but it also traps the naval ships inside. And the naval ships have zero radar function so they use a grid of weather buoys to detect motion in the water. And the alien ships that have traveled light years to get here are not capable of flying in our atmosphere it seems. Instead they leap frog on the water. So every time they splash down, they set off a buoy and that tells the good guys where the ship is so they can fire on it. And while we have guided missiles, the aliens who have mastered space travel only have weapons that are line of sight. Yeah sure they have those cool buzzsaw things you see in the trailers but apparently only a limited supply as they only fire those twice. Otherwise, their primary weapon are cannons that fire line of sight. And take absolutely forever to get a shot off. So needless to say, we fire our guided missiles, they fire their line of sight cannons and guess who wins.
Things get absolutely fucking stupid when our heroes conclude that the aliens must be light sensitive because of the visor on their helmets and draw one of the ships close to an island where Kitsch has set up a sniper position. And yup, you guessed it, they draw the ship in the direction of the sunrise, lieutenant fuck up shoots out the bridge windows, the aliens are temporarily blinded and are unable to react as they are fired upon by the Navy. Jesus, what moron comes up with this shit? And who agrees to film this garbage?
And contrary to popular belief, Liam Neeson, the Admiral, doesn’t die. He’s just barely in it, but he pops up again at the very end to give his approval of lieutenant fuck up for killing all the aliens and saving the world.
Oh, you also might have heard that it’s never really clear whether the aliens are good or bad as it’s us that fire first. The aliens are sort of like the Predator in that they scan people and decide whether they’re a threat or not (green means don’t kill, red means KILL) but there’s a really fucking stupid sequence where one of those rolling buzzsaws decides not to kill a kid at a little league game and then proceeds to destroy an entire fucking freeway killing thousands of civilians. So I think their intent to fuck us up is made pretty goddamn clear.
The only new thing that this movie adds to the alien invasion genre is unprecedented levels of stupidity. It may be the most pointless movie ever made.