If I were a cynical and mean-spirited critic, I might choose to open my review of the awful new film from Peter Berg with a snarky line like, “It’s a bigger disaster than the Rihanna-Chris Brown relationship.” Since I’m not that cutting, let’s just put it this way: Battleship is a disaster. A terrible, awful, endless, and excruciatingly bad movie. It’s the kind of movie that gives Hollywood its bad name. It’s the kind of movie that makes you lament how any entity could spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make such drivel instead of, oh, I don’t know, feed starving children in the Appalachians or fight the genocide in Darfur. It’s the kind of movie that makes you lose your faith not only in cinema, but in humanity.
Think I’m exaggerating? Consider this: the movie is based (yes, based) on the old Hasbro board game of the same name where opposing players called out coordinates to destroy and blow up each others’ plastic toy battleships. I remember playing this game as a kid and rolling my eyes at how dull it became after a couple of rounds. Imagine a full-fledged movie based on said reductive concept. Actually, don’t imagine it. The reality is truly terrifying.
First off, the film has no tangible story. It is, as many expected, an orgy of action, battle scenes, and special effects for no apparent purpose than to keep teenage boys off the streets for an hour and a half. Also, expectedly, we’re told that there’s some diabolic and evil alien force that doesn’t really make an appearance until the climax and which we’re never told much about. It’s just kinda there and kinda sorta wants to destroy the planet. Why? Because that’s what aliens do, see!
As for the acting, if there were any in the film I might be able to comment on it. As I couldn’t detect any attempts to construct any characters or performances, I have nothing to offer. My two cents on Rihanna: Meryl Streep has nothing to worry about. Neither, for that matter, does Raven Simone.