|Posted by Fluffyman on May 21, 2012 at 1:35 PM|
Poster Made By: Universal Pictures
Courtesy of: Wikipedia
I don’t even need to get past the title to explain why I don’t care about this or why it has sunk at the domestic box office. But to make my opinion clearer, I have to ask “Since when did a board game about naval warfare translate into a movie about aliens?” While I have no mind into the filmmakers, Universal Pictures or Hasbro who signed off on this, but from what I can gather there just seems like so many misguided ideas in the process of making the film. I know it’s silly to think that a movie based upon a board game should be treated as high art, but there should have been a better direction than an uninspired love child of Transformers and Battle: Los Angeles.
From what I hear the situation is that Universal was sitting on the rights for the Hasbro-owned board game, and were forced by the company to make a movie otherwise they’d penalize the studio. So basically that’s how we got the film, they dumped $220 Million into it, and hired Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, and Hancock) to direct it. I am not a man who knows where budget is allocated but pumping so much money and so little inspiration into such unproven franchise material does not equal success.
The cast has Taylor Kitsch headlining (who probably thought this and John Carter would be his big breaks) playing the rebellious naval protagonist, Liam Neeson playing the stereotypical superior officer who has a hot daughter (Brooklyn Decker) who is all over Kitsch, Eric Northman from True Blood as another officer/BFF of Kitsch, and pop-singer Rihanna making her acting debut as another Naval officer. From what I hear that is not the end of the character plots either, some involve war veterans, a crippled officer with prosthetic legs, and out of commission Battleships that somehow work again. Combined with the really overdone plot element of aliens on our planet, destroying almost everything in its path, the main stars being the only ones that can stop them… it is basically like there was a checklist the screenwriters had of major blockbuster clichés and wanted to hit every single one of them without a hint of irony or real thought that “maybe this is not going to be a good idea.”
The title is always going to be a point I’m going to bring up, and what I think is killing the movie already. When I think of Battleship, I think of strategy, two opposing naval forces at sea, blindly firing at each other uncertain they will be able to hit each other, when they hit it feels a step closer to victory. Except for one action sequence that I hear pretty much echoes the game, and the odd inclusion of the freaking pegs as one of the aliens arsenal, I don’t see that sort of tension in the film instead has a lot of explosions and noise, virtually resembling next to nothing like its namesake. I know it’s putting a lot of thought into a board game adaptation, but there could have been more thought into a property than just ripping off a bunch of alien invasion movies. It’d be odd of saying it but I think there would be much more excitement derived from playing a game of Battleship than actually watch the movie adaptation.
I would think though what the filmmaker’s intention basically boils down to is, “let’s be like Transformers only in the sea!” They think that by copying elements of a successful franchise they will be able to strike gold twice with another Hasbro property. However I think moviegoers are savvier than what the surprising popularity of that franchise derived, they know when things are being blatantly copied. Think of how many vampire or horror movies that tried to gain the crowd of Twilight yet failed miserably, how many fantasy franchises that tried to jumpstart in the wake of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or how many shows attempted to be serialized science-fiction/fantasy like Lost. Just because you take after something popular doesn’t equal success. Now it’s only a matter of time before people come out with their own movies that try to recapture the same appeal of The Hunger Games.
Doesn’t help either that The Avengers is still the big thing right now, as Battleship along with Dark Shadows have fallen victim to following after the film which has already broken more box office records than any film in recent memory. I am certain several Universal executives might have their asses fired after this, and certain never to spend so damn much on such a property again… let’s hope.
Battleship is an adaptation of a popular board game, and I DON’T CARE.
End of Rant