One of the strange and wonderful, yet highly unpleasant sideeffects of my illness is the difficulty in getting some decent sleep. I’m tired and exhausted all the time, but when it’s time to hit the pillow, it is often extremely difficult to find a restful position. The changes and inflammations in my tissues combined with the muscular spasms from the constant coughing cause all sorts of pain and cramps. That being so, I either watch stuff on DVD/ Blu-Ray until late at night or often wake up at the strangest times and see reruns or documentaries on TV. You’d be surprised what they show at 2 or 3 A.M.! Anyway, yesterday was one such day and they had Battleship on one of our “free” public TV channels.
Naturally it’s one of those movies that I’d never add to my collection, but there’s no harm in watching it at no cost. At least that’s what I like to think, but I honestly wasn’t prepared how bad it is. You know, there’s stupid movies and then there’s really stupid movies. Science fiction stuff always requires some suspension of disbelief, but man, I don’t even know where to begin. It’s essentially an overly long US Navy commercial and that already says a lot about “heroic” camera angles and what cheesy acting to expect. Aside from Liam Neeson there’s not a single good actor in there (an even he only does stiff paycheck scene chewing) and the whole script is like Pearl Harbor just with aliens. Wasn’t so bad if they only kept the action parts, but the first 45 minutes or so just drag on with “character exposition” in the worst way imaginable.
Once things get going it gets a little more bearable, but mostly in a cheesy, corny way. The dumbness of the military decisions is really at OMFG! levels and makes you wonder, how some people would have ever made it beyond their initial three weeks after joining the service. The aliens look a bit like those soldiers in the Halo games in their armour, but when they take off their helmets, they look like cave trolls from another notorious game. Just ridiculous.
Overall the production design is all over the place, which is the other big issue. The alien ships look interesting enough, but then they made the mistake of turning them into weapons-ladden dreadnoughts and all this technology still requires manual operators? Not particularly logical! There’s tons of water simulation and explosions and when you see them, you know where the bulk of the money for this movie went.
Inevitably, one of the things that sticks out are the lens flares. There’s no rhyme and reason behind their use and it really feels like different teams have worked on different shots and tried out every lens flare plug-in on the market with the most extreme settings and presets. Even in my more fancy fictitious presets I’ve always tried to give them a feeling of physical plausibility, but this is just completely whacky in a very negative sense.
The whole thing is just one hell of a mess, but at least some parts are actually entertaining. It’s nothing to plan your Saturday evening for, but if you happen to catch it on afternoon TV, are considerably inebriated/ stoned or just don’t care it’s an okay watch – once in your life and then most likely never again. That’s how forgettable it is.