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Movie Review: "Battleship"

“Battleship” (Universal Pictures)

“Battleship” is an action film on the order of “Transformers” full of good special effects and a lot of explosions. Not quite as slick as that blockbuster “Battleship” has a less gripping storyline and a good bit of cheesy dialogue. Still if you want to see a “just for fun” movie “Battleship” meets those requirements.

The fragile plot of the movie centers on rebel Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch). He is the bane of his brother Stone’s existence. Even when Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) gets Alex into the Navy, his younger brother still manages to antagonize those in command. Stone has a stellar Navy career going but it looks like Alex won’t last long.

Alex also has problems in the fact his girlfriend Sam (Brooklyn Decker) is the daughter of a full Admiral in the Navy. Alex wants to ask his permission to marry Sam but he knows the Admiral (Liam Neeson) isn’t one of his admirers. The awkward conversations between the Admiral and Alex on this subject are prime examples of the clumsy dialogue.

Stone, Alex and the Admiral are all part of some war games off the coast of Hawaii. Some routine exercises take a turn for the strange when the Navy stumbles upon some alien aircraft hidden in the ocean. Pretty soon it is the Navy against the aliens and things get pretty tense.

Director Peter Berg gets maximum bang for his buck out of his special effects team and his cast. The plot may be silly but the actors treat it seriously. This is especially true of real life military veteran Gregory D Gadson who plays Lt Col Mick Canales. He along with Sam is caught in the middle of the alien vs. Navy conflict.

Kitsch is a handsome and enjoyable actor. He brings a devil may care attitude to Alex and makes the audience cheer for his success. He had the same charm in “John Carter” and was the best thing about that movie. Decker may be the actress who plays his girlfriend but it is Rihanna who plays Raikes, a Navy specialist in various aspects of armament, who is the person with whom he shares the most scenes. For a novice actress Rihanna is surprisingly good.

One funny part of this movie, based on a board game, is that the explosives the aliens shoot at the destroyers are shaped exactly like the pegs that are used as the attack weapon in the board game. It wasn’t much but it was a tip of the hat to the movie’s origins.

The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

“Battleship” doesn’t have the energy of “Transformers” or the characters of “The Avengers.” What it does have is enough action to keep an audience entertained. It won’t wow you with its story or even with the people involved but it will keep you awake and excited. Surely that counts for something.

I scored “Battleship” a sinking 5 out of 10.

Photo courtesy of: Universal Pictures

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