Tuesday May 22 2012
"Battleship" is better played as a board game
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
?Battleship? Directed by Peter Berg Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker and Liam Neeson Rating: One out of five stars ?Battleship? is better played as a board game By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger Now that board games are the new frontier for film adaptations, it won?t be long before we get big budget productions of Jenga or Operation. At least Operation will definitely have a funny bone, which is more than can be said for ?Battleship,? the splashy new action picture based on the Hasbro game. How someone looks at little plastic ships with pegs in them and thinks ?Hmm, there?s clearly more story to be told here? is beyond me. However, director Peter Berg (?Hancock?) took the opportunity to make a rip-off version of ?Transformers,? a movie based on a line of action figures. The hoof noises you hear are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Yes, it?s time to panic. Berg makes every effort to ape Michael Bay?s directing style and the character designs in the movie look like they came off the ?Transformers? cutting-room floor. Whether the empty-headed, joyless and destructively vapid tone was intentionally mimicked remains to be seen. The film stars Taylor Kitsch (?John Carter?) as Naval Lt. Alex Hopper, who is extremely talented but too thick-skulled for his own good. Hopper is about to be kicked out of the military when alien vessels threaten global safety and only he can save the day. What follows is a tedious parade of computer-generated action scenes where an outmatched Navy fleet tries to figure out how to defeat the technologically superior enemy. It doesn?t matter because there are no characters to invest in. Kitsch has all the charisma of a piece of driftwood and his supporting cast doesn?t fare any better. A movie with such a ridiculous premise should at least attempt to be fun but it?s nothing more than a dull, lifeless trudge through generic action clichs. If ?Battleship? is indicative of the type of movie we?ll be getting from board games, my hope is future endeavors are locked up without a ?get out of jail free? card. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.