Film Review: "BATTLESHIP"
Published: Friday, May 18, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012 14:05
Readers, it’s time for us to talk.
When you go see the big-budget crap, you send Hollywood a message. It says, “I love shitty franchise movies, and I’ll pay you to see them.” You’ve been sending that message a lot lately. I look at things like “THE AVENGERS”, like the “TRANSFORMERS” series, like the breakout hit “BATTLE LOS ANGELES”. These movies (and many others) have four major things in common: they were franchises rather than stories, they featured archetypal heroes battling aliens who were devoid of both character and motivation, they all made tons of money, and they all fucking sucked.
So guess what? Now that’s what Hollywood thinks you want more of (that, and adaptations of poorly written young adult novels.) You might not think this is so bad. “Good movies still get made,” you say (or more likely, “Hey! I liked THE AVENGERS!”) But now it has to be said: if you paid for a ticket to any of these intellectually bankrupt spectacles in the past couple years, then “BATTLESHIP” is your fault.
It’s my fault too; I share the blame. I saw those movies. But as films get more and more generic, more and more archetypal, we have to look ourselves in the mirror. We have to ask, “are these the types of films we should be supporting?” Because right now I can’t even hold it against Hollywood for thinking we want mindless and characterless action spectacles devoid of any and all substance – because movies like that win the box office every week. And mindless characterless action spectacles devoid of all substance have reached their zenith with “BATTLESHIP”.
Not a second of this is original. Not a single goddamn second. Other critics will surely offer lists of where all the characters and sequences are ripped off from so I will spare you the charade; and merely say this is the type of movie where someone tells the main character (in the first five minutes) that “you have potential! You need to grow up!” So you know where this is going.
The worst part is that every one of these emptyheaded wannabe theme park rides has had at least one thing worth commending. “TRANSFORMERS 3” had that cool shot with everyone jumping out of airplanes, “THE AVENGERS” had its funny Hulk jokes, “BATTLE LA” had Aaron Eckheart. But there’s not a single second of “BATTLESHIP” that sets it apart from any other crappy blockbuster this year – not the aliens, not the lazy way it cordons off the action (a force field!) to save money on the budget, not the action, not the fake-Michael-Bay jingoism, nothing. Everything here is so terrible, so uninspired, that I basically felt suicidal walking out of the theater. This film is the undisputed proof of the cinema’s decline; of Hollywood’s resistance to anything even remotely original (it’s like the mid 60’s all over again.) I don’t have a single thing worth recommending or talking about from “BATTLESHIP”. Zero stars.