View Full Version : Rihanna's first movie is silly and derivative... but sadly not much fun

12th April 2012, 11:16 PM
Rihanna's Battleship is not a hit
The biggest missed opportunity in this film (and there are many), is that no one, at any point, shouts: “You’ve sunk my battleship!”

Instead, the age-old board game becomes two hours of slick, stupid, overly-earnest patriotic ‘Transformers-lite’ entertainment in the hands of Peter Berg. http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/LWjMSHGqz.EnFgBuCa._BA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA--/http://l.yimg.com/os/251/2012/04/11/battleship-1-jpg_142426.jpg
Actually, that makes ‘Battleship’ sound more fun than it is.

At the centre of the plot is the unfortunate Taylor Kitsch, still no doubt nursing a bruised ego after fronting ‘John Carter’ which became the year’s biggest box office bomb in March. He plays Alex Hopper, a layabout underachiever who woos the shapely Brooklyn Decker with the help of a burrito. Eventually he joins brother Alexander Skarsgard in the Navy, but is on the verge of being chucked out for indiscipline by Liam Neeson’s scary admiral – who also happens to be Decker’s dad.

Before that though, during routine navy maneuvers, they discover a strange object in the middle of the ocean. Naturally it ushers in an alien armada, and Hopper must man-up to save the world and win his prospective father-in-law’s approval.

It sets the scene for one set piece after another showing Hopper’s ruddy great ship firing cannons at the alien vessel… and vice versa.
In another ludicrous scene, which surely ranks as one of the worst in 2012, Hopper and his crew must commandeer the 70-year-old USS Missouri (it fought in the Second World War).
Hopper asks (something like), “how are we gonna control this thing?”, and suddenly dozens of geriatric WWII vets, encountered earlier on, step forward, accompanied by patriotic pipe music. If it was handled with a touch of humour this would have been forgivable, but it was so earnest that the audience were in hysterics.

Of course much of the film’s pre-publicity has centered on the casting of Rihanna in her first acting role. While she clearly has much to learn as an actress, she’s perfectly acceptable in the ‘ballsy female gunner’ role that you’ve seen a dozen times before in movies like ‘Aliens’ (see Jenette Goldstein’s Vasquez) and ‘Avatar’ (Michelle Rodriguez’s Chacon).

But Rihanna also highlights that this a movie made by committee. Her casting is a transparent attempt to reel in her fanbase and help manufacture a “four-quadrant blockbuster” from scratch.

The result is that ‘Battleship’ is a cynical, silly film that’s nowhere near as much fun as it should’ve been. Rihanna sunk it.