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Battleship - Film Review By A.D.Harris

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Whilst it packs plenty of punches, booming music and visually exhilarating explosions into its overlong running time, Battleship also encounters a bizarre sense of deja-vu. Whilst it is understandable that a film about ships fighting an alien race out at sea would feature similar action sequences throughout, it is so similar that you almost forget you haven't seen each sequence before at an earlier point. It's so one-tone that the two plus hour running time makes Battleship flounder too often.

That being said, there is much more humour than you'd expect. The snappy, witty and fun opening twenty minutes are some of the films highlights as a much-better-than-usual Taylor Kitsch gets a chance to inject some personality and characterisation into lead role Alex Hopper. He also forms a strong duo with Alexander Skarsgard who plays older brother Stone; it's this relationship that, for the first third at least, pulls together Battleship's mediocre plot and keeps you entertained.

Unfortunately though, the characters who come more to the fore-front as the middle act arrives are less strong. The dependable Liam Neeson is given little to do, meaning we spend more time with Rihanna's grunt and Brooklyn Decker's girlfriend than we would want too. Though both are perhaps better than you'd expect, they encounter scene after scene of dodgy dialogue and disappointing character development. Inevitably after a while they both begin to grate on you.

The film, based loosely on Hasbro's naval combat game does however manage to introduce a surprisingly clever way to re-invent the strategy side of the game into the film. It's one of the film's most interesting sequences and would have served as a fitting final showdown, but it soon becomes lost and forgotten in the most over the top and patriotic climax there has been in many a year. If cheesy isn't your thing, take a bucket to the cinemas with you; Battleship contains puke-able levels of cheese.

When all is said and done, and one side has inevitably managed to sink the other side you will feel that Battleship comes incredibly close to being better than you expected going in. Sadly, it will also leave you feeling that it didn't quite manage it.

So it's not a hit. And it's not a miss. Guess you'd call it a stalemate then...



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