The most entertaining thing we can expect from the upcoming “Battleship” are the puns inspired by the maritime-themed Universal tentpole. Early reviews include “waterlogged” “script overboard!” and “not sea-worthy.” Expect more “sinking ship” wisecracks, as “Battleship” releases in Europe and then docks stateside on May 18. So far it boasts a paltry 45% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Based on the Hasbro board game, “Battleship” is the first film since 1985’s “Clue” that had to come up with a coherent narrative not intrinsic to its source. Peter Berg’s movie stars Taylor Kitsch of “John Carter” fame –who has to hope that Oliver Stone delivers with “Savages”— Alexander Skarsgard (“True Blood”), Liam Neeson (“The Grey”) and singer Rihanna.
Guy Lodge, Variety:
Proportional strategy and luck are required to win Battleship, the family board game Peter Berg’s loudly, proudly ridiculous soldiers-vs.-aliens blockbuster rather fancifully claims as its source… The attractive cast does no more than Berg and the script require, which is very little indeed.
Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist:
“Battleship” is exactly the kind of film you think it’s going to be. “Battleship” is a $200 million blockbuster based on the board game “Battleship.” …We think that even the brains-off crowd will struggle to find anything to enjoy here. The film is so overlong (130 minutes) and sluggishly paced that the heartbeat never gets raised, and the effects never look anything other than plasticky.
Rob Carnevale, List Film:
Berg’s film is at its popcorn best while setting things up, both in terms of introducing Kitsch’s likeable central character, and introducing the aliens themselves by way of a tense mid-ocean stand-off. But as the film progresses the tone veers wildly between gung-ho action, unintentional humour and shameless jingoism.
Simon Miraudo, Quickflix:
“Battleship” is an early contender for “eye-rollingest film of the year,” such as its unrelenting dumbness and occasional, jarring, unearned seriousness.
Matt Glasby, Total Film:
Misguided in the extreme. A scene in which Kitsch and co aim blindly for the broadest of targets – and miss by miles – proves painfully apt.