Battleship, 2012, with Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Liam Neeson & Alexander Skarsgard. Peter Berg, director. This was a movie with great expectations. Sometimes promises are kept & at other times one is supposed to forget. My personal expectations are always high for a movie, unless it’s already been spoiled by incessant details spewed forth by a barrage of film promotions. Yes, I go in with a smile, neck tense from the great unwashed, milling about. People of my kind are trained to be optimistic, until proven otherwise.
When I initially heard that the controversial, vulgar & the sometimes-battered, songstress Rihanna was to have a part in this ballistic offering, I did wince a bit. When I witnessed the result of the risky casting, there was a feeling of relief – that my movie experience, this time around, wasn’t to be the victim of its own awkwardness. She was actually just fine, being herself. Enough natural ability to stifle any sniggers, that might have slipped out. Though I don’t really listen to her, or her genre, only knowing her from several public incidents. I found myself liking her & her supportive role.
Liam Neeson, the impossibly tall actor who has thrown himself into his craft since his wife’s tragic demise, takes command in this invasion earth tale. The trailers accurately depicted Transformers-style CGI in this film. The wonderful graphics of our age, were able to create a science fiction story, with panache. An alien invasion making U.S. warships relevant? Hmmm. We are a water planet, after all. I was pleased.
Contrary to what some people thinking of me, I don’t like every single film that comes my way. Though I’m more content oriented – the visuals must also be well done. What is rewarding is when the camera director insists that close-ups of people & their dramas are kept at a minimum. When there’s so much else going on, i.e., giant, alien ships (you’ll note a particular shaped theme happening with helmets & e.t., assault ship design) bursting out of the seas with menacing weapons that look like the bad ends of an array of jet engines.
Neeson & Skarsgard played supporting roles, more than adequately. The former, a veteran of things mundane & strange. The latter, a rising talent who has made himself a star of HBO’s True Blood. Neeson such a calming effect on women, with his authoritative manner (taking charge of passions). Skarsgard is a tall drink of water, obviously of good acting stock; the son of Stellen Skarsgard; displaying more than his share of soap opera demeanor to convince us that he cares. He really cares. What do they say in the prison-themed movies? Fresh meat.
I’ve previously been positive about Kitsch (a Canadian) & find no reason to stop now. I don’t care what some (unidentified) people say. One doesn’t need to be androgynous to be a good actor & I find Kitsch (along with a few others like Jason Statham) to be effectively masculine without being a buzz-kill.
I’m not sure whether it was the adept hand of the director or the other actors holding back (is that possible?), but in much of the film I was interested in what was happening with Kitsch’s character & didn’t mind everything, revolving around him. I think he’s done well for himself, using a natural ability to keep people convinced that he’s serious. I’m sure better perspectives were more confident of the outcome.
I recommend this film for viewing, especially by science fiction fans. I direct you to look out for the geriatric marching scene. There were a couple of giggles nearby & I dropped what was left of my drink. Enjoy!