Battleship (2012)

battleship-pic-1Roze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

Based on the board game, Battleship explores the concept of the game while adding an extraterrestrial edge. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is your stereotypical screw up who doesn’t take any responsibility, until an incident involving a chicken Burrito and an exceptionally attractive girl forces his brother to push him into the Navy. Despite seemingly finding his niche, his careless ways hold him back from excelling in his field of work. It takes the threat of an Alien attack on earth to reassess his ways and work at his full potential to save the world.

I can totally understand why this would be hated by a lot of critics and people who like films with a bit more substance because there is a lot wrong with this film. Despite the problems it actually ended up surprising me a lot in terms of its concept and premise. When I heard that it was based on the board game I instantly thought “bull sh*t”, I didn’t see how the Alien apocalypse genre would be able to incorporate the board game. But after watching it, I am not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course that is probably largely due to the low expectations I had of it. Granted if I had went in expecting a lot out of it I would probably be smashing the film.

The film started off with the right intentions, purposely trying to be fun and light hearted, which is what this film is all about. The characters they introduced were likeable and set up favorable characters for us to root for. The premise is also quite smart, they could have easily tried to use the board game idea with a less thrilling idea, but that being said the execution is what made the difference between an awesome film and a so so film. The main character driving the film is Alex Hopper played by Taylor Kitsch, a well written character with relatable characteristics. It would be quite hard too hate the guy, unless your driven to jealousy after seeing Brooklyn Decker doing her thing. Ultimately the plot of Battleship is commendable since everyone likes an Alien invasion and the way they used the Battleship board game concept ended up being quite smart and believable.

Something that let the film down a lot was the acting, I didn’t understand some of the castings especially for such a big budget film, you’d think they’d go all out. For example Gregory D. Gadson, I understand that he’s never had experience and he’s a Former US Army soldier but he just didn’t suit the character at all. One specific scene at the end is just ridiculous especially in the condition and shape he was in, it went over the line of acceptable. Rihanna was also slightly miscast, I thought her role was slightly too big for a person lacking acting experience, which was evident in some scenes, but that being said, she was surprisingly good. Despite from a couple of let downs in that department, I thought Taylor Kitsch was freaking bad ass, he’s obviously extremely talented because he was amazing in all his films this year. Hopefully he moves on to films with better scripts. Brooklyn Decker was also pretty good, she’s come a long way since Just Go With It, and showed some grit.

Lastly the effects used throughout this film are exceptional at most, but you could quite easily tell they got lazy with some parts. I think with the budget they had, they should really try make the most of every resource properly, and half assing some scenes wont make this a hit like they wanted it to be. There are also some scenes which logically don’t make sense, for example a scene where two characters seem to unnecessarily walk to the top of a sinking ship to jump off. The action was still pretty thrilling, especially the parts where the Board Game stuff comes to use, and a shoot-out at the end. If they would have kept to that standard of action then it would have been a perfectly epic action flick, but there isn’t enough adrenaline pumping scenes to reach that accolade.

Savages (2012)

WFTCRMImageFetchRoze-Rating: 2.5 / 5

Successful entrepreneurs Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch), use their diverse backgrounds to produce the best marijuana ever made. Ben is level headed and uses his money to give back to the poor, making him the brains and ethics of the business. Chon, an ex Navy SEAL uses his anger and trained skills to make sure people pay for their product. What they have in common is the desire to grow the best marijuana and the love for a girl called Ophelia (Blake Lively). Once they get involved with a massive Mexican Drug Cartel and refuse to work with them, life becomes a lot less laid back and they have to do what they can to save Ophelia.

It may be a harsh score, but I went into the film hoping for something great and instead got something very flat and average. This film has a great cast and all pretty experienced, which is why there aren’t many let downs in that area. Benicio Del Toro gave a pretty scary performance making him the ultimate highlight of the film, as well as the two lead men Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson who play their characters to perfection. The two biggest problems were Blake Lively and Salma Kayek. I felt Blake Lively’s character was too unrelatable and ultimately forgettable, which is why throughout the film, your not really caring much for her. Salma Hayek’s character wasn’t scary, nor was she likeable. For a character who is in charge of quite a successful drug business, you expect them to be a lot more grittier and intense but Hayek’s take on it was very underwhelming and not believable. 

There were too many mood and tone changes between Blake Lively and Salma Hayek’s characters to know whether they had a bond or not, and in the end it just felt like a waste of screen time. At times, you also couldn’t tell what Blake Lively was talking about, that scene when she was in her hostage cell is an example, it was like gibberish. The trailer was very misleading, I thought there was going to be some revenge action but there was only one scene that I can remember which contained a little bit, and it wasn’t thrilling, nor were the moments which intended to be. The only time I genuinely felt emotionally connected to the film was when Del Toro was in the picture, the only interesting character there.

It was a pretty good idea for Taylor KItsch to have his own group of men to do any handy work with, so it would have been awesome to see more of that. The story line and plot in the end didn’t really entice me, nor did the characters. A positive would be the style conveyed throughout this film, it’s pretty nice at times, such as the vivid colours and the dopey scenes. Other than that, pretty much a let down and way too long.