I’M going to put my already diminishing reputation on the line by admitting something, in public.
Here goes [sharp intake of breath]… I’m kinda looking forward to the guns, aliens and nonsensical plot of Battleship. Stop laughing, you there in the front!
Since the film was announced – and even more so when the trailers were released – a fair few people have jumped on the bandwagon of slagging off a film purely based on the premise. We’ll leave the naysayers to boo and hiss in the background.
You see, I’m a sucker for the brainless kind of cinema that requires absolutely no thinking or real attention to story. Sue me!
I loved the first Transformers movie. Disliked the second for many reasons. And I thought the third – minus the needless hour-long downtime in the middle – was great fun – and it looked stunning on IMAX 3D.
That’s right – Michael Bay’s fortune includes around £24 of my hard-earned cash. Some may say I’m addicted to frivolous spending if I can throw away cash on throw away movies. I couldn’t care less.
I go into these films knowing exactly what to expect – clunky dialogue, lots of US military chest-beating, (un)inspiring speeches, lots of explosions and a special FX extravaganza. If I get that, I’ll be happy. Bear in mind, it has to come minus racially-stereotyped robots that do my nut in!
So yes, Battleship. It most probably has all the requirements mentioned above. It also includes Alexander Skarsgard (he of Generation Kill & True Blood) which is a bonus as I think he’s great. Taylor Kitsch is there too – following up John Carter with another big-budget sci-fi. AND…Liam Neeson. After watching him kick the shit out of wolves to stay alive (in The Grey), I’m ready to see him ham it up.
What’s not to love about that cast. Oh, yeah, there’s Rihanna too. Maybe she’ll burst into song midway through demanding someone has sex with her, as that seems to be all she has to offer. Ah, so now I have a negative.
We all know Battleship was supposed to be based on the board game of the same name, but going by every trailer released, that link is tenuous at best. All the resemblance is in the name. That’s it.
Many may say I’m describing Battleship as a guilty pleasure. To those people, I scoff in your general direction. Why should I feel guilty about the possible enjoyment of an expensive, special effects-laden sci-fi? If I love it, I’ll let everyone know.
The fact Peter Berg is directing is another reason to be cheerful.
This is the guy who brought us the deliciously dark stag-night-goes-wrong, Very Bad Things. He then followed that with the great Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom and Hancock – which I found hugely enjoyable.
2012 has already been great for my movie-viewing pleasure – two five-star reviews (for The Raid & Wild Bill) as well as the unexpected thrill and emotional heft of The Grey.
We’ve still to get The Cabin In The Woods – and if short, snappy Twitter reviews are to be believed, it’s a much-needed and knowing shot-in-the-arm to the horror genre.
There’s also the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy – The Dark Knight Rises – and Ridley Scott’s (non)prequel to Alien, Prometheus.
Beyond that? Who knows what we’re in for. Will there be another word-of-mouth hit like 2011′s Drive? Will Australia continue to wow us with bleak but brilliant tales? Can Takashi Miike take the top spot (again) in my end-of-year top 10? Will indie-cinema reign supreme, just like last year?
All pertinent questions that will be answered over the next nine months.
But between the indie fayre, foreign-language odyssey’s and genre smashes, I’ll be looking forward to switching off the brain, filling the gaping hole in my face with popcorn and enjoying the hell out of robotic aliens kicking human ass and vice-versa. Hopefully.