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Blu-ray Review: ‘Battleship’ is One Long Special Effect

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CHICAGO – Critics like to complain that some Hollywood blockbusters skew the balance from character to special effects. With “Battleship,” it’s almost as if director Peter Berg decided, after a brief bit of character set-up, that he would just give up entirely on the human element of his movie. It’s CGI overload, an orgy of special effects designed to rattle your brain like a hyperactive video game.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

While there’s something nearly admirable about the sheer audacity of the filmmaking here (and the thing looks and sounds great on Blu-ray), it’s numbing in its presentation. To say it’s impossible to care about what happens is an understatement. Half the time, it’s impossible even to know what IS happening. If one considers how much of this movie was created by a computer, it should probably qualify for Best Animated Film.

And yet there’s no pretension here. I can see why some would praise the popcorn quality of the film because it never really pretends to be anything else. It’s balls-to-the-wall ridiculousness as soon as the alien attack goes down (and even before with its sweeping shots that cost a million dollars a piece) and it never lets up. I didn’t give a damn about any of it but I could see the 13-year-old version of me finding it pretty sweet. You know, back when things like character and plot were mere distractions from what we really wanted — bigger, faster, more.

As mentioned, the Blu-ray looks stellar and the film has been designed to blow out your speakers. Turn it up loud. As for special features, it’s a little light but no one is really coming to “Battleship” for an audio commentary track. The movie speaks for itself. Even if it’s not really saying anything at all.

Battleship was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012
Battleship was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012
Photo credit: Universal

The battle for Earth begins at sea in this epic action-adventure starring Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, and Liam Neeson. An international naval coalition becomes the world’s last hope for survival as they engage a hostile alien force of unimaginable strength. Ripping across sea, sky and land, Battleship is packed with special effects, and is “a rousing and engaging action movie.” (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

StarClick here to buy “Battleship”

Special Features:
o Preparing For Battle
o All Hands On Deck: The Cast
o Engaging In Battle: Shooting At Sea, All Aboard The Fleet
o Alternate Ending Previsualization
o The Visual Effects Of Battleship
o All Access With Director Peter Berg
o USS Missouri VIP Tour
o Commander Pete

“Battleship” stars Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, and Liam Neeson. It was directed by Peter Berg. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Gil's picture


Thank you for reviewing Battleship, Brian! The review’s title pretty much says it all. I thought Michael Bay relied too much on CGI but that was before seeing what Peter Berg had to offer. I can see how a 13 year old might enjoy this movie, but I haven’t been 13 for a long time. Honestly I am glad I saved the money by streaming it; those would have to be some pretty special features to convince me to waste the money on the Blu Ray.

Alexia's picture


Great review, I have been wondering whether to see this movie or not, but I’m happy to hear that the visual experience is over the top. I’m not one for purchasing movies right off the bat, so it’s great that I got the chance to save some money by renting. If I end up liking it, then I can always go out and buy the Blu-ray.

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