|The very picture of the masculine ideal|
Luckily, the film has the charisma bomb Taylor Kitsch in it. Maybe I'm so much in his camp that I'm beyond impartiality, but this is two huge Kitsch vehicles this year that have, ummmm, not done especially well. While Oliver Stone's Savages still gives one hope for a future of three Taylor Kitsch flicks a year, it hasn't been the best of years for the prospects of a Taylor Kitsch-owned Hollywood. Kitsch delivers here again. The sometimes clunking behemoth of Battleship keeps chugging along thanks in large part to Kitsch. Sure, Berg hits the not-so-subtle notes that would make Roland Emmerich proud and pulls the right strings at the right beats, but it is that combination of impish charm and rugged masculinity in the package that is Taylor Kitsch that makes the film palatable. I say this all as a straight male--a claim that becomes harder and harder to believe each time I review a Taylor Kitsch film.
Really, what it all comes down to is that Battleship isn't so dumb as to have deserved the heaping helpings of scorn it's received. It's far from a great film. There are absolutely better ways for the innocuous entity we'll call "Hollywood" to have spent its money. Those ways likely do not include making films inspired by board games--I'm looking at you, Candyland. Sometimes turning your brain off and enjoying a ride isn't the worst thing in the world.