Overlooked? Try critically vilified. Ostracized at the box office. BATTLESHIP was probably the biggest bomb of 2012 when it comes to movies.
So I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "James liked BATTLESHIP? Really?"
Yep. I liked BATTLESHIP. I liked it a lot.
Now, I'll admit that making a movie out of the board game is probably a pretty dumb idea. But the writers charged with this thankless task decided to turn it into an invaders-from-outer-space yarn, and I'm a sucker for those. A few ships taking part in some multinational war games in the Pacific are stuck inside a dome of impenetrable force thrown up by the invaders and have to duke it out with the alien fleet. CGI chaos ensues, along with a few soap operatic elements added to the mix to humanize the characters. It's pretty predictable, but it worked for me.
In fact, about halfway through when I realized what the big payoff of the movie was going to be, I started to grin, and later, in the scene that sets up that big payoff, I grinned even bigger and got a little misty-eyed, as our old buddy Maynard G. Krebs used to say. I really loved that part of the movie, maybe because that's exactly the way I would have written it.
The acting was okay. I like Taylor Kitsch, who was also in 2012's other legendary failure JOHN CARTER, which as most of you know is actually a pretty darned good movie. Real-life soldier Gregory D. Gadson turns in a great performance as a rehabbing veteran who winds up involved in the battle to save the world. In another bit of stunt casting that actually works, singer Rihanna plays a tough sailor and does a fine job. Liam Neeson sort of sleepwalks through his part as an admiral, but hey, he's Liam Neeson. (And did I miss something? Was there a law passed that says Liam Neeson has to be in every movie that's made now? It seems like it.)
BATTLESHIP goes on a little too long, and there are a few plot points I could quibble about (the evil aliens are technologically advanced enough to fly all the way across the galaxy, but they can't avoid a freakin' fender bender with a communications satellite?), but overall I had an absolutely fine time watching this movie.