Monday, June 25, 2012

Battleship (Movie Tie-in Edition)

Author: Peter David
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: April 24th, 2012

This has got to be the worst book I've read in years. Thank GOD I didn't go watch the movie, because if this book is representative of it, it sucks. For an action movie, it sure lacked action. The aliens were like a really bad extraterrestrial commie stand-in. Pure ebiiiil.

The main players involve some alien "Stingers" (their equivalent of submarines/surface ships) that got wiped by conventional weapons. Apparently extremely advanced alien shield tech can be overcome by 50 calibre bullets. Big WOW there. It's so mindbogglingly mindblowing (lol@redundancy) that I actually had to put the book down to digest the concept. Bloody hell. Supersonic projectiles can overwhelm shields able to stop space debris travelling at a fraction of c (light speed for those of not well-versed in sci-fi). That makes sense. If those humans were firing, I dunno, rail guns at near c I'd totally understand. But this is your conventional machine gun. Barely stone age tech compared to the Regents (the aliens) who have can travel ftl and manipulate the molecules in water to form solid impenetrable walls. It makes no sense.

Then there's the sub-par dialogue full of cliché after cliché. It makes you wonder whether Hopper the character, was aware the entire time that there's an audience watching/reading about him and that he's pandering to them instead of being a "real" character in his own fictional little world.

Then there's his fiance/semi-fiance. She comes out as extremely shallow and "girly" despite being the so called "badass" daughter of a fleet admiral. The entire time I was reading her scenes, I kept feeling sorry for Brooklyn Decker for having to play this character in the movie. She whines, bitches and cries when faced with danger. She nearly got everyone killed when she couldn't stop hyperventilating and screaming after seeing an alien up close.

Now back to the main character Hopper. This is your average caveman. He thinks like one, acts like it and only follows his baser instincts when confronting a challenge. Someone pisses him off? Punch the dude and start a fight in the bathroom. Court-martial afterwards? Ooops I didn't think of that. I'm in it for the short-term. Aliens then pop up and kill his brother. Oh geez, I'm now in charge of two ships and the lives of their crew. Let's go kamikaze on those aliens despite the fact that it didn't work before. "You guys killed my brother. Imma revenge him! Oh shit, our ships got blown up and hundreds of people died because of me. I should have thought of that before but my foresight and planning only goes up to 5 minutes in the future!" Totally flat, 2 dimensional character. It would have been more entertaining if they had replaced him with a sock-puppet.

That's the typical plotline of the story. It's not worth the paper it was printed on. The biggest beef I'd had with the whole affair was the dumbing down of the aliens. It just wasn't needed, but then again, if the aliens weren't nerfed, the humans would never have a chance at all. This wouldn't have been a typical Hollywood happily ever ending. Instead of creating an awesome sci-fi thriller, the movie studios sought to pander to the unwashed masses by trying to let the good guys win, regardless of how idiotic the outcome turned out to be. This might explain why the movie tanked at the theaters.

Cover: 5
Characters: 1
Story: 1

Overall:  1/10