Director: Peter Berg
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Film Pulse Score: 4/10
Battleship, one of the greatest games of nearly everyone’s childhood, brings back memories of hardship, of guessing blindly where your opponent laid down those plastic ships, and rejoicing when you hear that word “hit”. However, the movie, produced with the same name as the classic Hasbro board game, does not offer remotely anything close to what the game meant. Battleship is more of a vehicle for another company to push a similar movie that we’ve seen before into audiences’ laps across the world and hopefully bank on a nostalgia trip to the movies.
Alex Hooper (Taylor Kitsch) is your typical rebel without a cause. He is a loose cannon with no respect to authority, is looking for the next fast, beautiful thing, and has no regard to societal standard with no reason that is ever brought to our attention. After a run in with the police over a frozen chicken burrito (Battleship’s feeble attempt at a bookend in the movie), Hooper’s older brother, Stone (played awesomely by Alexander Skarsgard) forces him to join the Navy. Obviously, Hooper is smart and athletic and rises quickly to notoriety within the corps, but is a wild at heart, know-it-all kid who is dating the Admiral’s daughter. After a transmission from Earth to another similar planet is shot off into space, aliens respond with troops to come take over the world. Cue the rest of the movie.
Battleship goes wrong in so many places, but one of the biggest mistakes I think they made was including aliens. I was an avid battleshipper and I don’t recall ever having to guess E7 from J5 and worrying if some extra terrestrial beings were going to shoot rockets at me if I was wrong. This must have been the outcome of the meeting where the project was greenlit but the studio execs probably said, “Wait, we need some motherf****** aliens”.
The plot, albeit a near transparent one, mirrors almost identical to J.J. Abraham’s Star Trek. A lone, foreshadowed leader is thrust into responsibility and being a captain and must save his crew and the world, and thus learns something strikingly profound from it. Throw in a bunch of scenes where the alien battleships look and sound and move a little too like the machines from Transformers and you literally have the entire movie of Battleship.
If I said that I didn’t understand why they even made this movie, I’d be lying. I understand that Hasbro is a new production company—which is absolutely hilarious—but can’t they produce something they haven’t made? They were obviously hoping that Battleship would be this year’s Transformers and would bring them the same success, but I doubt they saw the tank that was bubbling beneath the surface. Thank god The Avengers was still playing or Hasbro might’ve gotten the wrong idea for a potential sequel, Battleship 2.