BattleshipDirector Peter Berg’s latest film “Battleship” is supposedly based off the age-old board game of the same title. What a board game with red and white pegs and little war ships have to do with aliens is quite an imaginative reach.


BattleshipDirector Peter Berg’s latest film “Battleship” is supposedly based off the age-old board game of the same title. What a board game with red and white pegs and little war ships have to do with aliens is quite an imaginative reach.

The protagonist is Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), a naval Lieutenant with a wild streak who serves alongside his brother Navy Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgård). Alex hopes to marry his girlfriend Sam (Brooklyn Decker), but she’s the daughter of Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson) and Alex’s reckless nature often causes trouble for the Navy.

However, Alex’s personal issues must be put on hold while the Navy holds the annual RIMPAC war game exercises. During this, a NASA project to contact extraterrestrial life manages to get the attention of hostile aliens. Their communication equipment is damaged upon arrival and they set up a force-field that traps Hawaii. A handful of naval personnel which includes the Hopper brothers are the only ones that have a chance of defending the earth.  

The special effects of “Battleship” are impressive and over-the-top, channeling the Michael Bay style of filmmaking; a blessing or a curse depending on one’s film tastes. With such emphasis on the action most of the film stays intense and fast-paced, leaving little room to stop and establish true moments of emotion or to take stock of what’s happening.

The plot also has some egregious holes that are never filled. For example the aliens have advanced technology and are capable of space travel, yet are incapable of wiping out potential threats and need to rely on human communication equipment to contact their home planet.

Most of the characters are particularly one-note and well-known actors like Liam Neeson and Rihanna have little to do throughout the film. Neeson is stuck outside the force-field and is little more than a glorified cameo. Rihanna does well as a tough petty officer who makes the occasional sarcastic remark, but aside from that there’s not much else to her character.

While the film has patriotic aspects and honors the Navy and its veterans, it’s not enough to justify the shallow storyline and wide plot-holes. “Battleship” is the kind of summer blockbuster that is easily forgotten.

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