This movie comes straight from film studios trying to capitalize on the success of Transformers where a great amount of money was made from making a toy set into a blockbuster action film. Granted, Battleship has some of the same things that made Transformers successful such as a funny leading man, great special effects, a below average plot and a beautiful leading lady. Battleship's faults are in the story and even in editing. Personally, I don't see any reason as to why this movie was necessary. Transformers had a solid following even before the movies while I can't recall any time people were aching to get into line for the Battleship board game. Now the movie does a great job of playing homage to the Naval Forces and other military forces and because of that it comes off feeling a bit too much like Michael Bay's Armageddon. The film does have a way of dragging you along through a ride of great special effects and decent action sequences thanks to the job done by such an adequate director in Peter Berg alongside his friend and leading man, Taylor Kitsch.
Battleship starts with NASA discovering a planet with similar conditions with Earth. This gives them the genius idea of sending out a powerful signal via their communications array in Hawaii in an attempt to communicate with intelligent life, because you know that always ends well. The plot follows Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) who is shown to be somewhat of a loser in the beginning of the film as he lacks the ability to hold down a job and even further he is constantly embarrassing himself and his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard). The two are first shown at a bar where they are throwing back a few beers until Alex sees a beautiful woman named Samantha (Brooklyn Decker) walk in that instantly grabs his attention. Stone says that he can't win her over, but seeing how it's his birthday, Alex decides that she is what he wants for his birthday. He wins her affection by stealing a chicken burrito from the gas station across the street only to be arrested for his crimes. Somehow that gets him into her good graces and fast forward seven years later Stone forcefully had him enroll in the Navy, she wanted to get married. Alex in seven years was able to make lieutenant of the John Paul Jones destroyer. Making matters worse, but Alex needs to ask for Samantha's hand in marriage to her father, who just so happens to be Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson). Alex is intimidated of the Admiral and loses his courage to ask him when he is told that when they return from their trip out to the sea.
The signal sent out by NASA reaches the planet it was intended for and was received by a life form that was not friendly. They come to Earth in some big ships that have firepower unlike anything that we have on Earth. Hopper and his crewmate, Raikes (Rihanna), go to investigate one of the ships that landed and when he touches the exterior he is given a shock that sends him flying. Immediately after the ship creates a barrier around them making it impossible for anyone to leave the area or come into the battlefield. The people on the outside of the barrier are also unable to communicate with the people on the inside. Making matters worse, three other ships pop out from the ocean. Stone, the commanding officer of the USS Sampson, follows protocol and fires a warning shot. The aliens retaliate and destroy the Sampson, killing Stone in the process. Hopper gets back to his ship seeking the highest ranking officer on board but is told he is the highest ranking officer and ask for his orders. Hellbent on revenge and wanting to prove that he is worth something, he takes it upon himself to kill this alien threat presented in front of him.
The film could have been more entertaining if it had a tighter script and didn't try to follow so closely to the board game. Amazingly, no one ever said throughout the course of the film even in a joking matter, "You Sunk my Battleship!" After the aliens land, the comedy takes a back seat for the most part as it becomes a bit to serious of a film that shouldn't be. Transformers performed so well at the box offices because of it's ability to walk that thin line of being an engaging movie that didn't take itself seriously. Granted this film is bearable due to the great special effects, the directing ability of Peter Berg and Taylor Kitsch's likeability as the leading man. Kitsch has had a hard time as of late at the box office, but is still a gifted actor. He does an admirable job with his role that is very much a carbon cutout of a character. You could go into this movie and not listen to anything but still know that he is brash, a bit lost, cocky but charming and in the end of it all will save the day. Kitsch definitely has proven in this film and earlier in the year with John Carter that he has a great screen presence. Rihanna makes her film debut with her turn as the feisty Raikes and doesn't fair to well. Her role would be completely forgettable and not even worth mentioning if she wasn't already famous. Brooklyn Decker doesn't do much to stick out other then being the obligatory pretty face on screen. Her plot when the aliens arrive is mostly boring and never manages to advance her character development, which by no means is a fault on her part as an actress. Liam Neeson is the most recognizable name in the film, but is in it for at most fifteen minutes. I guess he was to busy making better movies like Batman. Good choice Liam.
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