Action, 131 Minutes, 2012
It should be obvious that making a movie based on Hasbro’s “Battleship” should result in disaster. The game itself has no story or plot and the absolute simplest of mechanics. There’s also the rather important fact that it’s not really all that fun. Nobody was more surprised than me that the movie based on this silly little game was surprisingly good.
Actually “good” might be pushing things a bit. It’s completely predictable, manipulative and brimming with nonsense statements and events. On the plus-side the effects are done really well, there’s some great action and Brooklyn Decker is sometimes seen to bounce. It’s stupid, but stupid with style.
The aliens look cool (if ridiculously human). They embody that Hollywood paradox of having both amazingly advanced technology while suffering from ridiculous weaknesses. The basic driver here is that although these aliens have mastered faster-than-light travel they’re such lousy drivers that their communication vessel crashes into a satellite entering Earth’s orbit and is destroyed. So they erect a mile-thick force-field around all of Hawaii because only our shitty technology will allow them to signal home.
In flavor it reminds me a lot of “Battle: Los Angeles” [My Review]. Like that film this revels in showing us how well our armed forces can take names and kick ass. This ups the patriotic ante by including one of the most iconic ships in the Navy’s history and nicely honoring the men that sailed her. Yes, this was based on a stupid board game but it’s also a good old-fashioned military anthem movie. Navy men, in particular, are going to be pleasantly insufferable after watching.