I was both excited and worried by the trailers for Battleship; the new Peter Berg (Hancock) action movie based loosely (very loosely) on the Hasbro game of the same name; but being a fan of the Transformers franchise (I know, a lot of people slated it, but it ticked all the right boxes for me), and seeing the same producers were involved, I figured it would surely be entertaining at the very least, and I was right. Battleship is quite enjoyable, albeit for one cheesy moment (I’m sure you’ll spot it, and in case you don’t, I’ll drop one hint – Vet’s).
Beginning in 2005; and showing us how a bunch of NASA scientists discovered a planet similar to our own, and subsequently decide it maybe a good idea to try and contact this planet; Battleship follows a crazy (and slightly intoxicated) Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch, John Carter) as he wins the heart of the beautiful Samantha (Brooklyn Decker, Just Go With It) using a chicken burrito (Seriously it works), gets a stern talking to from his older brother (a Navy Commander), and decides (well is forced to) join the Navy, before jumping forward to 2012 (where Hopper Alex is a lieutenant and the Tactical Action Officer aboard the destroyer USS John Paul Jones).
A group of five alien scouting ships are then discovered heading towards Earth, before their communication ship crashes in Hong Kong (thankfully leaving them no way to contact their home planet) and the other four land off the coast of Hawaii (right in the middle of a series of multinational naval war games), and the three closest naval destroyers are sent to investigate; setting off an impenetrable force field and being attacked in the process. Two of said destroyers are destroyed by an alien craft (irony), leading Hopper to assume command of The John Paul Jones, and issue his first order; attack the alien crafts before recovering the survivors from the other ships, and form a plan to deal with the alien threat.
Meanwhile Hopper’s burrito loving lass (a physical therapist) is trying to help the legless war vet Mick Canales (Gregory D. Gadson) get used to his prosthetic legs by taking him on a hike up Oahu (the Hawaiian site from which NASA contacted the newly discovered planet), the very site where a group of alien scientists attempt to take control of NASA’s Communication array; aiming to contact their home planet for help, or supplies, or maybe bacon? who knows?; leading Samantha, her travelling partner, and a NASA scientist to try and call Hopper for help, before the aliens can phone home.
The giant set-piece and invasion storyline makes Battleship a truly action-packed film, and the action and fight scenes are superbly accomplished by some fantastic cgi work, which may make it a little Transformery, but thankfully Battleship has enough going on (with side storylines including the tension raised from having Vice Admiral Shane; played by Taken’s Liam Neeson; being not only Hooper’s superior, but Samantha’s father – uh oh!) to make it appeal to pretty much all ages.
Anyone having seen the Transformers franchise will probably notice that the music has a very Transformer-esc feel to it (in fact it’s the very same Steve Jablonsky we have to thank for Battleship‘s hard hitting and well composed music), and it’s in part to due to the film’s big sound, and big action, that ensure Battleship is definitely a film for the big screen; a small TV and Blu-ray won’t do this one justice, but the big screen has the perfect atmosphere for Battleship; an enjoyable movie that’s definitely worth the watch, even if only the once.