The first time I heard about Battleship was a day before I actually watched the movie. My friend called me up and asked me to watch the newly arrived movie at Star Cineplex. Deliberately having zero information before watching a Hollywood movie is a constant habit of mine. By doing so, I can either truly enjoy or truly dislike each individual parts of the show, especially without expectations of any kind getting in the way. This time was certainly no exception. Funnily enough, the first time I looked at the poster of the movie was inside the movie theater itself, during the intermission nonetheless. So yeah, I had no idea what Battleship was about until the moment I started watching the
Directed by: Peter Burg
Written by: Jon and Erich Hoeber
Based on: Battleship by Hasbro
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Tadanobu Asano
Studio: Hasbro (and many others)
The movie starts off with NASA coming upon a newly discovered planet with conditions similar to Earth. In an attempt to communicate with any intelligent living beings on that planet, NASA transmits a powerful signal from a communications array in Hawaii, boosted by a satellite in orbit. Meanwhile, the focus shifts to the life of the protagonist, Alex Hopper, who has a tendency of screwing up in whatever he does. After one last act of foolishness; his elder brother, Stone Hopper, had the last straw, and forcefully enrolls him as a soldier of the US Navy. 7 years later, we see the hapless Alex turned into a lieutenant and Tactical Action Officer aboard the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while Stone is the commanding officer of the USS Sampson, also a battleship of the same kind. The rest is what you would expect from any alien invasion-themed movie. Aliens receive the signal sent from Hawaii and launch an attack upon our mother planet, and the cast of the movie fights the extra-terrestrial threat, while holding onto their last bit of hope of saving humanity.
Plot – 6/10
What really makes a movie good is the way its plot progresses and how exciting or unpredictable that progression can turn out to be. For Battleship’s case, other than the relatively smooth advancement of storyline, there isn’t really much. The story is too predictable and you would more or less know what would happen next with a little thinking. However, the addition of complex battle tactics and military offense/ defense is a nice touch that will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times. All in all, the plot is simple. It isn’t bad, but it could have been better.
Characters – 6/10
There are quite a few numbers of characters in this movie and sometimes, you would feel like there just isn’t enough. It is clear that the writers tried to give each and every one decent screen-time and significant role in the storyline, but for a 2+ hour movie, you wouldn’t find yourself satisfied with that either.
Characterization has only been properly used with the protagonist, and even though other less important characters also improved slowly, it isn’t really much to impress the viewer, especially a critical reviewer. One obvious element has been re-used over and over throughout the movie, and that is ‘the determination of human beings’. Even at the face of total destruction and sure death, the characters find themselves conflicted with their ideals but with hope in their hearts for a brighter tomorrow, they still advance on, fending off beings of another world and rescuing the Earth from certain doom.
Animation – 9/10
What would you expect from a movie made by the producers of Transformers? Giant alien robots destroying the world as we know, of course.
The animation of Battleship, especially during the battle scenes, is definitely top-notch and in my opinion, is the main selling point of this movie. We all love gargantuan pieces of metal being burst into flames by missiles and underwater torpedoes, and the producers used that knowledge to their advantage. The ‘kaboom’ scenes fail to get old no matter how many times they are re-watched and the sheer exhilaration of having alien spaceships blown right in front of your face (especially at a movie theater) is an experience worth remembering for a long time.
Overall Rating – 7/10
If you have read the reviews of Battleship scattered all over the internet, you will not find many positive ones. In fact, IMDb scores it 6/10 and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a mere 3/10. Scores like these would turn away most critical movie watchers from Battleship, but I say, go with it if you haven’t. It is certainly worth the experience, if nothing else. And at the end of the day, you will be entertained by this movie, whether you loved it or not.