There she blows! This weekend, Universal will dock Peter Berg‘s Battleship at a theater near you. The film is a live-action adaptation of the popular Hasbro strategy game. It stars Taylor Kitsch as a reluctant hero, who gets caught in the middle of an alien invasion. He’s supported by a cast of familiar faces including True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard, and Oscar-nominee Liam Neeson.
Check out our review below…
- Director: Peter Berg
- Writers: Erich and Jon Hoeber
- Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Tadanobu Asano, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Jesse Plemons, Gregory D. Gadson, Peter MacNicol and Liam Neeson
- Director of Photography: Tobias A. Schliessler
- Music: Steve Jablonsky
Battleship centers on Alex Hopper (Kitsch), a Naval lieutenant known for his immaturity and lack of discipline. While participating in a training exercise, an alien force lands at sea and sets up shop off the coast of Oahu. After suffering several tragedies at the hands of these creatures, Hopper’s forced to become the new leader of a broken crew.
- Nods to the game: Director Peter Berg did the impossible. He managed to integrate elements of the Battleship board game into the film’s narrative. You actually see a version of the playing grid, and hear commands like “R-5! E-7!” There’s even a nod to the game’s famous tagline. They just couldn’t resist.
- Honors the military: Everything about Battleship shows great respect and love for the Armed Forces. It honors veterans of the past, while praising soldiers actively on duty. The cast is littered with real-life military personnel, who come out of retirement for some much-deserved screen-time.
- Taylor Kitsch: Kitsch is a decent actor, who needs material that plays to his strengths. To date, his best work remains on the defunct series, Friday Night Lights. Therefore, we’re not surprised he was chosen to play Alex Hopper. The character’s nothing more than Tim Riggins with a haircut. Either way, the similarities worked in his favor and produced a solid performance.
- Admiral Shane: We love Liam Neeson, but his character brought nothing to the table. He’s written as a one-note military dad, whose main job is to scold Hopper. He doesn’t have much to do, and that falls on the shoulders of the writers and director. They had a great actor, but did absolutely nothing with him.
- Alien threat: How big does an alien threat need to be? For the majority of the film, we’re watching a large, mysterious mass outsmart and out-maneuver the heroes at every turn. And that’s just their ship! The creatures themselves are a whole other story. They destroy major cities, but seem more concerned with technology than people. Any casualties are merely accidental or brought on by provocation. Their motivation is unclear, and identities are never explored.
- The government: When it comes to the invasion, the White House really takes a backseat. It’s understandable that the writers want the focus on Hopper and his heroics, but where’s the government’s presence? There are a few scenes with the Secretary of Defense (played by the underrated Peter MacNicol), but he had no grasp of the situation or how to handle it.
Battleship is everything you expect it to be. It’s loud, it’s colorful and filled with Michael Bay-grade explosions. The story isn’t well defined, but there are some good character interactions, and humorous moments. It’s mindless fun and definitely a popcorn movie for the masses.
The Rating: 6/10
Battleship opens in theaters nationwide May 18
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Will you be seeing Battleship this weekend?