When aliens invade the earth in giant sea vessels, a cocksure maverick in the navy (Taylor Kitsch) must find a way to fight them.
A clear Transformers wannabe, Battleship attempts to capitalise on the pre-existing fanbase for the grid-based board game. What’s bewildering about it is that unlike Transformers, the original toy doesn’t have characters or a story line, making it a bizarre choice to adapt. Especially as the game doesn’t feature alien spacecraft.
In order to be in any way reflective of the game it obligingly features a sequence in which our protagonist targets the enemy ships using grid co-ordinates. But it’s actually encumbered by the need to have this. Without it you could have had the same generic sea explosion movie but wouldn’t have had to give a slice of the profits to Hasbro. And were fans of the game really clamouring for this? What’s next? A Hungry, Hungry Hippos movie?
It’s some time since I’ve seen a film this squarely aimed at stupid people, as the nonsensical plot, thin characters and rushed, technobabble-based explanations wash over you like a CGI tidal wave. It’s clearly just an excuse for explosions, but to be fair the bang to buck ratio is high enough to overwhelm every other neglected aspect of this film.
Its gung-ho military outlook goes out of its way to show the US Navy in a positive light, presumably owing to the need to use their ships. Naval warships are shown in all their glory, there are extensive military parades, and Naval veterans even show up to help sail an old ship in a laughable scene which looks like something from the new Expendables movie. One of them is even wearing a Pearl Harbour hat, meaning he’s either about 90 or a Michael Bay fan. More likely the former.
What results is a mind-numbing two hours of cinematic bludgeoning, which will please no-one, especially not the non-existent fanbase of the game. Miss.