A few years back CFR reviewed this movie and liked it a lot, but for some reason I just couldn’t get my head past watching a live action movie based on a simplistic board game from 1967. What could be dumber, I thought. The game involves two people with some toy ships that are plugged into a slotted board. Then each player takes turns guessing where the other’s ships are by calling out a grid number so it sounds kinda like a malicious form of Bingo. If a player calls out a coordinate that matches where a ship is, a peg is inserted into that spot and if you plug all the ship’s holes, that ship is “sunk”, which that player must announce aloud by saying, “You sank my battleship!” (or whichever) Easy peasy, and I was so good at it that my wife refused to play anymore. I tried not to be too upset, since I had just banned all games of Masterpiece with my brother. The pegs did not love me in that game.
In 2012 aliens invade the whole world by landing in a small bit of ocean near the Hawaiian islands during a joint naval exercise between the US and Japan. After a familiar looking set of ships become trapped inside a force field (like the constrained peg board), there is hostility from both sides and the aliens shoot lots of peg-like bombs at the ships, which imbed themselves and blow up. Sound familiar?
The storyline laid over this gaming is set up fairly well. Alex Hopper (loser) cannot hope to keep up with his very put together sailor brother Stone. They love each other dearly, but Stone has about had it with Alex, and all is made worse when he screws up a food run for a busty, gorgeous and hungry young woman. The next day (in movie time), Alex is a commissioned officer playing on Stone’s soccer team. Apparently, the US Navy is so tiny all the officers serve in the same place. Also on the team is Petty Officer Weps, who is Rhianna with very little hair and major attitude. Just as Alex reliably screws up again, making Stone finally disown him, and as Alex is trying to screw up the nerve to ask his busty burrito girlfriend’s father the ADMIRAL for her hand in marriage, the aliens invade. Whew. That was a close one, eh?
The movie has a number of product placements, one of which is an amusingly transformer-like alien space ship. Not that Hasbro has ever made a transforming toy. Ahem. They also did have someone utter the line, “They’re not going to sink this battleship.” The naval aspects of the movie shifted from ridiculous to really cool to blurry screen. Apparently in this navy every sailor is rated to perform every duty on board any ship, including knowing how to work machinery that pre-dates them by decades. While shaking my head at that, I was wowed with an actual, little known naval maneuver called clubhauling that I’d only read about in history books. And I was really wowed by the use of real life WWII vets to man battle stations when the going got really tough.
There aren’t many women in the movie – two – and they never speak to each other, but both are integral parts of the storyline so I’m okay with it. Weps is kick butt throughout, and Alex’s girlfriend Sam is a lot more resourceful and brave than your typical Hollywood starlet. The movie takes an unflinching look at the terrible ravages of real life war, walking the viewer through a veteran’s rehabilitation center and having a double amputee as a main supporting character. The Japanese naval officers are played by actual Japanese actors, one of which commented in a featurette about how weird it felt to portray a naval officer fighting alongside American sailors at Pearl Harbor. Yeah, that felt weird to me too, but it was so well done I have to applaud the filmmakers.
Because it’s a Peter Berg movie, you know it’s a solidly entertaining movie all around. It’s beautifully shot, the acting is good for an action film based on a board game, and there are actual feels of a kind you don’t normally get with this many guns ablazin’. Try and catch this some time if you haven’t already if you’re in the mood for a loud action flick that’s not horribly offensive in some way.
Trailer – Battleship Official Trailer #2 – Rihanna Movie (2012) HD
Below is the clip Mildred briefly mentioned about sinking battleships, not. Enjoy. – CFR
Battleship (10/10) Movie CLIP – They Ain’t Gonna Sink This Battleship (2012) HD