Out Now On-Demand
The battle for Earth begins at sea.
An alien race decides to turn the earth's oceans into their own personal power generator, and it's up to Liam Neeson and pop-R&B singer Rihanna to lead the world's naval defences against the space invaders.
Loosely based on the Milton Bradley boardgame Battleship. From the director of Hancock.
Action, Science Fiction
Rating: M contains violence & offensive language
I enjoy spectacle, and this film has plenty of it. What it doesn’t have is a decent plot, original characterisation or much in the way of flair. But yeah, lots of spectacle.
Actor Peter Berg made a promising directorial debut with 1998’s Very Bad Things, but the quality of his movies has varied wildly since then (from Hancock to Friday Night Lights to The Kingdom). He doesn’t inject Battleship with much personality, but he shoots the action here with a clarity I appreciated.
Points of difference here include gargantuan floating alien ships that splash about in the water like giant distressed stingrays; a whole lot of large scale ship action and a Tongan Kiwi (John Tui) as the fourth male lead.
Pop star Rihanna doesn’t embarrass herself in her first big film role and lead Taylor Kitsch proves serviceably generic, but not offensively so. Liam Neeson is in about four scenes, while local lad Tui is great as the resident tough guy.
The audience I saw this film with couldn’t contain their pompous scoffing, especially during the more gung-ho military scenes, but the fourteen-year-old in me enjoyed what he saw. If you make sure your palette is prepared for a giant steaming pile of melted cheese, you might just enjoy yourself.
Total Film (UK)
Good job by kiwi actor
Great effects, good for a laugh in parts, and our own John Tui does an admirable job. A good watch for what it is...and we all know what sort of movie this is before you even go into the theatre...so no point in being disppointed by it. It doesn't get any better than NZ's own John Tui throwing over a vending machine in slow motion on the deck of a battleship with ACDC Thunderstruck playing loud...;) Never bored, I give it an honest 3 stars.
You Did Not Sink My Battleship!
Hasbro have previously brought two of their many toy lines to the silver screen, both proving highly lucrative in the movie market.
"Transformers" became a runaway success and trilogy, with another already lined up for the future and G.I Joe showed it's worth and has a sequel releasing soon.
With these franchises showing they can make a good run at the market, they have delved into the many properties they own for their next blockbuster.
What they came out with was "Battleship".
Yes, "Battleship", the board game where you place stationary ships randomly and attempt to hit your opponent by selecting a square from a combination lettered and numbered grid.
Written by the Hoeber brothers Jon and Erich, who have a penchant for adapting properties ("RED" and "Whiteout") and directed by Peter Berg, this film is a blockbuster by any definition.
Filled to the brim with well known actors taking the leads (Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard and Liam Neeson), lovely ladies (model Brooklyn Decker and singer Rihanna) and the biggest, brightest, flashiest Naval battle scenes it can create through special effects, it plays out to every action movie cliche.
Redemption, sacrifice, an unknown enemy, the world at stake and crazy, over the top battles are all there and jumping out at you so that you don't miss the obvious.
While it succeeds at the above, the story and character are where it falters. With little development of the characters, and a best attempt at providing something that can resemble the board game as closely as possible, it's a no brainer, to the number romp through the oceans.
While it isn't a complete miss, it also doesn't quite hit the target. This "Battleship" for now, is still floating.
The best film I've seen this year.
It's fantastic! The plot is straightforward and makes perfect sense apart from one unimportant detail. Also, the aliens aren't the usual indiscriminately murderous sort - they only fire when fired upon. They even look like aged aliens because of the length of their space journey. The ships at sea are spectacular, especially the Missouri - probably the last time a genuine battleship will ever feature in mainstream film. For anyone who doesn't know, the Missouri was the world's last battleship to be decommissioned; the Japanese signed their surrender on her deck in WW2; it fought in three wars - WW2, Korea and the first Gulf war, and it featured in the Steven Seagal movie Under Siege. The climactic battlescene where the navy destroyer John Paul Jones unleashes its entire armament on the alien craft makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. True, it's a bit cheesy in places but that's the Americans for you. This film is outselling The Cabin in the Woods two-to-one in the UK and it's well worth the ticket price. I reckon when everyone stops worrying about it being funded by Hasbro it'll become a classic sci-fi at least as good as Independence Day (also panned when first released). Unfortunately I've yet to see a positive review from a girl so this appears to be a boys movie. Shame. It's great fun and wonderful to watch.
Battleship is big, loud and it sinks
If there is any film director that is potentially following in the footsteps of Michael Bay, that director is Peter Berg. I stress the word "potentially " considering Berg's feature film work isn't particularly bad nor are any of them memorable.
The films which spring to mind in Berg's cannon where Bay-esque sentiments come to the fold are notably Hancock (2008) and his latest, Battleship.
A la Mr Bay, Battleship is an attack on the senses. It's loud, with above average action scenes and a good looking cast (Rihanna acting holds up well but don't interpret that as a ringing endorsement, she was cast in an action flick remember?). There's not much of a plot and without much of a plot, there is a lack of characterisation and with that, comes a lack of originality.
But it is the action that matters here in which Berg surprisingly avoids being showy - very un-Bay-like as a point of refute. The action scenes are given time to shine, if not spectacular. And in typical action fashion, the gaudy special effects and the stoic close ups of characters surface in abundance.
There is no aim to enlighten the audience, nor should it have to. Battleship's job is to entertain. And it does it well but only in small doses.
The Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen
I wish I could give it minus 10 stars! The whole idea of this movie is so stupid, based on the board-game... I only saw this in a moment of weakness and I vow to never be this weak again! The acting was terrible but the main problem was just that the whole story was stupid and didn't make sense! I beg you not to waste your money on this horrific excuse for a film! It makes Transformers look like Shakespeare
Take 'GI Joe' and 'Transformers' and an ancient, pre-digital, pre-video, pre-tty dull boardgame like Battleships and this is the sorry excuse for entertainment that you get. Big, brash and braindead. What next? 'Snakes & Ladders' the movie, starring Bruce Willis, The Rock, Angelina Jolie and Justin Bieber? 'Noughts & Crosses' in Imax 3D? Embarrassing to see Liam Neeson following up the dire 'Wrath of the Titans' with yet another "gimmie da money" role. Lucky for him, his appearances are brief. Taylor Kitsch does about all you can do as the chisel-chinned, two-dimensional hero dude and singer Rihanna blessedly doesn't sing. But a movie based on the game Battleships? Really? C'mon. It's 'Transformers' on the water by way of a recruitment ad' for the US Navy. Peter Berg has directed the good ('Friday Night Lights'), the OK ('The Kingdom'), and the awful ('Hancock') and now adds the absolutely dire to his resume with the floating turd that is 'Battlesh*te.' One star from my 6-year old. He loved it. But then he loved 'Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked' - which is why he's banned from writing movie reviews... Still, if you enjoyed 'GI Joe' and 'Transformers' - go. You'll love it. Me? I'd rather stay home and play Battleships... yup, it's that bad.
Battleship - by HASBEEN
Imagine if you can 'Battlefeild LA' (on the water) mixed with a little 'Transformers' and is soooo HASBRO... Im sorry but really, was this meant to be a comedy or serious? It was just too good at being bad. I liked Taylor Kitsch in 'John Carter' yet in this film, along with Liam Neeson it doesnt stand too tall, infact nearly falls flat on its face. The idea is sound, lets make another game into a movie... a board game... about sinking battleships... Yup. Worth watching if you want a bit of a laugh I guess, or just watch the stuff blow up an go boom.
Genre : Action, war, scif-fi, (almost comedy)
1/5 : I really cant think of much about this film that was good.
Sitting in the theatre last night, a line from an old Tool song was rattling around in my brain. "One great big, festering, neon distraction" was used by the band to describe the state of California, but the description couldn't be more apt for Peter Berg's BATTLESHIP. A deafening, blue and orange military recruitment tool, the film can't even sustain its laughably simple premise, and attempts to promote a message so unappealing to its target audience I was left questioning why it even exists.
Story is the least important element here, so lets just say that in between all the sweeping helicopter shots and blinding lens flare, an international Naval war games exercise is interrupted by alien invaders, and it's up to reckless officer Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) to save the day. Kitsch delivers solid character work early on, but soon gets lost in the cacophony of bangs and seizure-inducing editing which leaves little room for the human story. Inexplicably added to the mix are pop star Rihanna, seemingly here for no other reason than, well, she's Rihanna, and Liam Neeson collecting his paycheck for around 10 minutes of screen time. But, as I said, we're not here for the story, rather the spectacular action and special effects right? The bad news is that when the aliens finally show up, BATTLESHIP's pace strangely slows to a crawl (no doubt due to the limited options offered by the source material), and all potential excitement and interest evaporates. Director Berg forces the idea of teamwork down the audience's throats (Japan and the US fighting togetherin Hawaii? Wonders never cease), and doesn't even try to disguise his recruitment agenda. Indeed, the film is little more than a hyperkinetic music video (oh, that's why Rihanna is here) designed to lure impressionable youth into signing up so they too can fight the 'alien invaders'.
Herein lies the problem however: young people today almost definitely don't play Battleship. Basing a tentpole film on a board game seemed like a daft idea from the outset, but recent cinea history has seen a theme park ride turned into a critically and financially successful franchise, so precedent is there in a way. Unfortunately for Universal, even those of us who grew up in a pre-internet/Xbox Live world remember Battleship as a desperately boring endeavour, so how can it be expected to compete in today's short attention-span culture? The strange metaphor that Berg attempts to craft in the film's third act, suggesting that we need to remember and re-appraise the past, just won't fly with 21st century teens bred in our disposable, constantly updating world of technological wonder. BATTLESHIP's strange juxtaposition of bombastic special effects framing ancient board game mechanics simply doesn't sit right, and it's hard to imagine the teen audience, so crucial for success at the summer box-office, tearing themselves away from the latest CALL OF DUTY to embrace the turn-based 'excitement' of this ridiculous film. No amount of explosions can salvage a limp and underwritten movie, and BATTLESHIP, not entirely unexpectedly, is torpedoed by its own outdated inspiration.