When people say Hollywood is running out ideas, I tend not to take notice of it. This film really does not help the debate. Using the license of the big selling Battleship game (yeah, that’s right) they managed to pull off a two hour film that includes explosions and aliens.
Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a bum who hasn’t found his way in life; the only supporter is his naval officer brother Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgård). Stone manages to convince Alex to join the Navy with him, whilst at the same time scientists have found a planet similar to Earth’s and they end up sending a signal to them. Obviously, the response is hostile as the aliens send in a scouting party to prepare the planet for mass wide extinction.
There is definitely more to the story, but it contains so many sub-plots that it ends up being too convoluted. So many things are going on at once it doesn’t leave you with much emotional attachment. You could argue that it’s just a fun, popcorn munching blockbuster, but it actually tries to make us feel for the people onscreen. It does have a few tongue-in-cheek moments granted, and that’s very entertaining.
The CGI and VFX are actually quite stunning; it’s obvious a lot of work and care have gone into them, shame that can’t be said for some of the performances. Kitsch manages to amuse in the little character development he is given, but the rest falls short in what could have been something special. It feels like each character has cliché written all over them.
When it takes itself seriously it fails and when the opposite happens it works quite well. The only interesting thing about the movie is the aliens, and we don’t really get to know about their past. It gives us a small insight, but it left me wanting more.
Overall rating: 5/10
Memorable Moment: When the radar is unavailable (I think it’s the radar, I wasn’t really paying attention) they have to use buoys to determine where the enemy is. This culminates in what is essentially the Battleship game, albeit slightly altered to fit the film.
Directed by: Peter Berg.
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna (That’s not a misprint, Rihanna is in this film.)