Movie Review: “Battleship”
“Battleship” storms into theaters this week, unfortunately following “The Avengers” that has everyone buzzing. It is poor timing for this unexpected gem, as it may not get the attention it deserves following such a big opening act to the summer movie lineup. Director Peter Burg (“Hancock”, “Friday Night Lights”) created a film to impress with a dynamic cast including Rihanna and Liam Neeson.
When we heard that Battleship the board game was being made into a Hollywood film we had mixed feelings. We thought back to our times spent posed across from our brothers, sisters, or friends calling out coordinates and waiting for their feedback on whether we had hit or not. The movie captures only the best aspects of that.
Burg did a wonderful job creating a film that both captures the idea of the classic board game, but also takes the entire concept much further; into a dramatic and exciting scenario. In the opening scene we are introduced to a project in which humans are sending a beacon into space in an attempt to contact a “Goldilocks” planet in a whole other solar system. The “Goldilocks” concept means that the planet they found was “just right” in terms of distance from their sun, and would be capable of sustaining human-like life. The results were less than ideal when that planet sends back hostile war ships that land off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.
We follow Lieutenant Alex Hopper, a man who has both nothing and everything to prove, and watch as he is called to a moment of truth. His personality clashes with his older brother, Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgård), and the father of his girlfriend; Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), who are both his commanding officers in the Navy. The world is tossed into confusion and chaos with the arrival of the aliens, whose intentions are unknown but whose potential is terrifying. The world’s Navies answer the call in a dramatic showdown. The audience is caught in a hunger to know more about the alien race that has suddenly invaded, a fiery will to fight, and a fear of the unknown.
While the film had only a few recognizable moments that looked just like Battleship the game, the movie as a whole captured its essence and also created a scenario that you will captured by. It was in no way a direct recreation of the board game, but instead it was an exciting adventure that was created in the spirit of the game. The stakes are higher and the moves are much more important when the endgame is the fate of the human race and not another match.
The film has characters that you will love. They are flawed and real, but understandably so, and it is easy to fall into their story. It really is a movie with wide appeal. It has a little bit of sci-fi, some serious action scenes, drama and intensity, and a love story for the ladies. Burg created some very intense moments of adrenaline pumping action, hit with heart-wrenching drama, but had enough comedy to balance those powerful moments. People of all ages were on the edge of their seats gasping and cheering together.