Battleship: "My Dad Said They'd Come. He Said We Ain't Alone. He Said One Day We'd Find Them. Or They'd Find Us."

Director: Peter Berg
Writer:    Jon Hoeber
               Erich Hoeber 
Starring: Taylor Kitsch
               Alexander Skarsgard
               Brooklyn Decker
               Liam Neeson
               Tadanobu Asano
Rating:    **  

Release Date: Out Now

Imagine, if you will, a film that combines Transformers with Top Gun, well this is what Peter Berg has treated us to with the film adaption of popular board game, Battleship. Those worried that the film is just 2 tedious hours of slow-moving naval strategy have no reason to fear, this is an entertaining action film that's big, loud and just a little bit silly (in a good way). 

The film follows Alex Hopper (Kitsch), the down-trodden underachiever at the centre of the mayhem. Long-haired and slightly alcoholic, he's given a buzz cut and a new lease of life when he's drafted into the navy by his brother Stone (Skarsgard). Hopper is temperamental and isn't exactly known for following orders, but when a mysterious alien presence arrives at sea he's forced to man up and lead a fleet against the threatening armada of extra-terrestrials. Battleship doesn't exactly care about creating a flowing or intriguing narrative, instead it delivers jaw dropping spectacle's as one giant set piece rolls into another.

(L-R) Taylor Kitsch & Rihanna
I guess you could say that this is Peter Berg trying his hardest to recreate the success of Michael Bay's Transformer franchise. With no real storyline and a lot of over the top action sequences I guess he does a fairly good impression, I just don't know if he will be able to capture the success. One good thing about this film is that we are spared of the poor comedy, irritating sidekicks and vapid female love interests that come so easily to Mr Bay.

Kitsch's take on the character Hopper is straight-laced, and a pretty uncomplicated hero aboard the USS John Paul Jones. When part of the naval fleet is taken out, he must guide a crew that includes Petty Officer Cora Raikes (Rihanna), rival captain Nagata (Asano) and Ordy (Plemons). I will take this opportunity to say that Rianna gives a fairly competent performance, but she has a long way to go before she can sob over her Oscar win. Filling out the rest of the cast is Liam Neeson, who plays the Admiral father of Hopper's girlfriend Sam (Decker), and of course no action film is complete without a collection of tech geeks for Berg to juggle.

All in all, its fair to say that the entire movie is one big cheese-fest and if you were to shove 10 different movies into a blender and throw the results up on screen, you'd get this. Top Gun's volleyball scene is swapped for a game of football, the film's sci-fi disaster element is ripped straight out of Independence Day, there's a hefty dose of James Cameron in Rihanna's tough chick Raikes, and of course we have the obvious similarities with Transformers. Despite all that, this is still high on entertainment value and gives plenty of thrills and adrenaline rushes for those action movie fans out there.
Alexander Skarsgard

Battleship's stilted dialogue and ludicrous final-act plot twist would have ruined a film led by a weaker director, but Berg is able to bring a somewhat goofy charm to proceedings, most noticeable in its inclusion of elements of the original Battleship game. The pegs and classic grid system will bring a smile to the face, but when going to see the film don't expect a competent story, just go for the trills and spills and you will be satisfied.

Battleship - Trailer