Battleship

Posted: July 9, 2012 in Movie Reviews

E.T. phone home. . . to bring more aliens.

What do you do when aliens attack Earth and threaten to destroy all of humanity? You fight ’em off with big guns, of course! From War of the Worlds to Signs the idea is always the same: get rid of ’em!  And if you can’t be rid of the extraterrestrials, go down fighting. In this sense, Battleship is overly clichéd; however, it still manages to put something fresh on the screen that we haven’t seen yet.

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Summary:

Alex Hopper (played by Taylor Kitsch—X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is basically a punk with no prospects and no desire to achieve anything in life. When he meets a hot girl, he suddenly finds new meaning. The only problem is, she’s the daughter of a Navy admiral (played by Liam Neeson—Star Wars: The Phantom Menace). In an effort to pursue her, he enlists in the Navy but goes nowhere in his career, facing expulsion.

“I have never seen a man waste himself better than you.”

After scientists send a signal into deep space probing for any sign of intelligent life, they get a response. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to contact any nice E.T. aliens. When five hostile alien ships land off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, intent on destruction, Hopper is given one final opportunity to redeem himself.

After the captain of his destroyer ship is killed, Hopper is left in command and bears the responsibility of protecting his entire crew. The aliens put a force-field around the island, creating a barrier that prevents any help from outside.

Using wit and skill, the crew struggles for survival amidst a vast ocean filled with destructive enemies. After their ship is destroyed, the crew retaliates with the only ship left on the island—the 70-year-old U.S.S. Missouri, essentially a museum piece. With the aid of the original, now-elderly crew, the group heads out to find the reason of the alien invasion and a way to stop them in their tracks.

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 What’s not to like about a good alien flick? It’s not like we haven’t seen any in a while. Ahem. But say what you like, Battleship exceeded my expectations. It’s a little slow in the taking-off stage, but once it gets rolling it’s non-stop, pulse-pounding action.

The film treats you to some unexpected moments that leave you cheering. I don’t know if some of the tactics and strategies used are actually possible, or even if a 70-year-old boat that saw some action in World War II could actually still run, but it makes for a great plot twist! The return of the ancient battleship, the old boys coming back to fight another day, even some of the tactics used to fight the aliens were semi-impressive.

“Oh dear”

And it wasn’t all over the top like Transformers, where you have 45 minutes straight of explosions and utterly far-fetched melodrama. Battleship had a good blend of action without relying too heavily on CGI. The reason why this reminded me of Transformers, though, was that it had the same scope and magnitude. It had the same creepiness and anticipation of the Alien films, and that same “I must survive,” War of the Worlds aspect.

If it wasn’t for the completely unrealistic aspect of the film (i.e. the aliens) this movie could have actually been really good. But in all other senses, it wasn’t too bad. This movie also had some well-placed humor that was actually funny! It was all well-balanced with action, anticipation, and some comic relief.

Be sure to stay after the credits for a surprise ending.

7.5 stars

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