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Battleship

Battleship: Humans Vs Aliens Action Flick

  • Alexander SkarsgårdBrooklyn Decker...
  • Action & AdventureScience Fiction
  • Peter Berg
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Battleship: Humans Vs Aliens Action Flick

Summer is all but here and we have been blessed with another
alien-action blockbuster based on a toy and no, this time around it’s not Transformers, though by the way this
film’s been marketed, you’d think Battleship
was an extension of the Transformers
franchise; ‘Transformers at Sea’ if you will. And while the two films have
several things in common, they’re also quite distinct. For one Transformers focuses on the robots – and
truth be told, they’re pretty damn impressive – while on the other hand, Battleship, surprisingly, focuses more
on the human characters. Neither of the films managed to combine the two –
interesting robots/aliens and compelling humans that is- but the human element
in Battleship makes it easier to get
caught up and emotionally involved in the film.

NASA discovers a planet in a different solar system that has very
similar conditions to Earth, conditions conducive to life, and promptly builds
a satellite station in Hawaii to try and establish contact with any forms of
extraterrestrial life that may be out there. The scientists discover the
success of their experiment when five huge unidentified objects hurtle into our
atmosphere. One takes out a huge chunk of Hong Kong while the rest crash land
in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Hawaii, in the middle of a bunch of
international navy fleets that have gathered for an exercise. A massive battle
takes place between the aliens and the navy as the humans try and thwart the
aliens’ attempts to communicate with their home base and send for
reinforcements.

Since Battleship is being
marketed towards the same demographic that made Transformers such a cash cow, you’d think they’d have put a bit
more effort into their alien design. Firstly, their spaceships look like metal
cubes, kind of like a rectangular version of the AllSpark cube in Transformers, and secondly, the aliens
themselves look like tall, metal Power Rangers. Another thing is that it’s
never really explained why the aliens come to Earth in the first place. All we
get is the hypothesis that when the humans managed to establish contact, a few
aliens decided to mosey on over here to check out our planet.. Thankfully, and
this may be a product of entering the film with zero expectations, the humans
mostly make up for the aliens and the general lacklustre visuals.

Kitsch plays Alex, a smart slacker with attitude issues who’s forced by
his older brother, Stone (Skarsgard), to join him in the US Navy as a way of
getting his life on track. Decker plays Samantha, Alex’s girlfriend, who’s a
physical therapist and the daughter of the fleet’s captain. Thanks to the fact
that the film clearly emphasizes Alex’s potential, his transformation from
immature slacker to a bona fide leader is actually believable while Samantha,
thankfully, gets to be more than just the token girlfriend and plays a large
part in saving the planet as well. Rihanna makes her acting debut as a badass
Navy officer named Raikes while Linklater plays Cal, a wimpy, nervous scientist
and the source of most of the film’s comic relief.

The film as a whole takes a while to settle into its groove, but when it
does it becomes quite engaging. By the final third, when the war reaches its
peak, you’re actively rooting for the Navy and restraining yourself from
cheering out loud and singing along to AC/DC. The film as a whole is far from
perfect and is actually too uneven to be called good, but the final half hour
is wall-to-wall fun, ending the film on a pretty high note.

Like This? Try

Transformers, Star Trek, Battle Los Angeles

360 Tip

Kitsch’s role was intended for Jeremy Renner who had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict.

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