Very loosely based on the Battleship board/electronic games, “Battleship” surprisingly gives an entertaining and suspenseful story of U.S. Naval forces and a few civilians fighting an alien invasion.  The movie stars Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard, and Liam Neeson; and is directed by Peter Berg.   There’s nothing deep or complex about “Battleship.”  It is your standard, action/adventure/sci-fi flick that has big, loud, action sequences, a few dramatic moments, and many b.s. parts.   “Battleship” is nowhere near as engaging as a Michael Bay movie — no, I’m not being sarcastic here, as I like Michael Bay movies — but it’s good enough.

The movie opens with silly humans sending an electronic hello to a planet that is believed to hold life, perhaps intelligent life.   Oh, there’s life all right; and the aliens are about as vicious and warlike as we are.  So, the aliens decide to send 5 ships to scout out the planet that gave them an invite; but one of the alien spacecraft hits an Earth satellite and crashes. It turns out the crashed spaceship was the communications ship.  Huh?  The aliens weren’t intelligent enough to avoid a satellite?  And they didn’t have some kind of force field to protect their ships?  They used a super duper force field when they landed; but they didn’t have it for their precious ships?  B.s.

Kitsch starts off as a loser living with his brother, Skarsgard, who an officer in the Navy.  Kitsch is intelligent but has no ambitions and no self control.  He’s a stoner dude.  Skarsgard forces him to join the Navy.  Fast forward a few years later and Kitsch is a Lieutenant in the U.S.N.  But he’s still reckless and has no self control.   How the hell did he become an officer?  B.s.

When the U.S.N. ships that are trapped within the alien force field first come into contact with the alien ships, instead of sending low-level grunts to investigate, they pull a “Star Trek” and send higher ranking soldiers who should be manning other posts to do the dirty work.  B.s.  Yeah, I know, they want to give Kitsch and Rihanna more face time — still, b.s.

So you’d think all these b.s. moments (there are more than what I wrote about) would ruin the movie?  Nope.   There are plenty of good moments that salvage “Battleship” and turn it into a good flick, relative to the movies in its class.   Case in point: the sequence when Kitsch maneuvers his Destroyer so that he takes advantage of the sun at his back in order to blind the oncoming alien attack ship.  It echoes those brilliant moves Capt. Kirk makes to turn a losing situation into a victorious one.  It’s also my most memorable, movie moment.

First runner up regarding the memorable movie moment of “Battleship” is the sequence when Kitsch and his crew are using buoys in order to “see” where the alien ships are.  Using an electronic grid in the weapons control room, they fire missiles toward where they think the alien ships will go next.  Some missiles miss, some hit.   Yup, similar to the board/electronic game!

A question to the eggheads out there who just can’t wait to make first contact with intelligent, extra-terrestrial life: do you go walking up to strangers and start conversations and invite them to come to your home?  No?  Why not?  Is it because those strangers could be looney tunes and they could chop your ass off to put in the freezer for a midnight snack?  Uh-huh.  But you’re okay with contacting alien life and inviting them here.  Aliens could be bigger whackos than us humans.  Put that in your pocket protector.

M

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