Film: “Battleship”; Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker; Director: Peter Berg; Rating: ***
There are films you watch, expecting nothing more than a decently good time with some basic criteria being fulfilled. “Battleship” is one such film.
It has some beautifully executed action sequences that remind you of “Transformers”, with a little more sense thrown in.
Alex (Taylor Kitsch) is an intelligent man with the habit of wasting his talents. His brother forces him to join the navy but his basic habits don’t change. During a naval exercise, they are engaged by alien battleships which destroy other ship in the fleet.
It is finally up to the last surviving battleship led by Alex to wage a cat and mouse game against enemy ships with an attempt to not only survive, but also save the world.
Battleship is one of the most popular board games in the world. A bit like Minesweeper, it is a guessing game that also involves strategy.
The game is owned by toy giant Hasbro, who have also gone into film production with their best known live action films being the “Transformer” series. It was about time that they would have transformed Battleship into a film.
However, if you’ve played the game, you know that how tough it probably was to translate the board game into a movie. In that respect, the film does a good job of creating the requisite logic for the film to create a believable system where the humans indulge in the same kind of game that you play in Battleship.
Cinematically, the film at best is average. But there are other qualities that redeem its soul.
First of all, it builds a credible but cliched back story for the protagonists with the essence of the ‘maverick’ taken from films like “Top Gun”. Considering that in a film like this where the focus is on the action, one cannot expect more than this.
Secondly, the film is kind towards the paraplegics and retired armed personals. Films of this size rarely have the time to pause to show respect to the old and those physically challenged. The film thus does a good job of paying homage to them, with the final victory being won on an ancient warship manned by retired crews.
“Battleship” had the potential to become the next “Independence Day”. However, it loses the opportunity by downplaying the alien angle.
Perhaps the sequel will have more of it. Also there are a few things that have not been explained in greater depth, which makes the film’s universe a little illogical, thus reducing its enjoyment.
That, however, won’t deter action junkies from getting their dose of special effects action fix from the film. And this film that releases in India five weeks before its US release, is sure to become a blockbuster.