Following the success of Transformers and G.I. Joe, Hasbro brings another of its beloved properties to the big screen, with explosive and cheerfully improbable results. The situation: Aliens splash down outside Hawaii, surrounding the islands with an impenetrable force field and wreaking havoc on the captive population. While the world outside watches helplessly, a skeleton crew of naval officers and civilians (led by Taylor Kitsch's cocky washout and Rihanna's weapons expert) must figure out a way to save the planet while being seriously outgunned. Director Peter Berg, whose previous films The Rundown
displayed a playful tweaking of genre conventions, keeps things surprisingly high and tight here, depicting military tactics and the chain of command with an honest respect, including casting actual combat veterans in pivotal supporting roles. While such a reverent approach is certainly admirable, it coexists uneasily with the inherent goofiness of the premise, particularly during the climactic scene where the heroes sit down in front of a grid and, yes, fire a missile at B7. (Note: Nobody actually gets to say "You sunk my battleship," but Liam Neeson, in an extended cameo as an admiral, sure looks like he wants to.) However, while the narrative might be missing a few pieces, Berg's film undeniably delivers the action-movie goods, staging a number of all-out combat scenes with verve and ingenuity. (Special kudos to whoever designed the main weapon of the aliens, a razor-toothed sphere of gears that chews up the scenery with a tangible sense of delight.) Audiences looking for coherence may need to keep on looking, but Battleship
definitely sports the maximum number of bangs for the summer-movie buck. Bring on Kerplunk: The Motion Picture
. --Andrew Wright
Peter Berg (Hancock
) produces and directs Battleship
, an epic-scaled action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force.
Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval combat game, Battleship
stars Taylor Kitsch as Lt. Alex Hopper, a Naval officer assigned to the USS John Paul Jones; Brooklyn Decker as Sam Shane, a physical therapist and Hopper’s fiancée; Alexander Skarsgård as Hopper’s older brother, Stone, Commanding Officer of the USS Sampson; Rihanna as Petty Officer Raikes, Hopper’s crewmate and a weapons specialist on the USS John Paul Jones; and international superstar Liam Neeson as Hopper and Stone’s superior (and Sam’s father), Admiral Shane.
Berg directs this epic action-adventure also produced by Scott Stuber (Couples Retreat
), Sarah Aubrey (The Kingdom
), Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir of Hasbro (the Transformers
franchise), along with Duncan Henderson (Master and Commander
) and Jeffrey Silver (300
). The film is written by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (Red
The battle for Earth begins at sea.