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Movie Review: Battleship

A lot of good and bad things have been said about this movie. What did I think? I think it all started with a chicken burrito. *Warning: Potential Spoilers.

As a viewer: I went into this movie with very low expectations based on reviews. I wanted to see the movie because it looked like fun, not because it looked like I might learn something. I knew it was going to be a generic alien invasion story and little else. It didn’t have all the build up that the Avengers had as it was based on a board game I used to play as a kid. The only part I was disappointed in was that the tag line from the old commercials wasn’t included. You remember the line. “You sank my battleship!”

The movie starts us out with our main character getting into trouble trying to get a chicken burrito for a girl he’s trying to impress. Hijinx occurs and the bad brother is in trouble once again. His brother forces him to join the Navy or move out of the apartment they share. You can guess what happens.

We also get to see some satellite dishes pointed to the stars and sending out a “Hello” to the nearest neighbors on a habitable planet. Ok. I’m fine with that. Obviously, because of the previews, they come down to say hello. There are a lot of fun scenes where the alien fires weapons that look like the battleship pegs and the stick into the ships and then ‘push’ down and explode. I got a good laugh out of them including that. I also got a good laugh out of them using the tsunami buoys to track where the aliens were. They didn’t show up on radar so this grid of buoys allowed them to ‘see’ where they were at. So they called out letter and number coordinates to track where they would fire. I also liked this clever inclusion that tied back to the game.

No surprises in this movie. Just a fun, alien invasion movie like in the good old days. I enjoyed the nod to the retired Navy personnel as well as their being used to help fire up the old battleship and head out to fight the aliens. If you’ve never been on a battleship, they’re HUGE! Big old gun. Heavy plating. Everything is analog on those suckers. They’re fun ships.

As a writer: Let’s get this out of the way first. Bad boy turns his life around to save the world. Very tired trope. Been done a million times. I’m just glad they didn’t go on and on about his past and what he needed to do to redeem himself. It wasn’t needed, but added a little humor to the film. If it weren’t for that, none of the characters in the movie would have any dimension at all. They’re all pretty much interchangeable with any of a thousand other characters. Many are there for cannon fodder and when you’re talking about an alien invasion movie, that’s to be expected.

The plot, what there was of it, was pretty tight. No real loose ends. The character development isn’t so much that our main hero needs to change as much as he doesn’t really have a choice. He’s forced into a situation, saves the world, and is right back to being himself. At least as best as we can tell at the end of the movie.

Nothing special to see here. It’ a movie to entertain. Little else.

Recommendation: This isn’t a movie that will change your life. It’s going to give you a couple of laughs, some good eye candy with great special effects, and a half-way decent story. Unlike many movies I’ve seen that have no real plot at all, this one does a pretty good job. If’ you’ve got $10 burning a hole in your pocket and are tired of seeing the Avengers for the 37th time this week, take a break and check out Battleship. Go in with the expectation that it’s not going to blow your socks off, and you’ll enjoy it.