Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
questions and answers about the origin of life
ships in the Bible
fighting for survival
telepathy and mind reading
good versus evil
courage, bravery, and self-sacrifice
drunkenness in the Bible
How will the end of the world really come?
Liam Neeson … Admiral Shane
Taylor Kitsch … Lieutenant Alex Hopper
Alexander Skarsgård … Commander Stone Hopper
Rihanna … Petty Officer Cora ’Weps’ Raikes
Brooklyn Decker … Sam
Peter MacNicol … Secretary of Defense
Tadanobu Asano … Captain Yugi Nagata
Hamish Linklater … Cal Zapata
Rami Malek … Watch Officer
See all »
|Director||Peter Berg—“Hancock,” “Friday Night Lights”|
Battleship Delta Productions
See all »
“the battle for Earth begins at sea”
Alex Hooper (Taylor Kitsch) has no job, no money, and no goal in life. His brother, Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgård), a commander in the Navy, repeatedly tries to get him to take some responsibility for himself, but Alex has no interest in anything other than trying to pick up girls at the bar. So, in an attempt to get him to straighten up, Stone enlists him, and the next thing Alex knows, he is on a battleship in Hawaii, preparing to participate in a series of exercises at sea. Unfortunately, even there, Alex is headstrong, disobedient, and reckless, even catching (negative) attention from Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson, being his usual excellent self) who warns him that his career in the Navy is in serious danger of being very short-lived.
In the meantime, NASA has sent transmissions to an alien planet which they believe may sustain life. “If there is intelligence life out there, and it comes here, it will be just like Columbus and the Indians, except we’re the Indians,” warns a scientist, but eager to communicate with extra-terrestrial life, the government doesn’t heed him. The response is not what they expect, and before you can say “I sunk your battleship,” five alien ships have plummeted through Earth’s atmosphere. Some of them crash into Hong Kong, leaving the city in ruins. Others come down in the Pacific Ocean, conveniently close to the battleship exercises. Suddenly, Alex Hooper and his fellow soldiers find themselves in the midst of a war between man and alien, a war for the ownership of the Earth.
“Battleship” invites comparisons to “Transformers,” in that both share a similar style of action and both are based on Hasbro toys, but “Battleship” succeeds where “Transformers” failed—by giving us human characters that aren’t annoying and that we actually care about, Alex in particular. He starts out an aimless, foolhardy young man. His brother, who admirably looks out for his well being, admonishes him: “Who can I call to teach you humility? You have so much potential.” That potential comes to light when Alex is forced into a position of leadership. He steps forward and bravely faces down massive adversaries. When revenge blinds him and causes him to put the lives of his men at risk, he is forced to put aside selfish motives and put others before himself. In the end, he uses his skills, his cleverness and his loyalty to his mission to rise up as a leader and a man worthy of respect.
Other characters are equally admirable. Soldiers, time and time again, put their lives on the line and work together as a team to protect their country and, ultimately, the world. Indeed, self-sacrifice, courage, and honor are all traits that are positively portrayed. Nods to veterans, both past and present, are also welcome. Alex’s girlfriend, Sam (Brooklyn Decker) is a physical therapist who desires to help wounded veterans recover. Although it is implied that they have a sexual relationship, marriage is lauded, as Alex plans to marry her and even ask her father for permission, beforehand.
“Battleship” does have content issues. Sam, showing a lot of cleavage in a bikini, makes out with Alex on the beach. Language includes multiple abuses of God’s name (OMG—5, “My G_d” 2, “G-d_mn” 1), several uses of the s-word and three f-words (two unfinished). Most of the violence is extremely explosive mayhem, including clashes between battleships and spaceships, airplanes and spaceships, helicopters and… , well, you pretty much get the idea. The body count is very high, although little blood is seen, although when the aliens disembark, the violence becomes more physical and one-on-one and some characters to end up with bloodied faces.
However, in the end, “Battleship” is a better film than it has any right to be. The action is fast, furious and largely bloodless. The special effects are phenomenal. The actors are all strong, with Kitsch making a much better Navy soldier than he did as John Carter, earlier this year. Sure, the screenplay is clichéd, and the story is basically there to hang action scenes on, but do we expect anything more from a summer blockbuster? At least there is a story with positive character role models. Furthermore, nods to the board game on which it is based are very impressively used, right down to the hit-or-miss tactic and the use of numbers and letters. So, with the above content issues in mind, “Battleship” gets my recommendation.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.