The movie may be named for Battleship, the game, but it has absolutely nothing to do with it. First of all, I don’t ever remember Brooklyn Decker standing on my grid. And I’m confident I would. I would also remember having to sink water-dwelling, lizard-eyed extraterrestrials.
This “Battleship” stars ”Friday Night Lights” and “John Carter” lead Taylor Kitsch as Alex Hopper, a highly intelligent, underachieving bad boy whose older brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgard), forces him to join the family business. That business? The Navy.
Turns out the Navy sort of agrees with Alex. He quickly ascends to the rank of captain, although we’re given absolutely no idea how that happens: he goes from a civilian arrested for stealing a burrito to impress a girl, to a Navy captain in a matter of one scene. No exposition necessary, I guess.
By the way, the girl he stole the burrito to impress? Samantha Shane (Decker), daughter of Admiral Shane, played by Liam Neeson. Hopper is getting ready to ask the admiral’s permission to marry Samantha but the admiral is confounded by Hopper’s lack of discipline. You could say Hopper drives the Admiral INshane. Or not.
And then — the aliens attack! Why? We kind of invited them. How? See the movie. Sure, “Battleship” is dumb, but only in a mindless-summer-blockbuster sort of way. The aliens are fantastic and the destruction is epic, magnificent and never boring. While we as yet have little clue how “Battleship” is going to play here in the U.S., it’s already making a fortune overseas. That’s good news for Taylor Kitsch, a talented actor who didn’t deserve the poor business and marketing decisions that plagued the box office failure “John Carter.” Hats off as well to director Peter Berg for infusing some heart and guts into a banal script that could’ve gone terribly wrong.
Three out of five stars.