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Battleship (12A) ★★★ Director: Peter Berg Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Rihanna

All at sea with Liam

By Staff Reporter

What’s the story?

A good boy gone bad, Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is the polar opposite to his older, wiser and more straight-laced brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard). But when Alex meets the beautiful Sam (Brooklyn Decker), he falls head over heels in love and, in a bid to make a clean break and stay out of jail, Alex decides to join the US Navy.

Ironically, Sam’s father just happens to be Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), one of the most respected men in the Navy and, as you can imagine, he doesn’t take kindly to a guy like Alex dating his daughter.

But all these things pale into the background when, while out on sea trials, Alex’s character and worth are put to the ultimate test when his ship comes across a strange looking object in the middle of the ocean. No sooner has he been sent out to investigate the mysterious object with tough-talking gunner Raikes (Rihanna) and have-a-go-hero Ordy (Jesse Plemons) than he and his fellow sailors are trapped inside a forcefield with a deadly alien fleet hellbent on the destruction of the human race.

With the love of his life and the rest of humanity in danger of being annihilated by the alien menace, Alex must face the extraterrestrial foe head-on if he is to see his beloved Sam again.

Any good?

As I’m sure you’ve seen from the elaborate posters and loud trailers, Battleship is a film that has been inspired by the Hasbro toy and, like Transformers before it, it’s arrived to rock our world to its very foundations.

But seriously? An adaptation of Battleship? Yes, I’m afraid so but, before you come to any conclusions, director Peter Berg knows what he’s dealing with here – a movie based on a retro toy-cum-board game.

With Battleship, Berg, who gave us the entertaining superhero flick Hancock, follows in the incredibly loud, daft and OTT footsteps of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies by being, well, incredibly loud, daft and OTT.

Of course, this does not mean to say that you won’t enjoy Battleship – if you’re in the mood for all-guns-blazing action and destructive special effects that would make Roland Emmerich proud, then Battleship will be the popcorn movie for you.

Plot-wise, it’s as simple as cheese on toast but what Berg does well is to stitch together the flamboyant action set-pieces so expertly as to give Battleship the feeling of a fleeting cartoon movie with a cast of flamboyant cartoon characters.

John Carter star Taylor Kitsch looks every inch the handsome action hero and he clearly has fun playing a bit of a wild boy.

Liam Neeson is somewhat under-used but this really isn’t a film worthy of Neeson’s talent. Rihanna plays, well, Rihanna, armed with an impressive array of dangerous weaponry, so there’s not much acting involved. Still, this isn’t as ridiculous as some of her music videos.

Final word?

If you’re after a big, brainless action movie to blow you away with amazing special effects, look no further. Battleship is da’ bomb, and then some.

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