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Release Date: 
Star Rating: 
4 out of 10

Board game saves the world. No, not Scrabble.

The Pitch: When some gratuitously malevolent aliens from “Planet G” bent on mass-destruction invade, it’s up to a few good sailors—and a handful of salty VFW types—to blast 'em to smithereens.

What It Really Is: In terms of strategy, the board game Battleship ranks below Risk, Chess, Clue, and probably Pop-o-Matic® Trouble, so Battleship the movie, quite sensibly, has nothing to do with the game (it’s more like Space Invaders, really). The plot is pretty simple. A bright slacker (Taylor Kitsch still smarting from John Carter) joins the Navy to get some discipline in his life, and next thing you know he’s got to save the world from some Robocop-like invading aliens. That’s what it takes to get the gruff admiral (Liam Neeson) to let him court his daughter (Brooklyn Decker). The movie is enjoyable for a while, until it degenerates into a series of standard-issue battle scenes culminating in nothing surprising. Battleship is short on story and dialogue, but the actors are all game, including Rihanna. We’re not just saying that because she’s hot. The movie could actually have used a little more of her and a little less of the spinning Transformer bombs. Press-Ready Blurb: "Can't sink this Battleship! -

Redneck Aliens: Stripped of their helmets, the invaders look, for lack of a gentler term, like toothless mutant backwoods hicks.

Spoiler Alert: You won’t see Rihanna in a thong bikini.

We’ve Got The Next Board Game Blockbuster Idea: Candyland: The Rotting. Call us, Hollywood!

Salute to the Troops: Director Peter Berg majorly tips his cap to the armed services. The movie co-stars real-life war hero Col. Gregory Gadson and features a host of wounded warriors and veterans.

Who It’s For: Kids with a limitless capacity for exploding rockets; people who get a patriotic fix watching the military break out a can of interplanetary whoop-ass.

Studio: Universal Pictures