Battleship

“We trust in God all; others we track.”

After more than 70 years as a board game, Director Peter Berg and his filmmaking crew borrow a general concept for this mildly entertaining movie. The inevitable coordinates-guessing concept does not even occur until the middle of the film and the payoff is on the low side due to familiar elements like aliens, Earth invasions, and self-centered military hotshot who eventually learns to be a team player.

Filmmakers borrow another concept for a Stephen Hawking documentary about warning that sending messages into space may be welcoming trouble. Liam Neeson tries to bring some credibility as a Navy admiral while Taylor Kitsch portrays a talented weapons officer named Alex Hopper, but his undisciplined approach puts him at odds with the Admiral.

The remaining cast of characters realistically cross paths throughout the extraordinary events. Alexander Skarsgard plays Alex’s older brother Stone who commands another ship. Physical therapist Sam Shane (model/actress Brooklyn Decker) helps in crisis while also creating some emotion through family relationships. Weapons specialist Cora Raikes (singer/actress Rihanna) and commanding officer Yugi Nagata (Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano) also have key roles.

The special effects, sound, and Steve Jablonsky’s musical score impress and the ending shows great honor to our Navy veterans, but the awkward first half does not build enough authentic entertainment and emotional power into this clichéd romp.

Filmed on the USS Missouri, Battleship has an epic scope and entertains on a general level. Recommended with reservations (** out of four stars) and rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, language, action and destruction, and for language.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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