Directed by: Peter Berg Written by: Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber Original Music by: Steve Jablonsky Cinematography by: Tobias A Schliessler
Premise: Six years after an advanced form of communication is used to send a message to a planet very much like Earth, aliens descend on the planet. Unfortunately for them, they can't see Earth's tech and their long distance communications ship hits a satellite and crashes in Hong Kong. Now the remaining four ships land in the Pacific and place an energy shield over a huge area so they can use the communication relay in Hawaii to call their planet. The only thing standing in their way is a Lieutenant on his way to getting booted out of the Navy, a scientist who fears just about everything, an admiral's daughter, and an army man trying to adjust to life with prosthesis. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Thumbs Up: Great job by all, especially the supporting actors. Rihanna was a lot of fun as Petty Officer Raykes. A lot of the extra personnel were actual navy, so it was a nice touch to have them do what they've trained to do, lending a layer of authenticity to the film it might not otherwise have had.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: As can be seen in the previews, there are a lot of special effects and they were excellent. From the different alien ships, the different technology, the aliens, and the destruction they caused, they were super detailed and entertaining. I was fascinated by the alien ships and their odd manner of movement on the ocean surface - very reminiscent of water bugs.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: This film is from Hasbro, who puts out the long played game called 'Battleship'. A game where two opposing fleets try to guess the location of their opponents and sink their ships through strategy and narrowing of their possible locations on the board. The film tries to integrate bits and pieces of the game, but not blatantly so. The shape of the alien's bombs resemble the white and red pegs of the game. For unexplained reasons, neither side's tech is capable of seeing the other through instruments, only through visual means. The ingenious way Captain Nagata comes up with to try to track their movements, gave us the grid of the game. Too cute.
There's some iffy science involved in a couple of places and some 'suspension of disbelief' is called for on several occasions. On the other hand, the story also had growth arcs on several of the characters. So there was some substance to the plot and that was a plus.
Also surprisingly, there were many comedic moments in the film. One skit sequence was done to the Pink Panther theme. It was hilarious!
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: With all the explosions and destruction happening around them you have navy personnel being thrown left and right and they made it look convincing. Kudos to the stunt person used during the totally hilarious skit at the convenience store - priceless.
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Some very beautiful shots of the ocean and of the Hawaiian islands crossed the screen throughout the film. And what better place to film a movie dealing with the navy than on actual destroyers and battleships? Genius.
Conclusion: The previews of this film give audiences a very different idea of what it will be about than what it actually is, which unfortunately won't work in their favor to get people into the theaters to see it. Despite the bad science in a couple of places, the film moved at a good clip and was very entertaining. The comedic moments were priceless.
Make sure to sit through the credits! There's a cute bit at the very end.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)