Movie Review - Battleship

Saturday night I stayed after work and watched Battleship.  This wasn't one I'd been planning on seeing originally, but I heard a lot of people say it was fun, and the premise is intriguing.  It's loosely based on the old game Battleship (you know, where you call out coordinates and try to sink your opponent's fleet), but with aliens thrown in for good measure.

I was afraid it would be *too* much like the game, sort of in-your-face with references, but I was pleasantly surprised.  There were references to the board game -- several sequences when the Navy is trying to shoot down aliens are very clearly alluding to the coordinates-and-grid of the game (but then that was based on how you actually target ships so you can't argue...) and the alien missiles/bombs/torpedos/whatever-they-are kind of look like the pegs you stick in the board to mark where you've shot something.  And nobody yelled "You sank my battleship!", which I was kind of afraid of, so that was good.

I really loved this game as a kid.
This is another one that's not going to become an undying classic, but it was an entertaining evening.  The plot worked better than I expected it to (although it is highly predictable), the acting was decent (who knew Rihanna could act?), there was lots of good explody stuff, and the movie clearly promoted the virtue of cleaning up your act, growing up, and accepting reponsibility.  It was perhaps a little transparent in some parts, but it didn't get preachy.

I would have liked a little more information about the aliens.  They seem to hail from "Planet G" which some scientists have discovered and have been sending messages to (with a lot of fancy radar? something? it looks like the discs people put up on their roofs for TV reception? equipment) but we never learn much about them.  They wreak havoc in Hawaii and smash a good portion of several cities around the world and someone says "we're talking extinction-level threat" about them (in reference to the extinction of the humans, not of the aliens, who appear to be doing just fine), but they're extremely impersonal.  (Maybe I am just biased because I've been watching a lot of Doctor Who lately and in that you always get the alien's motivation and POV as well.  Battleship is not really the sort of film that goes in for philosophy or even much character arc.  They needed an enemy for the Navy, so some aliens showed up.  Works for me.)

On the whole, I enjoyed it.  I laughed.  I might even see it again.