You’re in command of a vessel with no radar, cut off from all reinforcements, and seriously outmatched by your opponent. Your opponent being aliens. Do you panic? Do you surrender? Do you pay more than ten dollars to see it?
In 2005, NASA has discovered a planet outside our solar system with conditions similar to those on Earth. Hoping that it contains intelligent life, they construct a powerful array of satellite dishes in Hawaii to transmit a signal to that planet. Simultaneously, unambitious Hawaiian native Alex Hopper (played by John Carter from John Carter Taylor Kitsch) meets a beautiful woman in a bar he wants to impress. The woman (played by Brooklyn Decker) wants a burrito but the bartender won’t accommodate her. Hopper (Kitsch) hears this, introduces himself, and goes so far out of his way to impress her that he breaks into a minimart and is tasered by the police just as he’s approaching the beautiful woman, burrito in hand. Alex’s older brother Stone (played by Alexander Skarsgard) has had it with his brother’s antics and makes him join the Navy. Seven years later, Alex is a lieutenant and tactical officer on a destroyer and the beautiful woman, Samantha, (Decker) has accepted his marriage proposal, pending her father’s approval. Her father (played by Liam Neeson), an admiral whose character isn’t given a first name, is Alex’s superior who has disciplined him on several occasions and has grown just as frustrated with him as Hopper’s brother has. Then, during an international exercise with the Japanese Navy, the world and the island come under attack by the very same aliens they hoped to contact.
Now, this isn’t the first movie ever to be based on a board game. Clue came out in 1985 and had a much better cast. Also, Clue is a game with characters in it. Battleship, on the other hand has none. It also doesn’t have aliens. While there is an actual battleship late in the film, the alien munitions resemble pegs, and the crew is forced to fire blind once they’ve lost radar, this movie has nothing to do with the game. Other detractors seem determined to lay the movies failures at Rihanna’s feet, this being her first acting role, but she really doesn’t have that many lines and the failures in Battleship are so much bigger than this one minor character. Whether Transformers turned out the way Michael Bay and Spielberg wanted it to, it was a box office smash. Battleship is an inferior imitation, and I say that as someone who doesn’t even like Transformers. Given how poorly it performed at the box office, I probably don’t have to say this, but skip it.