Monday, 4 March 2013


Another film where the future of all humanity is in question is Battleship although in this instance why an eminent invasion is in the offing is not made clear. An interesting aspect of the film is that the introduction is longer than usual featuring two very different brothers. The first has become a Captain in the USA Navy, a traditional all American white man while his younger brother is creative and adventurous prepared to go outside acceptable behaviour to impress his girlfriend, Sam, who happens to be the daughter of an influential admiral commanding the Pacific Fleet. Because of his behaviour the brother is required to join the Navy as a junior officer and his progress is such especially after he attempts to get the Admiral to agree to his marrying the daughter that he appears to be destined to be discharged as unsuitable for an established commission. Nevertheless he sails on another ship adjacent to that of his brother on an exercise in the Pacific close to the Island of Hawaii where here is based an influential deep space communications technology. The head of the small team manning the base is outside when back in the USA mainland and across the world, five objects are noted travelling at great spend towards earth and Hawaii.


One comes into contact with an earth satellite and damaged knocked of course and falls in Hong Kong harbour destroying buildings and later we learn killing some 25000 people. This is accidental.  The remaining four objects disappeared into the Pacific Ocean just off the Hawaiian coast and then a giant structure appears which creates a huge force field around Hawaii, and which traps inside three vessels in the exercise including those of the two brothers.


Accompanying this alien host construction and as we are to learn heavily defended with armaments are more mobile constructions also with their own devastating fire power.  The creative young brother is sent in a small craft and team to investigate what at first appears inanimate objects. We the audience learn that those on the alien space craft are able to make an assessment of anything close to them including armaments and after jets are destroyed while hitting the force field the aliens launch devices which are like giant burning wheels which can cut through metals and concrete, destroying military helicopters and then the supports to a raised road highway. While the attack on military craft is a rational move the attack on the roadway is inexplicable.


The alien’s hardware includes mini rocket devices which penetrate metals in a delayed action response where they then appear to dive into the vessels and explode destroying the ship commanded by the elder brother.  The full complement on officers on the bridge (an unlikely situation), are also killed on the ship on which the creative brother is stationed and he returns to be told his is now in command. Tempted to attack following the blowing up of his brother’s ship he is persuaded to go and pick up the survivors of the other ship which has become badly damaged. This is a Japanese ship participating in the exercise and where the captain is among the survivors, a man who the creative brother has crossed swords on the football field which led to the loss of the game to the visitors.


Sam, the girlfriend of the creative man works as a physiotherapist at a centre where one of those aided is a double foot amputee decorated army veteran who is angry and feeling sorry for himself unable to return to the only thing he has wanted to do. She takes him on a hike to the very mountain range where the communications centre is located. Before the force field severed connections NASSA, the White House, the Pentagon and other state centres around the world have been in communication first to alert the Hawaiian centre of the threat and to hope the centre would be able to provide an answer to what is happening.


Sam and the Veteran are told to get off the mountain by police but the couple hesitate, fortunately as aliens destroy the vehicles as the Police leave. The two then make contact with the geek and cowardly head of the station at the same time as we see that the individual aliens are wearing full space suits and later we learn that the human form like creature are intolerant of sun light and is used to help defeat them.  We also learn that they have come to establish a communications portal with their home land using the communications station which in turn makes use of a dedicated satellite when it comes into orbit once  a day for a short period. Together they are able to get a message out to the remaining ship that it is important to destroy the satellite link before the aliens are able to communicate with their homeland, presumably to bring an armada of invading spaced ships to earth. This brings Sam in communication with her creative boyfriend.


The Japanese captain suggests to the creative brother that they use below water Tsunami tracking buoys to identify the location of the alien attack craft and after an abortive attempt they are able to use these to destroy several of the enemy craft before the mother craft is able to attack and destroy their ship after they have managed to escape ashore. Without major weapons the mission to destroy the communications centre appears to have failed but they decide to try and make use of a “retired” battleship tourist attraction and its crew of retired naval mariners and where amazingly all the armaments necessary are on board so the film degenerates into Boy’s Own comic book territory. We had reached the beyond credulity factor.


Amazing also the battleship is able to sail and to confront the mother craft which is able to outsmart and get off a 1000 lb round on the communications centre where the trio on the ground have been able to hold up operations sufficiently to prevent the aliens contacting their mother world. Their effort also results in the alien force field being lowered and communications between the aliens being severed enabling the USA airforce and navy to finish elimination of the enemy. The final scene is a medal awarding ceremony followed by the Admiral, played by a somewhat bemused Liam Neilson appearing to refuse to allow his daughter to marry the man who effectively saves the planet. He is teasing of course.  The film was one of those nominated for a Golden Raspberry worst film accolade.

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