After scientists send a deep-space signal to Planet-G, a distant planet with similar conditions to Earth, an alien fleet crashes into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The main ship creates an invisible shield around itself, trapping several naval ships inside. The aliens soon attack the navy and begin to destroy several military and civilian places on land. With several ships destroyed, Lieutenant Hopper and Captain Nagata (previously bitter rivals) must work together in order to discover a weakness in the aliens and communicate with the outside world in order to stop the invaders before they can use Earth technology to signal more ships.

Battleship (2012) – Director: Peter Berg

Is Battleship appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 131 mins

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Tadanobu Asano, Brooklyn Decker

Genre: Science Fiction

 

REVIEW

It is hard to imagine how anyone could make a movie based on the classic ‘Battleship’ board game but, following in the footsteps of other Hasbro movies like ‘Transformers’ and ‘GI Joe’, Peter Berg takes on the difficult task. While many critics disliked the movie and it was a flop at the box office, it’s actually a perfectly watchable and entertaining film. While protagonist Alex is arrogant and annoying to begin with, he soon becomes much more likeable when he is forced into peril and made to work with others rather than think only of himself.

The scene where the surviving crew use buoys to detect where the alien ships are using water displacement – and therefore using the iconic grid references of the board game – is incredibly fun and exciting to watch. The aliens themselves are surprisingly well written with quite mysterious plans. They attack military installations and the infrastructures of the country (highways, etc) but do not harm innocent people so do not appear to be a fully evil force. ‘Battleship’ is an enjoyable movie that keeps the excitement high from start to finish although it is a little disappointing that no-one says ‘You have sunk my Battleship’.

IS ‘BATTLESHIP’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

When the aliens first start attacking the naval ships, the devastation is widespread. Missile-like weapons destroy sections of the ships and water is seen to pour inside. The men on the ships run around, panicking. One man cries out in fear and says ‘help me, help me’ as he is swept away by the water. Several minor characters are killed and one established character is caught up in an explosion which kills everyone on that ship. After the initial attacks, the wounded survivors are shown to have severe gashes and burns to their faces and heads. While this isn’t too gory, there are several shots of people who are badly wounded.

The alien ships also send out several machines to destroy a nearby military base. These weapons are huge and spherical with razor-sharp parts that whirr and spin around. In attacking the base, dozens of military personnel are killed although nothing graphic is seen on camera. The weapons then move on and approach a nearby baseball game which is being played by children. One of the weapons gets very close to a boy and initially sees him as a threat (and is therefore prepared to kill him), however it then recognises that he is a civilian and moves on to a nearby highway which it attacks, causing casualties to several drivers.

Two characters are shown to be drinking in a bar and one is quite drunk. He then tries to impress a girl by breaking in to a nearby store but due to his drunkenness he trashes large sections of the place. The police come and chase him before using a taser to subdue him.
One scene introduces a retired army vet who is in rehabilitation after losing both his legs. This scene has several close-up shots of people who have lost one or more of their limbs.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

While ‘Battleship’ has plenty of aspects to criticise, it is easy to get swept away in the simple but enjoyable story. The pacing keeps everything moving along nicely and the movie never becomes boring or too far-fetched. This is the perfect movie for kids who like a good action-based alien movie and we feel that it should be appropriate for kids aged 8 and over.

  • Violence: 3/5 (mostly non-gory shots of people being caught up in explosions)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (when an established character is killed during the alien attacks, the people who care for them briefly mourn their loss, however the desperate situation forces them to continue the fight. This character is properly recognized at the end of the movie, however this is not done to be particularly emotional)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (The aliens may be a little scary, particularly when they attack two men who are driving a jeep. While the aliens aren’t seen, as the camera is shot from the aliens’ point of view, the men look at them in horror and when the scene cuts away, a scream can be clearly heard)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (A male character is seen lying in a bath of ice and is clearly naked. When he gets out, some strategically placed ice prevents anything too explicit being seen. Also, in a scene towards the beginning of the movie, a couple are kissing on a beach, the woman is lying on top of the man and is wearing hot pants and a bikini top)
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (mild and moderate cursing and blasphemy throughout although this isn’t too frequent. Two instances of strong curse words are used but are cut off half way through)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (one of the scientists states that his grad students have been killed by the aliens. During a soccer game, one character says to another ‘I’m the idiot who’ll kick (the ball) through your keeper’s face’. There are also several mentions of people being killed in alien attacks)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of fighting against an invading force, learning to respect authority, becoming a better person, triumphing over adversity and putting others before yourself.

Words by Laura Record

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