The art of adaptation is something to be taken seriously. Ever since the beginning of film, we have sought ideas from other sources for entertainment. Hollywood is archived of classic novel approaches such as Dracula, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Hamlet, and many others. The studios have also sought to look into Television programs like Dragnet, The Addams Family and 21 Jump Street for audience enrichment. While some directors are keen to sticking to the material, they have also received freedom to bring the story into wider territory. You would think that something like Battleship could have gotten more freedom.
Battleship is another attempt at adapting a game into a movie. Most of these kinds of adaptations never work because they have little to no plot. I remember playing the board game of the same name when I was ten. It involved a guessing scenario where you had to pick where your opponents ships were and being the last man standing. Sure, I had fun with it, but once it became repetitive, I would move on something else. In a sense, that makes this the perfect adaptation.
Battleship becomes tired and repetitive after the first half-hour. The good news is that it has an interesting story to tell with an actual plot and setting. But the bad news is that the characters themselves have no personality to bring real feelings to it’s audience.
Battleship feels like it was written by the ten year olds they were aiming for. I bet most of the process went, “Die floating aliens! (Makes a bunch of shooting sounds out of the mouth and throws the toys into the air) Fire on them all!” The filmmakers never took any serious thought into its crowd and gave them the leftovers from Transformers. What story is there?
In Hawaii, we have Alex (Taylor Kitsch from John Carter), lieutenant and the Tactical Action Officer for a Destroyer in the upcoming Navel warfare games. He seems to much of a slacker to even be in the Navy. He leads his crew (including pop singer Rihanna) into to seas with his brother (Alex Skarsgård) commanding a twin ship. Meanwhile, aliens respond to a satellite contact by crash landing in the ocean (not without destroying Hong Kong), and immediately open fire. What follows for the rest of the movie is formulaic plot, uninteresting character development, and Navel battles that aren’t that spectacular.
Battleship should have taken lessons from Clue. At least that one knew how to expand it’s source material into an entertaining story. I have never looked at my cell phone for the time more then this one. For a movie about armed combat, I have never felt more board and uncaring. Why couldn’t the director have put more passion into the characters? That’s what’s missing from this random puzzle.
I’ll give this one set of board game pegs out of five. If they ever make a Monopoly movie, they had better take screenwriting lessons. Other wise they’ll end up losers as I win by not seeing it.