Patriotic Action Saves the Day
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction/War Movie
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 130 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures/Comcast
Director: Peter Berg
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
Stephen Burke, CEO, NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO, Universal Studios
Adam Fogelson, Chairman, Universal Pictures
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
The story opens with Navy Commander Stone Hopper celebrating his long-haired younger brother Alex’s birthday with a cupcake in a bar near Pearl Harbor. Stone is a little upset that Alex lacks direction in his life.
Alex notices a beautiful blonde entering the bar and asking for a chicken burrito form the bartender. The bartender, however, says the kitchen’s closed and refuses to budge even when Alex asks. Alex tells the blonde, whose name is Samantha, to wait five minutes and he’ll get her a chicken burrito. He goes across the street to a convenience store, but the cashier is just closing up. So, Alex climbs onto the roof and clumsily breaks into the store. He cooks a chicken burrito in the microwave and leaves some money on the counter, but his exit is even clumsier than his entrance. Soon the police arrive, and they taze Alex as he holds the burrito out for Samantha.
The next morning at home, Stone is now even more upset at Alex. Especially since Samantha just happens to be the Admiral’s daughter. Apparently, Stone is mentoring Alex because their parents have died. He tells Alex it’s time to shape up, so he orders Alex to join the Navy.
Several years later, both men are in the Navy. Alex has even become a Lieutenant, and Stone is now captain of a ship. The U.S. Navy is doing a huge exercise with 14 other nations. The nations are celebrating the maneuvers with a friendly soccer tournament. The tournament turns out not so friendly for Alex, who gets accidentally kicked in the face by a Japanese captain, Yugi Nagata. After the match, Alex and Yugi get into a fight on a ship and are reprimanded. This puts a halt to Alex’s plans to ask Samantha’s father for her hand in marriage. In fact, Alex is now in danger of being discharged by the Navy.
Everything comes to a halt, however, when a scouting team of alien spaceships land on Earth after being attracted by an ill-conceived NASA-engineered signal into outer space looking for aliens. The aliens land near Alex and Stone’s two ships and Captain Nugata’s. Alex leads a small boat to investigate the large alien vessel poking out of the ocean. Two other smaller alien spaceships detach themselves from the bigger vessel. Fighting breaks out after the two American ships and Captain Nugata’s ship face off against the aliens in a tense standoff. At the same time, the large alien spaceship sets up a force field around it and the three Earth vessels. The three Earth vessels lose communication with the outside world. They also prove to be no match for the aliens, which destroy Stone and his ship and sink Captain Nugata’s ship.
Alex turns out to be the highest remaining American officer. He wants revenge against the aliens for killing his brother, but he orders his ship to retreat and pick up the survivors of the Japanese ship. Now, Alex has to step up to the plate and stop the aliens from wiping out the human race. The good news is that the aliens have lost their communication spaceship. With Captain Nugata’s help, Alex and his men have to stop the aliens from using a local satellite array on Hawaii to call in reinforcements.
Once it gets going, BATTLESHIP is a lot of turbo-charged fun. Despite a couple corny moments and some possible plot holes, it’s a strongly patriotic story that teaches lessons in bravery, maturity, and humility. At one point, a humbled Alex realizes he has to defer to Captain Nugata’s experience. This sequence also turns out to include a clever, suspenseful homage to the original board game invented by Hasbro. BATTLESHIP also has an inspiring sub-plot where Samantha and a soldier recuperating from the loss of his legs have to help delay the alien platoon working at the satellite array. Finally, the ending has a wonderful homage to previous generations of Navy sailors, especially the average, courageous sailor who makes things run smoothly in times of war.
Thus, BATTLESHIP has a very strong moral, patriotic worldview that’s exciting. There’s even a reference to America’s motto, “In God we trust.”
That said, there’s plenty of foul language in BATTLESHIP. The action is also intense. Alex and Samantha have a lightly sensual kissing scene, but that’s as far as it goes. These things warrant caution, especially for younger viewers. Also, a couple uncompleted “f” words may find their way into an unrated version of the movie on the eventual DVD, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises parents to be on the lookout for that. As always, before you go to the movie, please consult the accompanying CONTENT section for all the details about BATTLESHIP.
Once it gets going, BATTLESHIP is a lot of turbo-charged fun. Despite brief corny moments and some possible plot holes, it’s a strongly patriotic, exciting story. It also teaches lessons in bravery, maturity, and humility. That said, there’s plenty of PG-13 foul language in BATTLESHIP. The action is also intense. These things warrant caution, especially for younger viewers.