|Directed by||Peter Berg|
|Produced by||Peter Berg
|Written by||Jon Hoeber
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Cinematography||Tobias A. Schliessler|
|Editing by||Colby Parker Jr.
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||131 minutes|
Battleship is a 2012 American military science fiction war film loosely inspired by the classic board game. The film was directed by Peter Berg and released by Universal Pictures. The film stars Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, John Tui, Brooklyn Decker and Tadanobu Asano.
The film was originally planned to be released in 2011, but was rescheduled to April 11, 2012, in the United Kingdom and May 18, 2012, in the United States. The film's world premiere was in Tokyo, Japan, on April 3, 2012.
In 2005, scientists discover an extrasolar planet, which they name Planet-G, with conditions similar to Earth. In 2006 NASA transmits a powerful signal from a communications array in Hawaii. Meanwhile slacker Alex Hopper gets arrested while attempting to impress Sam Shane, daughter of U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Terrance Shane. Stone Hopper, Alex's older brother and a naval officer, is infuriated at Alex's lack of motivation and forces him to join him in the U.S. Navy.
By the present day, in the year 2012, Alex is a hothead lieutenant aboard the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while Stone is a commander and the commanding officer of USS Sampson. Alex is in a relationship with Sam and is in danger of being discharged from the Navy. Their ships join the 2012 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaii.
During the exercises five alien spacecraft arrive in response to the NASA signal. Their communications ship after colliding with a satellite crashes in Hong Kong, causing heavy damage and casualties there, while four others land in the water near Hawaii. Sampson, John Paul Jones, and the JMSDF Kongō class destroyer Myōkō investigate. Alex, Raikes and Beast are sent to investigate, but when Alex approaches, the alien mothership reacts and creates a force field that traps the three warships. The Navy issues a blast from a fog horn, which is answered in kind by a sonic blast from one of the alien ships. The Navy opens fire on the alien fleet, which then reevaluates the Earth ships' friend or foe status, changing the monitor color for the Navy ships from green to red. The aliens destroy the Sampson and Myōkō, and damage John Paul Jones, killing the commanding and executive officers. Alex sees his brother die and returns to his ship, where he is forced to take command, albeit reluctantly and to the disbelief of the crew, as the most senior officer left on the ship. Enraged, he orders an attack, but Beast manages to convince him to recover the survivors from Myōkō, including Captain Nagato, with whom Alex is in a rivalry. The alien ships sends weapons to the islands, that destroy the military equipment and island infrastructure, but leaves noncombatants alive.
Meanwhile in Oahu, Sam, a physical therapist, is accompanying retired U.S. Army veteran and double amputee Mick Canales, on a hike to help him adapt to his prosthetic legs. At the sea, they capture an humanoid alien, seemingly unconscious, but attacks Alex before being rescued when startled by a bright light. Another alien infiltrates the ship, but they manage to blast him off using a 5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun. Sam and Mick run into scientist Cal Zapata, who informs them that the aliens are using the communications array to signal back to their home planet.
Back on the John Paul Jones, thanks to the briefly captured alien, the humans learn that the aliens are sensitive to sunlight, but they face difficulty because the alien force field has disabled radar functions. Nagata suggests using NOAA's tsunami warning buoys around Hawaii to track the aliens as he has been using it to track other countries ships for every RIMPAC game. Mick forces Zapata to retrieve a spectrum analyser that allows Sam and Mick to contact the John Paul Jones and relay this information that the communications satellite will be on position in four hours and the aliens will be able to contact their planet; Zapata manages to take the analyser, and is caught by an alien but escapes. During a night battle, the John Paul Jones sinks two alien ships, but is unable to hit the third. Alex decides to lure the third alien vessel close to shore at dawn, where he and Nagata shoot out its bridge windows as the sunrise blinds the aliens. John Paul Jones destroys the last alien escort vessel only to fall prey to their mothership's long range weapons.
Fearing the aliens are contacting a larger invasion fleet, Alex and the survivors of the John Paul Jones and Myōkō assume command of USS Missouri, a decommissioned battleship turned into a museum ship, and reactivate it with the aid of the retired veterans preserving her, but end up coming face to face with the alien mothership. In the ensuing battle, the Missouri severely damages the alien mothership, destroying its force field in process. Alex uses the last shell to destroy the communications array on the island, leaving the Missouri defenseless. With the force field down, Admiral Shane scrambles the fleet and F-18 fighters from the RIMPAC fleet arrive and save the crew by eliminating the alien threat.
A ceremony is held to honor the Navy personnel and Alex, who is promoted to lieutenant commander, is presented with a Silver Star and accepts Stone's posthumous Navy Cross. After the ceremony, Alex is given an offer to become a Navy SEAL, then asks Admiral Shane for his daughter's hand in marriage. The admiral initially refuses but invites Alex to lunch to discuss the matter, referencing how Alex and Sam met.
A post-credits scene in Scotland shows three schoolchildren and a handyman running off in terror as an alien hand reaches out of an object they have just opened.
- Taylor Kitsch as Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander Alex Hopper, an undisciplined U.S. Navy Weapons Officer assigned to USS John Paul Jones.
- Alexander Skarsgård as Commander Stone Hopper, Alex's older brother and Commanding Officer of the USS Sampson.
- Rihanna as Gunner's Mate Second Class (GM2) Cora Raikes, crew mate and a weapons specialist aboard the John Paul Jones.
- Brooklyn Decker as Samantha "Sam" Shane, a physical therapist and Alex Hopper's girlfriend.
- Tadanobu Asano as Captain Nagata, JMSDF, Commanding Officer of the JDS Myōkō.
- Hamish Linklater as Cal Zapata, a scientist working on O'ahu.
- Liam Neeson as Admiral Terrance Shane, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and father of Samantha Shane.
- Peter MacNicol as the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
- John Tui as Chief Petty Officer Walter "Beast" Lynch, a crew mate aboard the John Paul Jones.
- Gregory D. Gadson as Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, a U.S. Army combat veteran and double amputee.
- Adam Godley as Dr. Nogrady, the scientist leading the Beacon program.
- Jesse Plemons as Jimmy "Ordy" Ord, undesignated Seaman on the John Paul Jones.
- Joji Yoshida as Chief Engineer Hiroki
Battleship was to begin filming in Australia's Gold Coast in 2010, but the production company changed location due to a lack of Australian government tax incentives and a high estimated budget of $209 million.
Filming took place in the United States on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Oahu, as well as in Sherman Oaks, California to do a few apartment scenes and in Playa del Rey, California where they filmed a driving scene along with a shootout. Some scenes were also filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Jeremy Renner was originally considered for the role of Hopper, but due to a conflicting schedule, the actor chose to star in a Paul Thomas Anderson drama filming at roughly the same time. In April 2010, it was reported that Taylor Kitsch had been cast as Alex Hopper, Alexander Skarsgård played his brother Stone Hopper, Brooklyn Decker stars as Sam, Hopper's fiancee and Liam Neeson as Admiral Shane, Sam's father and Hopper's superior officer. Barbadian R&B singer Rihanna makes her acting debut in the film, as a sailor. In an interview with GQ, Berg explained how he came up with the idea to cast her. He realized she could act after seeing her 2009 interview about the Chris Brown assault on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer during which he found her "intelligent and articulate", and her appearance on Saturday Night Live. She accepted the role because she wanted "to do something badass" and also because it wasn't a role too big for her to play. Tadanobu Asano also has a role in the film as the commander of a Japanese Kongō-class destroyer. Double amputee U.S. Army Colonel Gregory Gadson, who had never acted before, plays Lt Col Mick Canales. He was cast after Berg saw a picture of him in the National Geographic Magazine.
The film marks the reunion between former co-stars Kitsch and Jesse Plemons, who previously worked together on Berg's TV series Friday Night Lights. Berg said he loves working with friends and explained he knew how comfortable Kitsch was with Plemons, "I know that he’s really good for Taylor and he makes Taylor better. So, I wrote that whole part for Jesse." He added, "I never thought of it as a Friday Night Lights reunion. I thought of it as protection, bringing a trusted family member in."
U.S. Navy sailors were used as extras in various parts of this film. Sailors from assorted commands in Navy Region Hawaii assisted with line handling to take Missouri in and out of port for a day of shooting in mid 2010. A few months later, the production team put out a casting call for sailors stationed at various sea commands at Naval Station Mayport, Florida to serve as extras. Sailors were also taken from various ships stationed at Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida: USS Hué City, USS Carney and USS Vicksburg were some of the ships that provided sailors.
|Soundtrack album by Steve Jablonsky|
|Released||May 8, 2012|
Due to his success with the Transformers franchise, composer Steve Jablonsky was chosen to score the official soundtrack. The soundtrack features original compositions from Jablonsky and features rock guitarist Tom Morello. Director Peter Berg stated:
Working with composers often is a really frustrating experience because you speak a different language and, oftentimes, they take two or three jobs, at the same time. They're difficult and pretentious and they're tormented artists. I'm not going to name names, but most of them are. One guy who isn't is Hans Zimmer, who taught Steve Jablonsky. We had a couple of meetings and I came up with this idea. The day I met with him, I had had an MRI for my neck, and they make that really scary sound. I was like, "I just had this MRI, and when I was in there, I was thinking about the aliens, and it was really scary." And he was like, "Oh, that's awesome!" He went and recorded MRIs and made music out of MRIs, and that's the theme of the aliens in our film. He is no drama, and just goes and gets it done. The score is big and awesome and scary and driving. At times, it's very simple and acoustic and touching and emotional. He's the best I've ever worked with.
|Battleship: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|2.||"The Art of War"||4:33|
|4.||"You're Going to the Navy"||1:04|
|5.||"The Beacon Project"||5:09|
|6.||"Objects Make Impact"||4:40|
|7.||"First Contact, Part I"||1:53|
|8.||"First Contact, Part II"||2:10|
|9.||"It's Your Ship Now"||4:05|
|11.||"Regents Are on the Mainland"||2:44|
|12.||"Trying to Communicate"||3:17|
|14.||"Buoy Grid Battle"||3:05|
|15.||"USS John Paul Jones"||2:25|
|16.||"We Have a Battleship"||2:51|
|17.||"Somebody's Gonna Kiss the Donkey"||4:35|
|18.||"Super Battle" (composed by Tom Morello)||1:34|
|19.||"Thug Fight" (featuring Tom Morello)||3:31|
|20.||"Battle on Land and Sea"||2:50|
The film's world premiere took place in Tokyo on April 3, 2012. The event was attended by director Peter Berg, actors Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgård and Rihanna. Later on they initiated a Press Tour visiting Madrid, London and Cartagena de Indias to promote the film.
The film earned $302,836,260, of which $65,233,400 was in North America.
The film opened outside North America on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, more than five weeks before its North America release, earning $7.4 million. Through Friday, April 13, the film had earned a 3-day total of $25 million. By the end of its opening weekend, it earned $55.2 million from 26 markets, ranking second behind the 3D re-release of Titanic.
However, on its second weekend, it topped the box office outside North America, with $60 million. In South Korea, it achieved the highest-grossing opening day for a non-sequel and the third-highest overall ($2.8 million). In comparison to other Hasbro films, Battleship's opening in the UK (£3.76 million) was behind the first Transformers (£8.72 million), but did better than G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (£1.71 million).
In North America, Battleship grossed $8.8 million on its opening day (Friday, May 18, 2012), with $420,000 originating from midnight showings, and finished the weekend with $25.5 million. It settled in second place for its opening day and opening weekend behind Marvel's The Avengers. Its opening weekend grosses were well below the anticipated $35–$40 million range that Universal and director Peter Berg were hoping for.
The film has received generally negative reviews from critics. Metacritic has given the film an average score of 41 out of 100 based on 39 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 34% based on reviews from 208 critics, with a rating average of 4.6 out of 10. The sites consensus reads: "It may offer energetic escapism for less demanding filmgoers, but Battleship is too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense -- and a lot less fun than its source material."
Megan Lehmann of The Hollywood Reporter thought that the "impressive visual effects and director Peter Berg's epic set pieces fight against an armada of cinematic clichés and some truly awful dialogue." Empire magazine's Nick de Semlyen felt there was a lack of character development and memorable action shots, and sums up his review of the movie in one word: "Miss."
Many reviews panned the "based on a board game" concept driving the film, although some, such as Jason Di Rosso from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National, claimed the ridiculousness of the setup is "either sheer joy or pure hell – depending on how seriously you take it", while de Semlyen "had to admire [the film's creators] jumping through hoops to engineer a sequence that replicates the board game." Several compared the film to Michael Bay's Transformers film series in terms of quality and cinematic style, with Giles Hardie of The Sydney Morning Herald claiming that the movie "finds the same balance between action-packed imagination and not taking the premise seriously that made Michael Bay's original Transformers such a joyride." Andrew Harrison of Q magazine called the film "crushingly stupid". A review written for the L.A. Times also implied disappointment, with writer and film critic Kenneth Turan criticizing the sci-fi action flick's "humanoid aliens", stating that they are "as ungainly as the movie itself, clunking around in awkward, protective suits." He called the content "all very earnest", but added "it's not a whole lot of fun."
Other critics were less harsh for Battleship: Writing for Time, Steven James Snyder was somewhat positive because he had low expectations of the film. He wrote, "The creative team behind this ocean-bound thriller decided to fill the narrative black hole with a few ingredients all but absent from today’s summer tent poles – namely mystery, nostalgia and a healthy dose of humility" and described it as "an unlikely mix of Independence Day, Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park and The Hunt for Red October". Giving it a B+ grade, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly said, "For every line of howler dialogue that should have been sunk, there's a nice little scene in which humans have to make a difficult decision. For every stretch of generic sci-fi-via-CGI moviemaking, there's a welcome bit of wit." The Washington Post gave the film a three-star rating out of four commenting it is "an invigorating blast of cinematic adrenaline". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2½ stars out of 4, praising the climax as "an honest-to-God third act, instead of just settling for nonstop fireballs and explosions, as Bay likes to do. I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's say the Greatest Generation still has the right stuff and leave it at that."
|Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Annie Awards||Best Animated Effects in a Live Action Production||Willi Geiger, Rick Hankins, Florent Andorra, Florian Witzel, Aron Bonar||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Sound Editing|
|Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot|
|Houston Film Critics Society||Worst Film|
|Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Picture|
|Worst Director||Peter Berg|
|Worst Supporting Actor||Liam Neeson|
|Worst Supporting Actress||Brooklyn Decker|
|Worst Screenplay||Jon Hoeber and Eric Hoeber||Nominated|
|Worst Screen Ensemble|
|Saturn Awards||Best Special Effects||Grady Cofer, Pablo Helman, Jeanie King and Burt Dalton||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Breakout||Rihanna||Won|
|Visual Effects Society||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Film||Nominated|
|Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture|
A video game based on the film, titled Battleship: The Video Game, was released on May 15, 2012 to coincide with the film's international release. The game was published by Activision and developed by Double Helix Games for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360, and developed by Magic Pockets for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS.
Hasbro re-released several editions of the classic board game: in addition to the regular fleet-vs.-fleet game, an advance version featuring the alien vessels was released.
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- Official website
- Battleship at the Internet Movie Database
- Battleship at the TCM Movie Database
- Battleship at allmovie
- Battleship at Box Office Mojo
- Battleship at Rotten Tomatoes
- Battleship at Metacritic