When it was announced that Disney had greenlit the first Pirates of the Caribbean, a big-budget feature film based on their beloved water ride, they were scoffed at. With the casting of Johnny Depp, the direction of Gore Verbinski, three sequels, and $3.7 billion dollars worldwide later, Disney surely proved us all wrong. While the law of diminishing returns has sorely taken its toll upon Jack Sparrow & Co. we turned up our noses even higher upon the announcement of Hasbro’s Battleship sailing our way. What the hell could they possibly have come up with in the story department to broaden a board game based around what was originally a pad-and-pencil guessing game? Putting it simply, not much.
While Clue has proven itself to be a cult classic, at least that game has a plot. Who killed whom in what room and with what weapon? It lent itself to all kinds of shenanigans with an all star cast and Jonathan Lynn at the helm. The fact that a film adaptation of the 1943 Milton Bradley game exists still boggles the mind. That it has already grossed $215 million overseas before its release stateside would be an even bigger head scratcher if Hollywood wasn’t currently depending on those numbers so much lately. What we have here simply winds up being the love child of a cinematic threeway consisting of Armageddon, Independence Day, and Titanic. Apparently, director Peter Berg, along with writers Erich and Jon Hoeber, love ’90s action movies.
What little plot there is here revolves around Lieutenant Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch, John Carter) being forced into joining the Navy by his older brother, Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgård). Stone is tired of Alex wasting his life, particularly after a drunken Pink Panther-esque caper to get the girl of his dreams, Sam (Brooklyn Decker), a chicken burrito, leading him to be double tasered by police. Now, Alex is under the scrutiny of Sam’s father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), and all Alex wants to do is ask Shane for his daughter’s hand in marriage. But on this day, Alex and everyone else will face impending doom as an alien race from the Planet G decides to pay us a visit to answer a call we placed to see if life really does exist on the one planet we’ve discovered could sustain life outside of Earth. And now, it’s up to the Navy to save the human race (and the shores of Hawaii) from extinction.