Review: The guns of Battleship on Blu-ray
The Blu-ray of the boardgame adaptation is out now, and has plenty of extras for fans of naval tech.
In Battleship, a plucky team of Navy crewmen fight for the survival of Earth against an unknown alien force. The exposition also sets up a bit of a romantic sub-plot between the protagonist (Taylor Kitch), a Lieutenant on a US Navy destroyer, and the admiral’s daughter (Brooklyn Decker), a leggy, blond, physical therapist.
Just as a round of international war games are about to begin, mysterious objects from the sky crash into the ocean, and one of them sets up a force field that traps three US destroyers near Hawaii along with three alien ships of roughly equivalent role, if not slightly better fire-power and maneuverability.
The science is preposterous, of course, but not as bad as it might have been. The aliens came to our world because of a targeted signal sent out from earth, which is seeking intelligent life on a specific planet, one which seems to have similar atmosphere and gravity to that of earth. The signal was sent out in 2005, and the aliens are here in 2012.
What they did seem to get right was the naval operations. The filmmakers consulted with the US Navy for their operations stuff, wanting to make the Navy in the film look and feel genuine, and at that they succeeded. I’m sure a seasoned veteran would be able to find something silly, but my untrained eye was convinced.
The special features spend some time on this. It's clear from the behind-the-scenes footage that director Peter Berg is really into big metal ships. The most involved of the short features on the disc is an in-depth tour of the Battleship used in the resolution of the film.
I'm not really into boats, yet I found all the hardware quite impressive. Further, the clips go into detail about all of the real naval help that the film had, from real Navy men used as consultants to witnessing ship operations during training exorcises. Clearly, Berg put a huge focus on the realism of the operations.
The features also focus on the film's effects and choreography, which were, admittedly, the best parts of the flick. It goes briefly into the design of the weapons and alien tech, pointing out details that the casual watchers may have missed the first time around, like the differences among the alien ships, and the reasons for the design elements.
It's amazing sometimes just how many man-hours and creative juices go into films like this, though it's difficult to appreciate when the plot and performances are sub-par. Overall, Battleship is a fun film with some great cheering moments, but you’ll have to take it for what it is if you want to enjoy it. The under-developed plot and poorly-wrought characters might be too much for some to ignore, but if you did enjoy it, then the Blu-ray has a lot of great extras to enhance the film, and assure the fans of the care that went into it.