Monday, September 3, 2012
Review by Toby Lattimore
This all out, full steam ahead, family film directed by actor turned director Peter Berg suffers from an identity crisis. The reference to the board game Battleships is misleading as it could imply a ship v ship situation when in fact it heavily focuses on something completely alien to the board game... aliens. There is no modern wartime epic, country against country, and instead you will find an intergalactic conflict set sometime in the near future when the human race has developed a technology which allows them to beam a message light years into space. This has a knock on effect of calling forth an aggressive humanoid species who hope to take control of our beautiful green globe.
Standing in their way, other than thousands of tonnes of battleship, are the brothers Hopper. We meet the older responsible Commander Stone, Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood), and younger irresponsible Lieutenant Alex, played by the roguish, rising star Taylor Kitsch (John Carter). Kitsch spends much of his time wrestling with his love for Sam, Brooklyn Decker, the Admiral’s (Liam Neeson) daughter and the need to take responsibly and kick some alien butt. Sometimes he carries it off at other times you let him get away with it. Then the action takes over and with an edge of humour it really works.
This film has been designed to be family entertainment, in an explosive way, as well as throwing in some subtle references to a popular board game when they have to use beacon readouts to pin point the enemy when their radar is knocked out. But let us not get away from the fact that it is a big and bold Science Fiction movie and that for some shameful reason this has tried to be covered up. This trend has come from the recent renaming of ‘John Carter from Mars’ to just ‘John Carter’. This film is a celebration of big screen action and yes it won’t win any Oscars but it is a lot of fun and one that children all over the world will be allowed to watch again and again because, let’s face it, the parents won’t mind.