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.
NASA discovers an extrasolar planet, called Planet-G by humans, with conditions similar to Earth and 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 Commander under Shane, is infuriated at Alex’s lack of motivation and forces him to join him in the U.S. Navy.
By the present day, Alex is a hothead lieutenant aboard the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while Stone is 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 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaii.
During the exercises five alien spacecraft arrive in response to the NASA signal. Their communications ship 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, but are trapped when the alien mothership creates a force field, trapping the three warships. The aliens destroy the Sampson and Myōkō, and damage John Paul Jones, killing the commanding and executive officers. Alex sees his brother die and takes command, albeit reluctantly and to the disbelief of the crew, as the most senior officer left on the ship. The John Paul Jones recovers survivors from Myōkō, including Captain Nagata, with whom Alex is in a rivalry.
Meanwhile the aliens have taken over the communications array on Oahu. Nearby, Sam, a physiotherapist, is accompanying retired U.S. Army veteran and double amputee Mick Canales on a hike to help him adapt to his prosthetic legs. They run into scientist Cal Zapata, who informs them that the aliens are using the array to signal back to their home planet. He retrieves a radio that will allow Sam and Mick to contact the John Paul Jones and relay this information.
Back on the John Paul Jones, the crew faces difficulty because the alien force field has disabled radar functions. Nagata suggests using NOAA’s tsunami warning buoys around Hawaii to track the aliens. During a night battle, the aliens and the humans exchange fire. The John Paul Jones sinks two alien ships, but is unable to hit the third. After briefly capturing an alien soldier, the humans learn that the aliens are sensitive to sunlight, and decides to lure the third alien vessel close to shore, 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 needs to destroy the alien mothership. 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. 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. However, with the force field down, jet 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 and is also given command of a ship of his own. After the ceremony, Alex 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.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film:
First Published: Jan 1, 2012 – Re-Published: Mar 9, 2013