In theory director Peter Berg’s Battleship is supposed to be based on the popular guessing game of the same name. In reality there’s almost no connection between Battleship the movie and its Milton Bradley namesake at all, outside of a single thrilling ten-minute sequence involving buoys, missiles, and a big board. The rest of the movie is a puzzle made up of pieces cribbed from some of history’s most infamously ridiculous summer blockbusters.
Battleship is an alien invasion movie, I guess, but it’s also one of the many recent Hollywood movies which only really uses aliens because killing them won’t offend anyone. Like any alien species imagined under such creatively corrupted circumstances, these extraterrestrials aren’t very good at their job.
They land in the middle of a naval excercise, which might not be tactically ridiculous if their ships had some sort of technological superiority which would enable them to crush their human opponents without a thought, but they don’t. Their ships can’t even fly. Instead they sort of flop about in the water and shoot at the Navy with weapons which, while weirder, aren’t all that much more effective than those used on the deck of a World War II era battleship. Actually, they’re exactly that effective, as the movie later goes on to demonstrate.