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File:Battleship-films-photo-1 963.jpg


Battleship is a sci-fi action film released in the summer of 2012, directed by Peter Berg and starring Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, and Rihanna, very loosely based on the board game Battleship. Yes, the one with red and white pegs and a grid and "you sunk my battleship!"

Battleship opens with Alex Hopper (Kitsch), a drunk, unemployed loser. He's dragged into the navy by his straightlaced brother, Stone (Skarsgard) in the hopes that it will give him some direction in life. Five years later, Alex is a junior officer, with plans to ask the Admiral for his daughter's hand. Unfortunately, the Admiral (Neeson) dislikes Alex both as an officer and a gentleman, and he intends to have Alex discharged by the end of the next voyage.

Said voyage is a huge, multi-national war game, off of the coast of Hawaii. Before the exercises have a chance to get underway, the fleet is interrupted by a bunch of alien objects crashing into the ocean. The objects reveal themselves to be a squadron of alien war machines. Their intentions aren't clear, but whatever they're planning, the aliens aren't here to play games.


Tropes

  Veteran: "They're not gonna sink this battleship!"

    • In the novel Alex almost gets it out after losing the John Paul Jones, but is cut off at the last word.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The battleship Missouri in a modern navy.
  • Badass: Many!
  • Big Brother Mentor: Commander Stone Hopper, Alex's older brother, who's been trying to rein him in his entire life, eventually dragging him into the Navy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Gunship Rescue by the F-18 Hornets.
    • The aliens pull off one of these when the humans manage to capture one of them.
    • The geeky and wimpy scientist coming in from out of nowhere with a briefcase-to-the-head for the alien about to kill the downed Mick.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Zigzagged. Of the 3 black characters 2 survive. The John Paul Jones captain is on the bridge when the aliens fire, killing him and 3 other crew members.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Raikes does this to an alien marine, with the 5-inch gun, at point blank range.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: It is repeatedly stated that Alex has a lot of potential but doesn't use it.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Guess?
  • Brick Joke: Alex and chicken burritos.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Winked at; the novelization opens with young Alex and Stone playing a grid based naval warfare game called "Broadsides".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The laptop, and USS Missouri.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The retired veteran crewmen of the Missouri.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mick's boxing career. Also, Alex's surprising memory for literary quotes.
  • Cool Ship: A lot. There's the Arleigh-Burke-class missile destroyers, their Japanese copy counterparts, the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan... but the coolest of them all is the USS Missouri.
    • And those are just the human ships...
  • The Combat Pragmatist: This seems to be humanity's big advantage in the film, up to and including using a 5-inch cannon in a melee.
  • Curse Cut Short: A few times, usually with a naval gun firing.
  • Determinator: Alex, delivering the burrito. (Also against the aliens. The crew of the John Paul Jones follow suit.)
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Alex Hopper is sent with two others on a zodiac to get a closer look at the alien structure when the fleet spots it, and one of his companions cautions him against getting closer when he finds a surface he can walk on. Naturally, he walks over and puts his hand on a wall, apparently initiating a reaction and launching him about 50 feet backwards.
  • Excuse Plot: The first half hour of the movie mainly comprises of a fine example for this trope.
  • Fan Nickname: Due to their prominence in this movie, many members of the Navy have given the movie the nickname "Shipmates and Aliens".
  • Fire-Forged Friends: By the end of the movie, Alex and Nagata have set aside their differences.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Alex (Foolish) and Stone (Responsible).
  • Gatling Good: Raikes mans a Minigun on one of the rigid inflatable boats sent to investigate the alien craft.
    • The Phalanx CIWS turrets on the ships count too.
  • The General's Daughter: Well, admiral's daughter in this case. And she's caught the eye of a Lieutenant. Her father does not approve of him.
  • Glass Cannon: The Arleigh-Burke and Kongo-class guided missile destroyers pack a punch if they hit, but can't take a beating.
  • Girls with Guns: Raikes is hardly ever seen without one, and they range from a pistol to 16 inch naval artillery.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: What the aliens are trying to do for most of the movie. After their Communications vessel is destroyed after colliding with a Satellite, their entire goal is to secure the Deep Space communications facility in Hawaii to send out a distress signal.
  • Gunship Rescue: the Super Hornets that land the final blow on the alien mothership.
  • Hot Amazon: Raikes.
  • Humans Are Warriors: ESPECIALLY The Old Ones.
  • Idiot Hero: Alex begins the movie as this, but he gets better. McShane even points out that he's a smart kid who keeps doing really, really dumb things.
  • Infant Immortality: The Wheel of Death turns away from the kid playing baseball.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: They only equip their "marines" with a hand spike, and both their war machines and their ground troops can be beaten by a 1940s warship and a retired ex-boxer Colonel Badass with artificial legs, respectively. Note, however, that said warship was dropping armor-piercing shells weighing 2700 pounds on them.
    • Justified if these "marines" are considered scouts and communication operators instead. They did deploy an invincible shield. Given the size of the planet what were the odds they'd keep all these within the shield?
    • In the novelization, their "marines" are better armed, and the aliens are just testing them to see how much trouble they'll be to conquer.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Alex and Nagata, staring at the alien mothership, and choosing to stop the alien transmission at the cost of their own lives.
  • It's Raining Men: The aliens have one man pods that they launch into a Hawaiian forest in the trailer.
  • Kaiju Defense Force: The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force sends a number of missile destroyers to the RIMPAC 2012 excercises, among them Myoko.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Mercilessly in the novelization.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Missouri is only slightly slower than the Aegis missile destroyers, her 16-inch main guns fire shells weighing 2700 pounds, and she can take a beating that would kill a modern ship.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Aegis Combat System allows the missile destroyers to do this... except that the aliens are jamming their radar, and most of their missiles are anti-aircraft missiles. The aliens themselves enjoy using this method.
  • Meaningful Name: The John Paul Jones is named after one of the US Navy's determinator pioneers.
  • Monumental Damage: An alien craft crash severs the top off the Bank of China building in Hong Kong.
  • More Dakka: Both sides of the conflict apply this tactic.
  • The Movie: Of the board game. Universal got the rights along with those to several other board games from Hasbro, then sat on them. Hasbro was starting to ask them to pay a penalty for doing nothing with the film rights when Peter Berg came along and offered to direct.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The aliens' HUD's show non-combatants in green.
  • Noble Demon: One scene in which the aliens do allow the characters to rescue the survivors of the ships they sunk early in the film.
  • Noodle Incident: It is never directly shown how or why Alex is considered a screwup by his fellow sailors, outside of being lackadaisical. The only one we see onscreen is punching a Japanese officer who was teasing him.
  • Not of This Earth: Alien debris is composed of unknown elements (and Lawrencium).
  • Novelization: A novelization of the film was released in April. It actually included passages from the aliens' view point and reveals their actual motives.
  • Officers Who Actually Do Something: Lt. Alex Hopper doesn't do delegating. Being a junior officer, he's sent to scout the alien spaceship; later, when the aliens board John Paul Jones, he's leading the team searching for them, even though he's by then the acting Captain. In the novelization, he even notes that he shouldn't be doing so.
    • Likewise, it is Captain Nagata who is required to "play Battleships", rather than one of his own weapons officers, though it's likely most of his CIC crew are dead, given the placement of the hit on Myoko.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Skarsgard has a few moments like this, particularly in the opening scene. Also Raikies especial when she explains her fathers view on aliens.
  • Overprotective Dad: The Admiral is implied to be this.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Odie the dumb-redneck helmsman may be openly racist towards any and all non-American cultures (especially Asian cultures), but push comes to shove is still a good-hearted kid who implores Alex to go back and save the surviving crew of the Japanese destroyer Myouko", and eventually comes to respect Nagata as a fellow warrior.
  • Point Defenseless: The CIWS mounts on Sampson, Myoko and John Paul Jones do their best, but in the end there's too much incoming fire to intercept.
  • Power Walk: Performed by the US Navy veterans when they come to the aid of the JPJ's survivors in getting the Missouri back into fighting shape.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Cora gets one in as an alien footsoldier standing on the deck of a ship finds himself standing directly in the line of fire of one of the turreted guns.

 Mahalo, mother-*BOOM*

    • A veteran manages to one-up her later.

  Boom.

  • Product Placement: Hello Coca-Cola Zero. Alex drinks it at the beginning of the movie and is later seen on a mega-screen.
    • The Little League ballpark was plastered with Subway. We even get a close up of a little girl drinking out of a Subway cup.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Every named human character, even the Dirty Coward computer-nerd.
  • Rank Up: The first time we see Alex, he's an unemployed and drunk, and burgles a convenience store for a chicken burrito to impress a girl. Five years later, he's a Lieutenant and Tactical Action Officer in command of the Combat Information Center, before landing in the Captain's chair.
    • At the end of the movie, he's promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
  • Recycled in Space: Battle: Los Angeles/ Transformers in the ocean!
  • The Rival: Nagata
  • Rolling Attack: The aliens' "wheels" which can chew through warships.
  • Scary Black Man: Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales despite being a Handicapped Badass is able to take out an alien in unarmed combat.
  • Serkis Folk: The aliens
  • Shout-Out: Frequently, often by the characters. For example, Alex's attempt to get a chicken burrito from a closed store to impress Sam is a beat-for-beat reference to this memetic idiot. Except Alex can just use the emergency exit, he eventually realizes.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The movie's very patriotic, and pro-military. The song chosen for the credits? Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, a notable war protest song.
  • Starring Special Effects
  • Stealth Parody: Maybe. Was this an actual invasion, or a First Contact botched by human belligerence?
  • The Stinger: Post-credits is a scene in what looks like Scotland of a group of people trying to open a pod which fell from the sky, only to pull back when an alien hand from the inside starts to pull it open.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Yes. Very much so.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Alex and Nagata dislike each other immensely, and Nagata blames him for the loss of his ship and his men. Their cooperation is quite reluctant, but they both get better.
  • Telepathy: The touch of an alien's hand causes a vision of what's on its mind.
  • The War Room: The Combat Information Centre on John Paul Jones, where much of the fighting and planning takes place from.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The aliens go out of their way to avoid killing anyone who isn't an immediate threat, even if they were hostile just a moment ago. Their plan would have succeeded if they bothered to destroy the John Paul Jones in addition to the Myoko and the Sampson
    • A similar event occurs when the scientist is confronted by the alien leader inside their base but is let go without harm.
    • The aliens don't even appear to carry small arms in the first place.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Cora Raikes; surprisingly enough, she averts this despite being both the tough gunner girl and black.
  • Villainous Valor: The aliens definitely have several examples of this. Despite their advanced technology, they are obviously Out-manned and Out-gunned by the rest of humanity (the Barrier they put up is for their own protection rather then to keep the heroes isolated) and they spend most of the movie trying to send out a distress signal. Then there's the Rescue mission they pull when the humans capture one of them and it's not difficult to see the desperation in the crew of the Main Gunship trying to take out the Missouri when the latter has a gun aimed at their ground team.
  • X Meets Y: The movie is almost quite literally Transformers versus G.I. Joe, and probably would have been had enough hands had been shaken.
    • Not that surprising, really. All three are Hasbro creations.
  • You Are in Command Now: Alex finds himself in command of the USS John Paul Jones after The Captain and the Executive Officer are killed; as Tactical Action Officer, he's next in the chain of command.
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