Script overboard!

Hollywood has already laid siege to most of our childhood memories – even the ones it created itself.

After churning out enough remakes, updates and reimaginings to turn nostalgia to nausea, it’s decided to go one step further, adapting a board game so facile it can be easily replicated with a pen and paper. What’s next, Noughts And Crosses: The Movie?

Leaving aside the mercenary aspect – pretty tricky with Hasbro Toys on production duties – such an enterprise requires some serious padding, and Peter Berg’s swollen blockbuster more than delivers.

When aliens attack a fleet of naval destroyers (apparently actual battleships are now obsolete), Lieutenant Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) leads the rag-tag crew of the HMS John Paul Jones into the breach with just his cock-sure attitude and a cock-rock soundtrack.

What follows is nigh-on two hours of gale-force military fetishism, a script set to soundbite (“Boom!” says the underused, but surprisingly un-terrible, Rihanna, firing a cannon), and stratospheric levels of product placement.

At one point Hopper actually plays Battleships with real battleships (well, destroyers). Meanwhile, Michael Bay’s hectic editing provides the blueprint for the seasick action sequences, and the alien ships look exactly like Transformers – another Hasbro property.

So why isn’t such a frivolous concept any fun to watch? Probably because there’s nothing at stake but toy sales.

The aliens’ supposedly awesome weaponry only manages to destroy a few ships, a freeway and a baseball pitch. No shots last for more than three seconds – even the slow-motion ones – and no idea sticks around much longer.

Except for a brief scene of Hong Kong’s Bank of China Tower toppling to the ground and a vertiginous “Abandon ship!” moment, the CGI-heavy SFX feel rushed and contextless, like the console adaptation of an ancient blockbuster, rather than the reverse.

“It’s time for a game change,” barks Hopper’s brother (Alexander Skarsgård) with some justification. Fair enough. Anyone for Hangman?


Misguided in the extreme. A scene in which Kitsch and co aim blindly for the broadest of targets – and miss by miles – proves painfully apt.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • FBNCooperman

      Apr 11th 2012, 10:25

      Oh no. It can't really be that bad... Can it?

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    • FBDWilliams

      Apr 11th 2012, 11:10

      you're saying "oh no" as if this film had potential.

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    • SaveFerris

      Apr 11th 2012, 11:18

      Haha, I KNEW it would suck! I hope very few people turn out to see it and it 'sinks' , ba-dum-tsch.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Apr 11th 2012, 11:19


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    • MoodyMonkey

      Apr 11th 2012, 12:13

      if anyone thinks about saying its just a fun popcorn movie...please dont.

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    • Mattsimus

      Apr 11th 2012, 12:28

      SERIOUSLY? As if this film was gonna be anything but s**t! I actually dont mind Rihanna, but any so called blockbuster that has to nab a chart topping singer as one of its leads was never gonna be any good with the exception of Eminem, Cher or maybe Madonna but come on Rihanna? Shhhhhhheeeeeeeeettttttt. Thought trailer looked cack any way. XMX

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    • MoodyMonkey

      Apr 11th 2012, 12:40

      I think its a pity. Berg is a good(ish) director, Neesons usually good value and films have been made based on theme park rides before (POTC) ffs , but yeah misguided probably sums it up quite well.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Apr 11th 2012, 12:46

      I think a major clue was the fact that the film is out today and only today have we seen the reviews.

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    • Hadouken76

      Apr 11th 2012, 12:52

      Sounds like Kitsch's second big budget stinker in as many months, poor lamb needs a new agent. Nice Clay Davis quote Mattsimus :D

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    • smellyhands

      Apr 11th 2012, 13:55

      No mention of Liam Neeson in the review. Thats odd. Surely he'd be the most entertaining part of the movie.

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    • MikeyRix

      Apr 11th 2012, 14:08

      Aahahahahahahaha. Knew it! And I take great pleasure in "knowing it". ;)

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    • FBJGrewar

      Apr 11th 2012, 21:39

      i dont know what bellend reviewed this film but its far from s**t. ive just got back from watching it and theres plenty of action and its got qutie a few funny moments too. well worth a watch maybe even two. so dont sit on here and listen to what some retard has to say and pay the money and go make a decision of your own. unless you cant afford the 7 quid or so to watch it...... then use your brain and download it.

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    • MoodyMonkey

      Apr 11th 2012, 23:03

      @FBJGrewar Matt Glasby reviewed it and most seem to agree with him. and some bellend just recomended illegal downloading...?

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    • TKKSilvergun

      Apr 11th 2012, 23:59

      Just saw this, and have to agree with FBJGrewar - it's the best popcorn alien invasion film since Independent Day. The carnage is surprisingly full-on, and it's just great fun from start to finish, with some balls-out silliness thrown in for good measure. Way better than Skyline, Battle Los Angeles and all the other recent attempts at this kind of schtick, it even borders on Starship Troopers-style satire at points. How the hell Transformers 2 and Wrath Of The Titans get off with 4-star reviews and this scrapes a 2 speaks volumes about the politics of the reviewers here. Also, I saw it with the D-Box moving seats, and they worked remarkably well with the film.

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    • TKKSilvergun

      Apr 12th 2012, 0:00

      Make that Independence Day, rather!

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    • piffle

      Apr 12th 2012, 7:49

      I'm almost disappointed that it got 2 stars to be honest. I saw the trailer last year and thought it looked like a surefire Razzie-bound mega flop so I'm a wee bit put out if its worth even 40%.

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    • Flaygor

      Apr 12th 2012, 8:25

      HMS John Paul Jones? I suspect you mean the USS John Paul Jones.

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    • Chufferstud

      Apr 12th 2012, 12:30

      I was expecting 5 stars from TF after the Wrath of the Titans review :)

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    • kiruji

      Apr 13th 2012, 10:42

      You know what? The dialogue is a bit sucky, the plot has more holes in it than one of the ships has after being bummed by the alien weapons, and the acting isn't going to win any awards any time soon; but if you leave your brain at the door and buy a big bucket of popcorn, it's a FUN movie. I loved it, in an "America! f**k Yeah!" kind of way. It's Independence Day at sea, and it's ace if you just want to enjoy a loud spectacle and not have to worry about thinking or anything for a couple of hours.

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    • luke100

      Apr 14th 2012, 0:07


      Never seen it. I just feel robbed of the Milton Bradley classic. Rihanna is a leg lifter (depends which side you wear it) but that cannot relieve said leg lift-age. Battleship is missing an 'S.' That 'S' is a soul. But not a soul airplane.

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    • thedanieljson

      Apr 15th 2012, 15:57

      @luke100 so... much... wordplay... But yeah the film looks terrible. What is Neeson doing.

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    • hulk68

      Apr 22nd 2012, 11:57


      I have seen this movie lately and what a waste of money it is. No plot, no story No s***

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    • filmfreak2

      Apr 23rd 2012, 12:28

      yes you can!! I found live stream online at

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