#102 | Battleship 2: Guess Who? (feat. Phil Better)

by | Feb 8, 2019

Listen to our Battleship episode on:

Who doesn’t love Battleship? With its simple yet frustratingly addictive format, it’s been a staple of rainy day board game sessions for decades. However, does it necessarily scream out for an epic movie adaptation? On the basis of Peter Berg’s 2012 effort, the answer is a predictable yet resounding no.

Like many movies based on games – the subject of our new mini season, incidentally – Battleship primarily suffers from a complete absence of characters. From wooden himbo Taylor Kitsch to a bored-looking Rihanna, the movie’s cast is uniformly lacking anything resembling charisma or personality. They exist purely to react to the mechanics of the plot – which in the case of this movie means big water-based explosions.

It’s also sinfully over-long, stretching a plot that could be written on a napkin into a 130 minute slog. The opening scenes have a sort of goofy promise, suggesting a Private Benjamin style comedy about a lazy slacker attempting to adjust to Navy life to impress his straight-laced older brother and win the arms of the inevitable hot girl. But this turns out to be a misdirect, as the moment the movie actually hits the water, all traces of humour are thrown overboard in favour of dull, repetitive action sequences.

Oh, and aliens. Did we mention that this Battleship movie features an actual alien invasion plot? When an attempt to reach out to intelligent life in the universe backfires spectacularly, humankind find themselves at war with an army of off-brand Predators who arrive in a fleet of inconsistently powerful sea vessels. If nothing else, the film wins entertainment points for the tortuous contortions it makes to crowbar in references to the game – most of which involve the characters shouting letters and numbers at LED screens.

Suffice to say, we did not care for this movie – much like the general public, who preferred to stay in with the real thing. However, with the help of special guest Phil Better of the Phil Better Podcast, we do manage to come up with some pretty entertaining sequel ideas. Most of which involve basically switching out Battleship for other, more interesting board games, but hey – we never said we were immune to low-hanging fruit.

You can check out our Battleship episode right now on all good Podcasting platforms, just use the links at the top of this blog post or search ‘Beyond The Box Set’ on your preferred podcatcher. If you enjoy the show, please consider giving us a rating, review or recommendation to help spread the word – and if you haven’t already, make sure you hit subscribe for a new episode every Friday morning.

We’re also excited to announce that Beyond The Box Set is a founder member of Pave Media, a new network aimed at helping independent Podcasters to grow their shows, connect with advertisers and gain feedback and support from their peers. Check out the Pave Media website now, designed by our very own Harry Chappell.

Next week, we’ll be back with another dubious classic based on an iconic game series. Until then, happy listening and remember to never buy a Chicken Burrito from a bar with no kitchen…

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