Lots of fun
Nicely done fantasy fare. I found it highly enjoyable. Directed by Peter Berg, a military aficionado, and working closely with navy advisers, for once the military behavior is a bit more believable and not such a distraction to the story as is often the case in the genre. It also has great cinematography featuring filming on a number of actual navy vessels (including a VERY rare view of a recently retrofitted USS Missouri at sea), realistic sets, and a good blend of CGI and live action.

The overall story is based on the famous Hasbro naval battle board game, but instead of two countries pitted against each other the US and Japan team up at Pearl Harbor to defend the planet against invading aliens with unusual battle technology. (A nice touch.) It features a "perpetual screwup character under stress", that must either finally figure out how to "get his own act together", use his wits for once, and organize everyone to come through in a pinch, or let the world down. The wide range of characters touched upon includes: women warriors in the military, children of military officers, older vets called back into service to tap their experience, and even veterans dealing with rehab issues after coming home with severe injuries.

The filmmakers did a great job of maintaining many of the key elements of the board game in the movie, from grid based blind battle, to even pegs! (LOL!)

The bonus footage includes: adapting the game to the movie, behind the scenes during the filming, an inside look at the cast and sets, some of the challenges of filming at sea, and even a rare look at one of the world's last remaining great battleships at sea and in drydock for maintenance.

Appropriately rated PG-13, for the fighting action.

- Keith Mc.