Because if Lego can turn a children's game into a major blockbuster and critical hit, why not Battleships! I mean, apart from the fact that one is a whole company whose premise is based on imagination and possibility, with myriad potential storylines, and the other is a rigid, 2-D board game with strict rules and very little in the way of plot or lore. Still, someone, somewhere thought that it was at least worth a punt and you definitely can't knock them for trying.
There are certainly liberties being taken with the plot of Battleship. I mean, I definitely don't remember the game involving an alien invasion, but a lot of those old classics have undergone modern reinventions so we'll let them off with that. I don't feel the need to blow up a large satellite array on Hawaii can be so easily shoehorned in... and then there's the alien tech. Despite having interstellar, hyper-speed technology and clearly present biological eyes their actual weapons system appear to rely on some quantified version of aggression in order to target. Basically, fire on them and they will wreck you, but just move around the place and you're as good as invisible. Whilst on the open ocean. In the middle of the day. In a giant, metal ship brimming with communications technology broadcasting on every frequency man has invented, including the one that seemingly brought the aliens here. Maybe it's our atmosphere or something.
In short, Battleship is a woefully idiotic film with the barest excuse for a plot which comprises very little outside of the usual Michael Bay-esque sequences. There's the hot-yet-competent girl who achieves practically nothing, instead getting the much less competent but far more muscly male characters around her to pull their weight. There's the overbearing, overprotective father who also happens to be our protagonists boss (and Liam Neeson in a role quite suited to him, so it has that going for it). The perfect moral American, handsome, strong and successful that acts as the fairy godmother for the protagonist (due to familial obligation rather than any meaningful connection). The comedy military grunts (also fulfilling our quota of non-white people and the other necessary famous person, Rihanna) that are actually the only competent agents in the plot. And, finally, our douchebag protagonist.
I think the vibe they were going for was down-on-his-luck yet lovable loser with a heart in the right place, aka Mark Wahlberg in Transformers. But somehow they screwed it up monumentally: he isn't down-on-his-luck, he just always does the exact opposite of what a sane, normal person would do and deliberately sabotages himself. He's not lovable, he's just horny and arrogant. His heart isn't in the right place, ever, even by the end when he's meant to have "learnt his lesson". He remains, throughout, a moron with severe psychopathic tendencies, zero empathy and delusions of grandeur. You know, a douchebag. Actually, an American douchebag in the most unfair and stereotypical way.
The rest of the plot and characters are cliches. There's the marines' redemption story about a man who has given up and finds out he still can be awesome... by being suicidal and negligent of everyone around him trying to help. The nerdy, cowardly scientist who won't be pushed around by the jocks, but also just needs them to wait up as he has nowhere else to be. Plus there's the moment the retired veterans get to don uniform and help rescue the world, because of course they do. Actually, that bit is quite fun and, whilst undoubtedly silly, does have a feel-good vibe that they riff off nicely with some humorous scenes.
And really, to be fair, they actually do manage to turn the battle into the board game. It's ridiculous, completely insane and makes very little sense but dammit it is also a lot of fun realising that the alien's weapons are pegs that descend from heaven and land in equally spaced locations along a ship before tearing it apart. Oh and thanks to the use of a grid of tsunami buoys the battleship and alien craft literally jump around square-by-square, with the captain telling his gunners to actually fire at "F9!" or "B12!" ("We sunk their ship!!!"). I'm not too sure what part the whirling mechanical fireballs of death are... maybe they're something that's been added since the '90s, like dice? But yes, in short, did they manage to somehow make a semi-coherent plot out of the board game and keep all of the recognisable bits? Yes, yes they did. And for that alone I will forgive a lot of the other awfulness that is Battleship.