Every once in a while, a movie comes along that's so utterly shameless that it achieves a certain grandeur. Peter Berg's Battleship, which I swear to God is described in its Wikipedia entry as an "American science fiction action naval war film," is one such movie. Over the past few years, the military-industrial-entertainment complex has been going great guns, with salutes to the Army (fellow Hasbro production G.I. Joe), Navy SEALs (Act of Valor), and now this $200 million hail to the fleet, which takes up the unusual task of extrapolating a story arc from that game with the little red plastic pegs, principally remembered as being easy to cheat at. During the RIMPAC naval exercises in Hawaii, the Hopper brothers--loose cannon Alex (Taylor Kitsch) and straitlaced Stone (Alexander Skarsgard)--along with Rihanna, naturally, find themselves their nation's only line of defense against space invaders who've splashed down in a few crafts, quite reminiscent in their intricately shifting movable-parts design and metallic cacophony to leftover Hasbro Transformers. Peter Berg, creator of Friday Night Lights and director of the estimable The Rundown, is in street-fighting mode here--that is, he does not hesitate to pull any dirty trick in order to get the job done. When the F-14s came out for a triumphant flyover, I looked around the room to find the moron who was applauding only to realize that it was me.
Theaters & Showtimes
Theaters showing Battleship (Click on a showtime to purchase tickets)