Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. D-7. 

Battleship's Boring, Soulless Cash Grab

BATTLESHIP “Aye, aye, Cap’n Rihanna!”

BATTLESHIP “Aye, aye, Cap’n Rihanna!”

BATTLESHIP is a movie for adults that's based on a children's game. So it's basically indefensible, both as a thing that our culture produced and as an actual piece of entertainment—though it's not the last such movie we'll see, as Hollywood is ever-adept at transforming creative bankruptcy into depressingly high box-office numbers. (Stay tuned for Connect Four: Tantric Misadventures; an Eli Roth-directed Operation; and the self-explanatory Pickup Sticks: The Musical.) If you are a grownup who likes to see things go boom, you will probably see this movie, and afterward you will feel terrible about yourself and how you choose to spend your money. Actually, first you will read this review, and be all, "Man, this reviewer hates fun!" And then you will see the movie and the self loathing will commence, tenfold.

The frail exoskeleton of a plot that tries in vain to shield the money-sucking vacuum at the heart of Battleship involves two brothers, Tim Riggins and that hot blond vampire dude from True Blood. They are in the Navy, and they are participating in a Navy-sponsored war games tournament called RIMPAC (nothing gay to see here, folks, move along) when suddenly a gigantic contact lens from outer space descends over the ocean, trapping Sea Captain Riggins and his brother inside with a bunch of alien ships. The aliens are super mad at humanity for no reason that is ever really explained (maybe the existence of movies like Battleship?), and also they seem to hate metal even though they are made of metal, which is confusing. Fortunately, Second Mate Landry Clarke observes that the aliens have eyes like lizards, and since lizards notoriously hate sunshine (actual fact posited by this movie!), this provides the humans with a valuable tactical advantage. On a more personal note: Sometimes, when Petty Officer Rihanna is in a boat that's skimming across the open seas, she hums to herself—just a little.

Back on land, a vague subplot involves a now-token snarky nerd, a black soldier who lost his legs and now thinks of himself as "half a man" (which, technically is kinda true—sorry, soldier), and Tim Riggins' fiancé, a generically hot blonde chick who looks like a digital composite of every hot blonde girl ever, only with bigger boobs.

Battleship is most notable for its staggering superficiality—the aliens in Battleship represent nothing but permission to enjoy a bunch of explosions without feeling any moral reservations whatsoever. A bad robot from space! With lizard eyes! KILL IT! Kill it by shooting a missile at D-7. Thanks, Sea Captain Tim Riggins.

Battleship
Rated PG-13 · 131 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.battleshipmovie.com
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber
Producer: Sarah Aubrey, Peter Berg, Brian Goldner, Bennett Schneir, Jeffrey Silver and Scott Stuber
Cast: Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Peter MacNicol, Jesse Plemons, Josh Pence, Tadanobu Asano and Gary Grubbs
Battleship IMAX
Rated NR · 2012
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber
Producer: Sarah Aubrey, Peter Berg, Brian Goldner, Bennett Schneir, Jeffrey Silver and Scott Stuber
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Jesse Plemons, Peter MacNicol, Josh Pence, Tadanobu Asano and Gary Grubbs

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