Battleship Directed by: Peter Berg Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna Rating: PG-13 Release Date: March 18, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 7/10
Thoughts by TSR: I know hindsight’s 20/20, but they probably shouldn’t have called this Battleship. Sure, the film features battleships – and the projectile that nearly hits Taylor Kitsch resembles the game’s pegs – but being based on the board game (however loosely) has only given people reason to mock. The film would still have detractors saying it’s nothing more than a rip off of Transformers, but it likely wouldn’t be such an easy target. Nevertheless, I still think this looks like it could be a good time at the movies.
Kitsch better hope I’m not alone, as he’s in need of a hit in the wake of John Carter. Playing a modern Naval officer seems more appropriate for him than an ex-Confederate soldier, and he looks fine in the role. The film itself appears far more interested in spectacle than the human element, but the trailer at least attempts to add some pathos by making it clear just how catastrophic of an event the invasion could be. Ideally there will be some substance mixed in to the (impressive) CGI mayhem. It certainly can’t hurt filling the cast with good performers like Kitsch, Liam Neeson and Alexander Skarsgård (and also, um, Rihanna).
Even though Jesse Plemons (Landry from “Friday Night Lights”) gets a few lines – something that would be a personal highlight in most cases – the biggest takeaway is how good the action looks. It’s not necessarily anything we haven’t seen before, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s extremely well-executed. Battleship looks like it will deliver spectacle in spades, and that might be enough to get me in the theater. Here’s hoping to walk out having cared about the humans.