Directed by Peter Berg. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Rihanna 12A cert, general release, 131 min
YOU’VE GOT to feel for Taylor Kitsch. The star of John Carter and now Battlesh*t went into 2012 looking like the Next Big Thing. By next week he’ll be looking for a lift home to Canada. Poor fellow. All that triceps work for nowt. For those lucky enough to have avoided the trailers, posters and general concept, Battleship is everything one could expect from a movie that proudly trumpets its association with Hasbro. And yes, there really is a sequence wherein sailors call out E7, E8, etc, etc.
In keeping with Hasbro’s previous big-screen outings, Battleship really, really wants to be Transformers. Except it’s not. Transformers features some pretty badass robots. Battleship features aliens that – no fooling – look exactly like Will Ferrell’s character from Zoolander but in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers gear. They have awesome weapons that they can’t seem to remember how to work.
Liam Neeson wisely disappears early in the film. Mr Kitsch, Admiral Neeson’s prospective son-in-law and a naval troublemaker, learns humility shortly after his brother cries out: “Who do I call to teach you humility?” Similarly, a former soldier finds the will to fight shortly after he says, “I lost my fight when I lost my legs.”
“My dad always said they’d come,” nods hit-parade princess turned munitions-wizard Rihanna. You might have said something before Peter Berg went to a whopping two hours-plus running time, missy. Sinking vessel ahoy.