Battleship (PG-13)

Film

War

Taylor Kitsch, left, in Battleship

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Time Out says

Tue May 15 2012

For the sake of passionate defenders of 1985’s Clue (you can do worse), let’s not come down too hard on this action film’s origins as a board game. Plastic parts are the least of its worries: Battleship, a commercial for, alternately, the military or Michael Bay’s back catalog, feels sunken from an overdose of charmless grunting and computer-generated ballast. Aliens (huh?) rain fiery destruction on Hong Kong, then upon a mysteriously dome-sealed portion of the South Pacific, requiring the tactical response of naval-officer brothers Stone (Alexander Skarsgård) and Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch). Separated from the war theater, fleet commander Shane (Liam Neeson, evidently putting a pool in) scowls on, helplessly.

Slo-mo salutes and bikini-filling Brooklyn Decker place us squarely in Armageddon territory—par for the course, but slackened by a complete absence of comic relief.
We dawdle: What’s the word on the film debut of Rihanna, playing a sass-mouthed petty officer? Dreadful (ella, ella). An old-farts sequence of USS Missouri vets getting in on the payback might stir the heartstrings of mission-accomplished types, but little else will grab anyone who actually recalls playing the board game. For a second, the alien munitions look a lot like those peg pieces that would get lost under the couch cushions. Bring on the big-screen Monopoly—I’m not even kidding, unfortunately.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

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Release details

Rated:

PG-13

US release:

Fri May 18, 2012

Duration:

131 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna

Screenwriter:

Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber

Director:

Peter Berg

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