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Sunday, May 20, 2012




What's the opposite of pride that you paid money to watch a movie in a movie theater? Shame? What's worse than shame? Battleship. In the noisy and excruciating Battleship, we humans built giant beacons on top of the mountains of Oahu (the Hawaiians must have been delighted to have their natural wonders defaced) to send a beacon to an Earth-like planet detected millions of miles away. The aliens took us up on our invitation to come to Earth and play Battleship with us, but these aliens are so incompetent, they crashed their communications ship into one of our satellites while entering the atmosphere; the debris of their ship lands in and wrecks Hong Kong while the rest of their fleet lands in the Pacific near Hawaii with no radar or means of communications. I believe this is what the movie says is what happened. Meanwhile, the US Navy is playing war games and gets caught in a force field the aliens erect over Hawaii, rendering their fleet without radar either. So now, both sets of fleets "can't see" each other - except they can because their ships are usually close enough to shoot each other - and thus can play the game Battleship with real ships, real guns, real explosions and real dying. Playing for the humans are the Dillion Panthers, led by Tim Riggins himself, Taylor Kitsch, a screw up of a lieutenant commander with poor character, terrible decision-making skills, and a yellow streak down his back. Landry is there too. So is Rihanna for some reason. There's also Admiral Liam Neeson, but he's largely benched; Neeson is in the movie for about ten minutes tops. Meanwhile, Kitsch's supermodel girlfriend Brooklyn Decker is inexplicably in a movie of her own; she's a physical therapist trudging through the Oahu mountains with The Man With No Legs, and they run afoul of the aliens, who are humanoids dressed like Master Chief from Halo. And get this, the aliens came all the way to Earth but they're vulnerable to sunlight. Battleship assaults the audience with relentless, mind-numbing nonsense, as our Navy sailors lose the game and get all their ships sunk, until the last hurrah when Kitsch and his crew re-commission the ancient USS Missouri, complete with the original crew from World War II and Korea manning the steam engines and guns, to sink the alien ships and save the world. No one ever says "You sank my battleship!", but that sinking feeling lingers long after one leaves the theater.