That’s basically what Peter Berg wants you to focus on with the new trailer for Battleship, which is based, unfortunately, on the Hasbro game of the same name that was popular a couple of decades ago. From what I can recall, it was basically Connect Four with a warmongering, imperialist slant — or at least that’s what my radical liberal father used to say. I dunno, I might be imagining the whole thing. Either way, it was stupid. As is the concept of aliens that inexplicably engage in naval assaults, but why should that stop anyone.
Regardless, the trailer is here and much as I’ve loved some of Berg’s prior efforts (The Rundown, Friday Night Lights), it feels entirely too much like a Transformers retread. The scope is certainly impressive, and he appears to be throwing down the gauntlet and challenging JJ Abrams to a lens flare-off. But it looks… kind of dumb. Also, I kind of feel like if you’re making a movie based on an old kids game, it should at least be kind of fun, and this looks a little too humorless. Of course, the other side of that coin is sometimes you go for humor and you get Transformers 2. So, pretty much fucked if you do, fucked if you don’t.
Battleship stars Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Josh Pence, and the ragged remains of Liam Neeson’s dignity.