Once upon a time there was a battleship named Battleship. Battleship was full of loud and well stocked with stupid and his favorite thing to do all day was exploding. Some half-human/half-lizardy aliens came along and said, “Hey Battleship, we are going to invade the ocean and probably enslave the human race.” Battleship didn’t like this idea and so he started exploding the androphibians with the help of the U.S. Navy. Then they made a movie about the historical incident, starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson and Rihanna.
Michael Bay probably should have directed the movie but he was busy making another one about loud, stupid, exploding space-robot-cars, so Peter Berg made it instead and that’s why it’s not quite as loud, stupid or exploding. And when I say “not quite” that doesn’t mean that it isn’t plenty of those things, just like it should be, but that Bay’s genetic code is made of that stuff so in a perfect world he’d be the go-to guy and his version probably would have given you an aneurysm.
Kitsch is the good-at-heart-yet-wild-and-troubled main Navy guy in charge of battling the space lizardmen because he has to prove he’s got courage, heart and humility. In fact, it could be argued that his movie brother, Skarsgard, engineers the invasion just to wake up his wayward sibling and set him on the right life path. Evidence: The answer to Skarsgard’s scolding question, “Who do I call to teach you some humility?” is obviously space and its many furious, human-like reptiles, because almost immediately after that exchange the invasion kicks in. If you think it’s a coincidence then clearly you’ve never paid close enough attention to the plot of the song “The Christmas Shoes,” in which God sends a poverty-stricken child to a shoe store to buy a new pair of pumps for his dying mother in order to teach the song’s jerk narrator the true meaning of Christmas. This kind of thing happens all the time.
Anyway, the movie is the perfect distillation of monsters with ambiguous intentions, digital re-interpretation of board game iconography, AC/DC, cowardly nerds, Top Gun volleyball, chicken burritos, VFW nostalgia, Liam Neeson slumming in between other slumming jobs he takes on [Fill In The Blank] Of The Titans movies, people repeatedly yelling variations of the answerless question, “WHAT IS THAT THING?!” and Coke Zero. It’s a multi-layer cake frosted with Rihanna pointing big guns at giant space ships and letting off all her rounds while screaming “AUUUUGGGHHH!”
You want this.
By Dave White