Battleship

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BATTLESHIP broadsided $220,000,000 into a movie based on a board game. “Bored game” would be more on-target, considering the effect of 131 minutes worth of this kid-stuff will produce for most adults. Given voting trends, however, it’s a good bet at least a quarter of the population might find it not just entertaining, but actually believe it’s real.

Why go into any detail about the plot? Giant alien craft spearhead an expeditionary force, with incredible armament and destructive power. Only a few ships of the US Navy, new and old, a helpful destroyer from Japan and some fighter pilots from Australia stand between the space visitors and humanity going down for the count. We can do that on our own, full speed ahead, but that’s for another movie. This one, well…

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A goodly number of kids will enjoy it, and not fret over the nonsense of the whole thing. Most filming was done in Hawaii, on and around Maui and Oahu, as well as on the USS Missouri. Some of the CGI stuff (and there is a lot) is impressive, and there’s nothing like a few salvo’s from a legendary battlewagon to get you to stand at attention. Explosions abound. Suitably forceful music score comes courtesy of Steve Jablonsky.

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With Taylor Kitsch (if ever a leading man’s last name fit a project), Liam Neeson (paycheck duty, anyone?), Alexander Skasgård, Robyn Fenty, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna (doing fine in her feature debut), Tadanobu Osada, Gregory Gadson, Hamish Linklater, Jesse Plemons, Peter MacNicol and Rami Malek.

Reviews were not ecstatic, and the film made much less than needed to ballast its budget, the $303,025,485 worldwide gross docking it at berth #26 for the year. Kitsch’s hoped-for leading man career stalled after this didn’t score a direct hit and his go as John Carter that same year bombed big-time. All said and done, Battleship may be on the dumb side, but not everything has to be Dostoevsky, and kids’ll dig it. The “awesome!”-declaring kid in you might even, just a little…

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