Some people are bagging the hell out of Battleship which is kinda sad, really.

Not since Will Smith in Independence Day punched that alien and said ‘welcome to Earth’ have so many depended on so few.

Battleship is a game, now the movie is brought to us by Hasbro and it’s an epic popcorn flick showcasing what America / Hollywood does best – self-promote and blow stuff up.

Look, I loved Battleship – so much so I went along again with my brother who also loves a big, fully-loaded epic popcorn movie.

‘yvan eht nioj’ were the words from that kept echoing in my head – it’s from the boy band episode of The Simpsons and after seeing Battleship, you may experience slight feelings of wanting to join the navy.  Just take two bullets to the head and have a lie-down.  It will pass.

Maybe it’s the sweeping pans of boisterous battleships – their big, hard guns all out, loud and proud, pointing at anything that moved and threatening to discharge at any second…

Maybe it’s on-trend patterned uniforms (a little too matchy-matchy perhaps?) that stretch over even tauter bods that stir a feeling of trust, of bondage to the service of humankind, thus creating the need for a ‘safe word’ when it all gets a bit intense…

Maybe it’s the smouldering voice and broody good looks of lead actor Taylor Kitsch, the cameo by Entourage’s Turtle, Liam Neeson playing the role he loves a lot lately – the stern, gruff older good guy…

Maybe it’s the violent exploration of the theme ‘be careful what you wish for – cos you might get it’. 

Much of the magic is definitely being shot out of Alexander Skarsgard (mostly recognizable as the icy manipulative vampire in True Blood) and in some of the other elements that are being largely ignored.

For example – there are some read deal people in Battleship – very real casualties of war.  And if you like some mammoth naval navel gazing, this film delivers.  Peter Berg has directed some of the shots with so much sycophantic gush, it was like Don Simpson had come back to life and re-teamed with Jerry Bruckheimer.  (But we all know the truth – Don Simpson didn’t die.  He was badly deformed in a major Hollywood explosion and came back as Michael Bay.)

Rihanna – her first acting role – reminded me of Vasquez in Aliens.  She did a competent job as Raikes but Ruby Rose would have been a better choice and was a serious candidate for a while making it into the final three.  She has nowhere near as much baggage as Rihanna and would have been happy to do media for a debut role in a major Hollywood movie.  Rihanna was too sick to do her scheduled interview with me.  Now I’m too sick to write anything good about her ‘performance’.  Empathy’s a bitch, huh.

Now let’s get back to what’s good about Battleship.

There was enough stuff flying around, exploding and wild aerial shots to make 3D worthwhile so I’m surprised Peter Berg didn’t opt for it.

The aliens are just superb but better you see them on screen than have them ‘spoilered’ here.  All I’ll say is I was wondering if they were supercharged top notch Space SAS , like Green Berets From Another Galaxy – or – if they were your garden variety intergalactic telecom technicians setting up another base station because they were sick of their calls dropping out.

Jablonsky’s score is sensational and macho and deserves nods when award season comes around.

There’s a great new interpretation of the ‘wrecking ball’ which was like a baby Transformer on crack.

And – Battleship is funny.

Sadly though, this is another anti-alien propaganda film.  It’s not vastly different in sentiment from the anti-Jewish films made by Nazis during WW2.  Creatively, a storyteller can tell whatever story he or she likes.  But Hollywood has declared war on outer space for a long time now and shaped public opinion with images of marauding aliens since cinema began.  Come on guys – give peace a chance!

Battleship was all going so well – til an AC/DC song signalled that it was time to lather on the cheese.  And it came on thick.  I was choking like a Pavarotti artery.

My brother Chris said Battleship was good to see on the big screen but committed the cardinal sin that he believes cost Quentin Tarantino the Oscar for Inglourious Basterds – he promised us 100 Nazi scalps but didn’t deliver them.  Chris reckons Battleship showed us all the big guns but didn’t use them to take down the enemy.  He came for the ultimate showdown spectacle and didn’t get it.

To some degree, I disagree.  A story has to be confined to the characters getting to a point in their souls via actions that save the world.  Sure, the navy could have nuked the aliens – but where would that leave the main dude, Alex Hopper?

This is not a perfect film but it is a great popcorn movie.  And what do you want for $17.50?  131 minutes long means it costs around 13 cents a minute to watch.  And if you’re entertained for as long as it takes you to get through that giant box of salty, buttered, cheap carbohydrate, then it’s the most cost-effective entertainment you can get despite the hefty price tag to produce something this cheap – a rumoured $200m.

So pop your brain under your seat, feet up and chow down.  Battleship is definitely worth what you pay to see it.

Hey, I went twice!

Here’s the trailer.