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Battleship: movie review (+trailer)

The script of 'Battleship' is as weak as the rest of the film.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / May 17, 2012

Rihanna (r.) plays a woman who is apparently the only one in the entire Navy in the new film 'Battleship.'

Universal Pictures/AP

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Not being an aficionado of the grid-based Hasbro board game Battleship, I can’t comment on how closely “Battleship” the movie replicates it. But if the movie is anything like the game, I say stay at home and read a good book (or graphic novel). Or listen to an audiobook – In short, do anything else.

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It seems the world is being invaded by aliens and only the intrepid US Navy, led by ex-slacker/newly minted hero Alex Hopper, can stop them. Hopper is played by Taylor Kitsch, fresh from his searing appearance in the megaflop “John Carter.” The aliens, when stripped of their helmets, or whatever it is they are encased in, resemble pasty-faced Uncle Sams, complete with chin whiskers. I guess there’s a message there somewhere.

Helping out in the rescue mission is Rihanna, playing apparently the only woman in the entire Navy. Making a late appearance is a cadre of Pearl Harbor vets. This part of the movie comes across like “Cocoon” with kabooms. Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”) directed. I never thought I’d say this as a criticism, but he’s no Michael Bay. The script is replete with howlers. My favorite, from Kitsch, after the aliens strike: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Indeed. Grade: D+ (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language.)

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