"Battleship" -- starring Taylor Kitsch, "True Blood" hunk Alexander Skarsgard, all-around badass Liam Neeson and pop star Rihanna -- follows a group of Naval officers forced to fight aliens who've landed off the coast of Hawaii.
Can "Battleship" live up to its less expensive, family-friendly namesake? Let's find out in this week's Pro-Con. (MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW)
PRO: The sound
I should note, this is only a Pro if you like being blasted out of your skull by a mix of AC/DC, ships exploding and Taylor Kitsch shouting.
PRO: They play Battleship in "Battleship"
I won't spoil how they manage to work it into the plot, but, it's there, and it's glorious.
CON: Not enough Liam Neeson
Sorry, folks, but he's only in the movie for approximately 15 minutes, and even then he doesn't get to fight wolves with his bare hands. (Also, at this point, Neeson's contract should require him to perform his "Taken" monologue every time he's on screen.)
PRO: Historical references
Any action/sci-fi blockbuster that manages to sneak in not one, but two Christopher Columbus references, has my vote.
CON: The aliens
Can we please go back to using puppets/animatronics for movie aliens? There is such a thing as too much CGI.
PRO: Special effects
Aside from the previous Con, the movie is filled with breathtaking views from space, eye-popping explosions and a somewhat terrifying attack on Hong Kong.
PRO: The theme to "The Pink Panther"
Seriously, that gets played during this film.
CON: Accuracy / Realism
Example: Taylor Kitsch goes from burglar to Navy officer in a matter of minutes. So, if you're expecting "Battleship" to resemble anything close to what happens in "real-life," please, stay home.
Loosely tied to my last Con, there was something a bit off about watching Rihanna fire a machine gun that probably weighed as much as she did.
PRO: Burrito-related crimes
The opening scene features Taylor Kitsch's character breaking into a convenient store to steal a microwaved burrito. It's like an "SNL" skit attached to an action blockbuster!
PRO/CON: Really bad dialogue
If you love laughing at lines like "You say E.T. wants to phone home?" then congratulations, you're in for a real treat. If not, save your money and watch, I don't know, a Woody Allen movie.
Director Peter Berg used former U.S. Navy Sailors as extras in the film, and there's nothing more patriotic than that.
CON: A lot of derogatory Asian jokes
Maybe it was just me, but the second "Art of War" insult in front of a Japanese naval officer was two jokes too many.
"Battleship" hits theaters nationwide this Friday.