December 19, 2014
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Battleship
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Sci-fi action fans only)

If you're not a sci-fi action movie fan, you can skip this one. Although you might want to help Hasbro, one of Rhode Island's biggest employers, who has a big stake in this one, plus another G.I. Joe movie coming out later this summer.

If you remember the Hasbro board game hit of the same name, don't expect to see any resemblance. Some big, ugly aliens from Planet G, covered in heavy armor and assisted by major weapons, react to an effort by U.S. scientists to "reach out" into outer space, by attacking planet earth. There's a lesson there someplace.

Taylor Kitsch plays Alex Hopper, a messed up brother of a Navy officer who miraculously goes from a potential prison inmate to commanding the Navy battleship that needs to save the world.

The opening scene, where Hopper goes all out to find a chicken burrito for Sam, a pretty young lady (Brooklyn Decker), is one of the highlights of this uneven movie. Sam turns out to be the Admiral's (Liam Neeson) daughter. You can see where this is going.

The aliens destroy Hong Kong and then center their attention on the battleships engaged in war games off the coast of Hawaii.

While the main focus of this two-hour plus movie is the overlong battles between the Navy and the aliens, there are a few interesting subplots.

Gregory D. Gadson, a real life hero who lost both of his legs, plays a depressed amputee who finds a new mission in life. He is terrific.

Then there is the rivalry between a Japanese officer (Tadanobu Asano) and Hopper, which you know is going to turn into a close alliance as they turn their attention to the real rivals.

Pop star Rihanna is strangely cast as one of the crew.

The special effects and the photography are first class. The acting is pretty good. The dialogue is pure corn. Examples: "I got a bad feeling." "If you can't stop them, who will?"

Can our motley crew, led by a loose cannon after his superiors are eliminated, save the world? Maybe, with a little help from some veterans of the USS Missouri.

Rated PG-13, with minor profanity and lots of violence.


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