After the ceaseless deluge of unfavourable Battleship reviews, I was expecting the worst. Critics are going on and on about the horrible dialogue, the tedious effects and the raucousness, so I didn't have a single hope for the movie. (I also feared for Taylor Kitsch, one of my favourite underrated actors.)
I've learned that maybe this is the way to go when you're off to see a big summer blockbuster -- set the bar really, really low, and you can't help but be pleased with whatever you see on screen. The beauty of having an overactive imagination is this: your mind will make whatever you've heard negative things about seem far worse, even leagues worse than the reality of it.
Brace yourself, folks. Battleship is not as bad as you've heard. It's not cerebral, the plot is nonsensical at times, and yes, the basic laws of physics are violated in almost every frame, but it's a summer blockbuster, tried and true. (Think Armageddon.) There are things that occur in Battleship that I can guarantee you've never seen/heard before, on screen at least, and make the movie worth seeing, if only for a laugh.
BEWARE: SOME MINOR SPOILERS!
1. Rihanna Shoots A Machine Gun -- Multiple Times
We're not talking a dinky one, either. We're talking a two-handed, on-the-deck-of-a-ship machine gun. Now, if she would only take off that silly-looking Navy hat (which, for some strange reason, she wears for the duration of the film, even while in the water).
2. The Soundtrack Is Full of Loud, Oddly Chosen Rock Songs
I felt like I was back at my high school dance with the number of blaring rock anthems in this movie. Meant to stir up patriotism and get you behind the cause, tunes like AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' rattle your teeth as more things explode in front of your eyes. (The Stone Temple Pilots' 'Interstate Love Song' -- which we all haven't heard since the late '90s -- is also played. Tear.)
3. Credit Is Given to a Board Game/Toy Company
When was the last time you saw this happen? It's one thing to thank a comic book or original novel for source material, but this is completely different. Right on, Hasbro. While we're at it, I'd really like to thank you for Trivial Pursuit.
4. They Actually Play Battleship On Screen
I won't reveal how or why or when, but you'll know it when you see it. This part of the movie was very clever.
5. There's a Crime Involving a Chicken Burrito
As ridiculous as this opening scene is, for some reason Kitsch is appealing in a slapstick way. Never thought I'd say that! Allegedly, the filmmakers were inspired by this real-life burglary mishap.
6. We Don't Have to See Another "Typical" Alien
Getting sick of those typical aliens with the huge eyes, three fingers and skinny bodies? Well, you don't need to worry about that with the Battleship aliens. They're like humans mixed with Muppets mixed with Bioshock splicers.
7. War Veterans Get Some Serious Payback
Those old guys (vets from the Korean War, mostly) certainly knew how to kick ass, and that doesn't fade with age. Just because their bodies deteriorate physically, doesn't mean their zest for revenge goes along with it. There's something so fulfilling about an elderly man shouting, "Motherf---er!"
8. Hooray! Both Men and Women Are Exploited!
At first I thought it was just going to be Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard with their shirts off, wet in the water. I was right and wrong. Yes, they're both shirtless for a scene or two, but we also get to see Brooklyn Decker shamelessly showing off her -- ahem -- physique at nearly every turn. Ah, summertime.
9. A Guy With Two Fake Legs Fights an Alien
You read that right. I won't get into who wins the fight, but man, is it ever entertaining. It's this type of thing that saves Battleship -- it's not afraid to have fun, often at its own expense.
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