Battleship movie, as reviewed in The Phantom Tollbooth. In God We Trust
We Track The Others.

Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, Hamish Linklater, Tadanobu Asano, Gregory D. Gadson and Rihana
Director: Peter Berg
Scriptwriters: Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber
Cinematography: Tobias A. Schliessler
Composer: Steve Jablonsky
Rating: PG 13 for violence
Running Length: 120 minutes
I've never played a video game, so I can only imagine how exciting it would be to have your favorite, Battleship, on a large screen. Therefore, I went to this film, cold, without background knowledge. They had me at the saying in the bridge of a naval ship, “In God We Trust, We Track The Others.”  Place your mind and common sense in the parking lot before entering the theater and go for entertainment. That you will have here. Battleship is really a Navy recruitment film, and to go against space alien forces, besides, and no backing down is downright patriotic and there is plenty of patriotism here.
The story begins with two brothers, Taylor Kitsch (“John Carter”) and Alexander Skarsgard. Taylor is the younger and a rebel, always getting into trouble. Alexander is the naval one, an officer to the core. When Taylor gets into trouble with a chicken burrito and the admiral’s daughter (Brooklyn Decker), it’s either the navy or prison. Fast forward, and Taylor is in the Navy with his brother and still getting into trouble. Something about obeying orders. The Admiral (Liam Neeson) is none too pleased with Taylor, either, especially when his cockeyed move in soccer loses a game between the U. S. and Japan (an important ally here). Then comes naval games at sea between several countries. At this time, another story unfolds, that of scientists who aimed a radio telescope in Hawaii toward a certain planet in another system that looked promising (water, air, etc.) The naval games are secret and the telescope is secret and the two secrets collide when the space aliens come calling with massive weapons on water.
Methinks there may be a sequel brewing somewhere in Hollywood, as the aliens destroy anything with metal, but when confronted with a lone human (scan a pumping heart) they pass them by.  Perhaps, they are tracking us, too. Anyway, a lone destroyer without a captain, has the only officer aboard (Taylor) who comes up with a plan to destroy the radio telescope and avoid the aliens “phoning home.” His co-leader is a Japanese officer (Tadanobu Asano) with knowledge of these waters. In the meantime, Brooklyn Decker and a double amputee-naval officer (Gregory D. Gadson) are trapped in the hills with a scientist, Liam Neeson and the fleet are trapped under a power shield and a famous battleship is in these waters with a smile on her prow. She is ready. At this point, I expected the kitchen sink to have a role in the film because just about everything else was being used, but I was being entertained.  And Rihanna? Hey, she can act, give realistic dialogue and does well in her role with armaments and weapons.
My hearing will be back in a week.  The person who invented/put-together-the-sound of space metal doors/hatches opening and closing must be a multi-millionaire by now. From Alien to Battleship, the RHRUMPH-crash sound comes through with a certain musicality of its own (by the way, the soundtrack for Battleship is very good.) You certainly get enough of RHRUMPH and music here.
Acting? It’s there and the guys and gal don't have to do much as the weapons or scenery of Hawaii are enough. Taylor Kitsch is good in his role of the rowdy brother. The aliens remind me of the ones from Charlie Sheen’s early science fiction film, The Arrival. (good, actually) They also have a code of never leaving anyone behind. It’s the side characters, the ones with one line at a precise moment, that make this film. A snip here, a quip there and the scene is complete. Director Peter Berg knows how to do it. As for Battleship?  U. S. S. Missouri, gotta love ya.
Three tocks.
Copyright 2012 Marie Asner