"Battleship" may be based on a board game, but the action flick's first trailer shows an influence far more cinematic than anything having to do with little plastic pegs and the faux-sinking of tiny seafaring vessels. The new footage, which Yahoo! premiered on Wednesday (July 27), begins like an ode to a "Blue Crush"-ish beach make-out movie, veers into "Armageddon"-esque father-vs.-daughter's-boyfriend antagonism, then explodes in an orgy of a couple dozen alien-invasion movie references.
Totally original, this one ain't. But it's also pretty damn entertaining, and we really are looking forward to checking out the madness when it hits theaters on May 18, 2012. Until then, here are our picks for the five key "Battleship" trailer moments.
One of these days, Brooklyn Decker is going to get a movie role that doesn't require her to parade around a beach in a bikini. Or not. One thing is certain after checking out this footage and taking in her performance, such as it was, in Adam Sandler's "Just Go With It": Decker, the Sports Illustrated model, has been typecast. In "Battleship," she finds herself in the middle of one of cinema's oldest relationship pickles: in love with a bad boy whom her dad can't freaking stand. Clearly the relationship between the boy (a naval officer played by Taylor Kitsch) and the daddy (Liam Neeson's no-nonsense admiral) will factor into the battle with these aliens. Let's just hope it doesn't become the emotional focus.
Everything in the Navy's military exercises in the big blue ocean seems to be going well until they encounter a hulking contraption submerged in the water. One unlucky dude (Kitsch) is sent out to touch base, literally, with the alien ship, unleashing a whole lot of extraterrestrial terror. The aliens, we'll soon learn, are here to utilize our oceans as a power source. This one shot raises a bunch of questions. Why are the ship's defenses activated by simple touch, rather than the proximity of the Navy? What kind of tech do the aliens possess that they can send a sort of shockwave that hurtles a man so far, so quickly? And what's inside the ship that we don't yet see?
Speaking of alien weaponry, the ship is capable of unleashing some kind of bubble force field that encompasses an enemy and, so it seems, destroys everything within it. We'll just ignore, for now, how the bubble reminds us of that containment unit in "The Simpsons Movie." Instead, let's concentrate on the alien tech. We're hoping for originality and cool visuals to join forces and deliver us a satisfying early summer movie experience. The bubble, perhaps, is the harbinger of fun, absurd, eye-popping stuff to come.
"Battleship" marks Rihanna's big-screen debut. In the trailer, blink and you miss her. But she's there, standing up in a raft and looking wet as the alien craft flies overhead. She certainly looks freaked out. But we can't yet get a sense of her acting chops from this footage; and hey, we might not be able to even after this popcorn flick's credits roll. All we can say for now is she had a blast on the production. "Working with [director] Peter Berg is unbelievable," she told us last fall. "I love doing movies now. It's something I want to do more of. I just want to pick films that are wise for me and roles that I can pull off, nothing that is too big for me."
We have to say we're surprised how much of the alien ship we get to see in this first trailer. We see how it's a craft that can both plunge into the water and also take flight. We see how it can transform and shift and hover; quite a lot of control, those aliens have on this sucker. We see its cylinder-shaped weaponry. We see the front of the ship almost seems to have a face. So the question is: How much did filmmakers hold back? We haven't, for instance, seen the aliens themselves. With so many alien flicks hitting theaters each year, it's getting harder and harder to surprise audiences with those creatures. Can "Battleship" do it? Stay tuned.
Check out everything we've got on "Battleship."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.