"Fire all the weapons!" Liam Neeson yells in the first "Battleship" trailer, a command dutifully followed by a young naval officer in the film but one that failed to trigger the dude-I-gotta-see-this-movie jones of many moviegoers.
But we had a feeling a lot of folks were missing the point of both the popcorn flick's whiz-bang alien-vs.-soldier brawling and the sun-dappled human-on-human seduction giving "Battleship" its warm, gooey center. The film is perfectly constructed to fill the "Transformers"-sized hole in the summer movie calendar. Audiences overseas are already responding, shelling out $58 million to check it out since the April 11 foreign release. Our turn comes on May 18.
Before then, and having seen the CGI-heavy theatrics in "Battleship" trailers, it's time to take a look at the film's softer side. That's where MTV News' Summer Movie Preview comes into play, delivering an exclusive clip featuring Taylor Kitsch and his bodacious birthday wish, Brooklyn Decker.
The scene in the clip comes early in the film, with Kitsch's unemployed slacker, Alex Hopper, sharing a sad-sack birthday party in a dingy bar with his brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgård). Then Brooklyn Decker's Samantha arrives, seeking a chicken burrito but not necessarily the attention of unemployed slackers. When unemployed slackers look like Taylor Kitsch, though, you can be pretty sure romance is going to bloom — until those pesky aliens arrive and put a damper on the relationship of two of the prettiest people on this, or any, planet.
Let's not keep Skarsgård out of the beauty contest. That's partly how he got the job. Director Peter Berg recently told MTV News that while he loved the actor's work as a vampire in "True Blood," it wasn't his résumé that won him the gig.
"All the girls in the office stormed into my office and demanded that we cast him," Berg said. "And then when I met him, my son was there, and [Alex] got out of his Audi R8 — that's my son's dream car. My son just stood there with his jaw open, staring first at him, then at his car, and he said, 'Dad, it's non-negotiable. Alex is in the movie.' "
Skarsgård's "Battleship" itch was a tad more substantive. "I was working on 'Melancholia' right before this, which is a Lars von Trier, European art-house movie. So I was excited about the combination of doing those two back-to-back," he explained to us. "But then it was also the fact that Pete is an actor and he knows actors and he cares about the characters. ... [He] talked more about the characters and the relationships than how amazing the explosions would look."
That perfectly explains the importance of our exclusive clip. "The movie is really the story of a younger brother trying to grow up and be a man like [his older brother]," Berg said. "There just happens to be an alien invasion in the middle of it."
It's Summer Movie Preview Week, and MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated summer movies. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at "The Avengers," Robert Pattinson's "Bel Ami," Kristen Stewart's "Snow White," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and more!
Check out everything we've got on "Battleship."
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