After a less-than-enthusiastically received teaser trailer in the Summer, Universal and Hasbro’s franchise-in-waiting “Battleship” has posted a second trailer and we’ve now got a better idea of what this film will be like.
And what it will be like is the wildly successful “Transformers” series, oddly enough. It’s as though Hasbro and their film-making partners are working to a template or something.
From the beginning of the trailer, we’ve got mysterious goings-on under the Ocean – lots of murky malevolence and things half-glimpsed which ain’t quite human – and the now-obligatory, post “Inception” low-frequency ‘Honk!‘ on the soundtrack.
In short order, we get the regulation helicopter shots of the fleet at sea, sailors in dress whites, the young and attractive leads …
When the deep-sea alien shizzle hits the fan, you’ll be stunned to learn that a Dubstep track also begins to kick in and the edits get so quick that you may think that you’re having an auditory hallucination with a sweet Skrillex soundtrack. Is Dubstep becoming as generic a choice on action trailers as Adele is on a “Greys Anatomy” advert?
Depending on your point of view, Universal, director Peter Berg and Hasbro have neatly side-stepped the essentially absurd notion of making a narrative film out of a board game by making this an out-and-out genre film which eschews the concerns of the real world and avoids any concerns that potential audience members might have about supporting yet another action movie which seems to have a hawkish, ‘might is right’, US-centric world view which is at odds with their own.
Your mileage may vary, of course. For ‘alien’, some may read ‘foreign’ and there’s more than enough essays available on the internet which will tell you that films like this prime their young and impressionable audiences to accept military aggression in real life by depicting those forces in fiction as sexy, young, heroic, technologically advanced and capable or usurping enemies in double-quick time and with perfectly timed quips to boot.
I’m just going to assume that this a stupid action movie and not expect it to convert me to any cause. And I say this as somebody who was able to enjoy Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day” back in the 90’s despite feeling as though my brains were slowly dribbling out of my ears as I watched the heroic Labrador outrunning the fireball, Will Smith punching out a downed alien and the universal, Mac-based operating system employed by Alien mother ships.
In fact, if you’re not getting an Emmerich vibe from this new movie from the trailer, you might have clicked on a link to the last Woody Allen film by mistake. Not that you would be doing anything wrong by watching that film, just saying…
It all looks reasonably entertaining, but if you weren’t able to get through any of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” flicks without feeling an uncontrollable urge to switch the movie off, destroy the disc and generally do something more positive with your brief time on earth, I get the sense that you should probably skip this one when it opens next Summer.