Last Friday night, I saw a movie called Battleship. At least, I think I did -- when I entered the AMC theater and purchased my ticket, that's the movie I asked to see. (Don't judge.) But within five minutes of the film's 131 minute run, I began to suspect that what I had really done was chugged an entire bottle of absinthe and passed out on my couch, because absolutely nothing I was seeing on the screen made sense. Apparently, director Peter Berg never met a shaky cam he didn't like -- this couldn't possibly be the same dude behind my beloved Friday Night Lights. I'm going to run through the bits and pieces that were confusing to me, separating them by how drunk they made me feel. Hopefully, one day this will all make sense. Warning: SPOILERS LIE AHEAD.
A Glass of Wine Drunk:
In the opening sequence of Battleship, Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) and his innocuously Swedish older brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgård) knocked back a few drinks at a seedy Hawaiian dive bar. Moments later, the casual-yet-flawless Samantha (Brooklyn Decker) entered the scene. Samantha's mission was simple: She wanted a chicken burrito, and she wanted it now. Unfortunately, the bar's kitchen was closed. But where Samantha found defeat, Alex found an opportunity -- he said he would get her that chicken burrito, in less than five minutes. He ran across the street to a local convenience store, which also happened to be closed. But instead of, you know, admitting defeat and just asking for her number, Alex did the impossible: He broke into the store, clumsily destroyed its inventory, and ran out with a crappy frozen burrito. As he ran to put the burrito in her hands, the police arrived -- tasing him twice. Alex didn't only not pee his pants, he actually won the girl over with his stupidity and criminal action. I must have imagined this, right? This couldn't possibly qualify as a meet-cute, coming from the guy who gave us the Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen sex scene.
Three Shots of Tequila Drunk:
Unless I was just realllly wasted and missed it, at no point in the movie did we learn why the aliens were actually attacking us. At least in Independence Day they showed up with their giant mega-ships parked over the White House and Bank of America building, then promptly blew them up. Pew Pew! They killed Laura Roslin! They killed everything! It all made so much sense! Here, the aliens' motives were so ambiguous. At one point they started launching these "giant alien roller balls" that ripped through everything in their path, but stopped when they detected beating hearts. So they didn't want to destroy human life, they just really hate wire-framed glasses, fake legs, highways, and boats. They came to our planet to destroy all of our stuff! That's just rude, and seems like a giant waste of time. Find better stuff to do, aliens.
Repeating The Same Story 20 Times Drunk:
I guess because she was so effective in her chicken burrito scene, Berg felt the need to give Decker something else to do. For about an hour and a half, the film would occasionally shift to physical trainer Samantha and her paraplegic patient, Lieutenant Giants Fan Colonel Mick Canales, climbing up a mountain. Towards the end of the film, when told to evacuate the alien-populated mountain, Samantha and Mick instead teamed up with a nutty scientist to do... something. I still don't really know what their purpose was. All I can say is their whole shebang eventually resulted in a triumph of the human spirit sequence where Canales overcame his disabilities to beat the living daylights out of a heavily armored alien. WAIT -- had I actually just rented a navy-space version of Born on the Fourth of July? Okay, now I get it.
Cabo San Lucas During College Spring Break Drunk:
Wait, WHAT? This can't be. Towards the end of the movie, Alex -- who was just so completely out of options -- finally one-upped the aliens by beating them in an ACTUAL GAME OF BATTLESHIP. The radar in the alien waters got all discombobulated, so Alex and his team started shooting blind, using something called a "tsunami buoy system" to locate general areas to fire. Of course, they did this using a giant dotted board straight out of the Hasbro childhood classic. Would F9 be a hit, or a miss? I don't know, but pop singer Rihanna -- the only female in the United States Navy -- did a great job making those shots. I guess they sold this game in Barbados, because homegirl was unstoppable: Two alien ships went BOOM by the time she was finished.
Texting Ex-Boyfriends Drunk:
Okay, this is where things got REALLY WEIRD. Alex's John Paul Jones was sunk by the aliens, so, as Hollywood.com's Matt Patches put it, he went to some World War II vets for one...last...job. Alex, his rag-tag team of Navy misfits, and some seasoned Pearl Harbor vets who just so happened to be there, powered up the USS Missouri -- which was retired in 1992, and has since been turned into a museum -- to stop those aliens once and for all. And it worked! Mad props to the Greatest Generation for winning WWII AND a 2012 pointless alien invasion, but something was amiss here. According to the folks who actually run the Missouri Memorial, getting her to move would take about 1,500 men, a boatload of fresh fuel, and a heavy restocking of ammunition. Alex just had Landry and Rihanna. Imagine what he could have accomplished with Lady Gaga.
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[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]