There has been some bloggery on tor.com about the impossibility of talking about this movie without actually spoiling it. It’s a difficult call, as the meta-esque Truman Show fixings attached to the story don’t appear like some triumphal twist in the third act – they’re actually featured all the way through, and the movie opens with them.
However, it’s not some lame reality TV show pastiche (I think saying that doesn’t qualify as a spoiler) but considerably cooler, and it plays on something I love – the juxtaposition between our squeaky-clean and virtually connected modern lives and the lost and ancient world of ritual and story that haunts and shapes everything we are, serving the idea that that old world of gods and monsters is far closer than we think. What’s not to love? Let’s leave it at that.
On the other hand, the thing about Battleship is simply this: it’s nonsense. It’s a madlibs-style mashup of other terrible alien-invasion-meets-boo-yah-military-porn, and it’s ludicrous, and practically everything in it is rubbish, whether it wants to be or not. Asking if Rihanna or Taylor Kitsch were good in this is like asking people critically injured in the Boston Molasses Disaster if the molasses tasted okay or could have done with being a bit more caramelly. Stuff explodes. Stereotyped characters experience perfunctory arcs. Loads of soldiers run about shouting, but all of the action involves the same six people. And the alien design sucks (basically humans with spiny beards and four opposable fingers). Sucks hard.
Plus, it’s based on Battleship, one of those peg-based boardgames we were all reduced to before somebody was kind enough to invent the internet. So don’t. Just don’t.