Well, you’re getting a Transformers sequel whether Bay signs on for an official fourth or not… The full trailer for Hasbro and Universal’s Battleship is out, and it’s quite clear that everyone’s goal was to have Berg cash in on the gravy train Michael Bay got chugging. From the dubsteppy cut of the trailer, to the sound design that is shamelessly aping Erik Aadahl and company’s work on the Trans films, to skyscraper sections falling down (even if that was likely written before Dark of the Moon was made), from top-to-bottom this feels like a spin-off of Hasbro/Universal’s billion dollar robot franchise.

Some of the action looks nicely scaled, some of the CGI looks exceptionally convincing, and then a whole big swath looks dumb, derivative, and overwrought. The shot that has the soldiers being blown away and then vacuumed up is particularly stupid, a turn too far down the road of “look at physics being fucked with!” spectacle. I do love that the plastic-peg aspect of the game made it into the design of the alien weapons, very subtly (the peg-like missiles stick on the surface of what they hit, and then explode).

In any event, it’s funny that today a dozen critics lucky enough to have seen the Dark Knight Rises climax all raved about how Nolan has shot a sequence filled with action “none of us have seen before,” and now here’s a grand celebration of doing the same shit over and over. And yet… I don’t find this any more painful than bland-as-shit shots of cars being overturned that just happen to have nostalgic dudes in spandex nearby. Different strokes!

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