There is one very authentic and admirable aspect of the new film “Battleship.” It’s an actor named Gregory D. Gadson in the role of Lt. Col. Mick Canales. Gadson is a decorated Col. in the United States Army who lost both his legs at the knees in Baghdad because of a roadside bomb. Col. Gadson becomes the Director of the U. S Army Fort Belvoir Garrison in Fairfax County, Virgina, on June 25. He is a graduate of West Point and holds a Master’s Degree from Webster University. He’s a solid, engaging actor. He spoke at Webster University’s graduation ceremonies here in St. Louis two years ago.
Aside from Gadson, however, there’s little else to recommend about “Battleship.”
Liam Neeson plays an Admiral who is overseeing a multi-national fleet exercise in the Pacific. Based on the game of the same name by Hasbro, “Battleship” details how the exercise participants have to fight off the sudden onslaught of human-like creatures from outer space who have unexpectedly shown up because of super strong radio signal that was beamed their way. Evidently, the creatures thought it was an invitation to be in a movie?
Taylor Kitsch, fresh off his lack of success in the bomb ”John Carter,” appears as a bad boy brother of a career Naval Officer who ends up joining the USN so he can prove he’s really worthwhile and can marry Neeson’s daughter, played by Brooklyn Decker. Rihanna appears as a Petty Officer who’s good with a deck gun, but evidently was never issued a hard hat.
“Battleship” has the usual noisy quota of aliens versus us special effects. It is a nice attempt at recruiting on behalf of the United States Navy, albeit a vast over-simplification and almost juvenile in its perspective. The film does show some respect for veterans, but when a small group of WWII vets all of a sudden take the USS Missouri from its permanent museum berth in Pearl Harbor to do battle with the aliens, that was one absurdity too many. There are so many protocol and procedural mistakes in this film, it’s sad.
If I were the Navy, I’d call for a Court of Inquiry.