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Dissecting Trailers: “Battleship”

From almost the first fifteen seconds of watching this trailer, I knew I’d have to dissect it like nobody’s business, and by the time it was over, I began to cry. Dear God, what horror hath humanity beset upon us?

Let’s get into it, shall we? First the trailer:


0:05 – 0:13: Generic blues rock with shots of water, naval fleet, and surfing. See? The military is cool.

0:13 – 0:25: Hot blonde on top of standard generic hero guy on a beach. They discuss what he’s going to say when asking her father’s permission to marry her, hoping of course that her father is easily swayed by unimaginative, sappy love-talk and not some hard-ass.

0:26 – 0:27: The music cuts out and the screen goes black. What’s missing here is a record scratch.

0:28 – 0:30: Oh, of course. Liam Neeson is her dad and he doesn’t like the kid AND they’re both in the Navy. Shagging the boss’ daughter is never a good idea, people.

0:31 – 0:35: Quick montage of kid joining the navy and goofing around while Neeson disapproves. Neeson says that this guy “went from enlisted to an officer faster than anyone in the history of the United States Navy.” Can’t he just be a guy in the Navy? Does he HAVE to be the best person ever to set foot on a ship?

0:36 – 0:40: Hero is playing soccer and apparently that’s a bad thing. He doesn’t APPEAR to be fighting, but Girlfriend looks on disapprovingly and Neeson says he’s “never, ever seen a man waste himself better than you.” I guess I understand; playing soccer is really a lame idea. If you play it means you’re….bad at Navy-ing. Maybe the USN has a very strict policy on vuvuzelas.

0:40 – 0:45: Hero is aboard a ship and can apparently see the gorgeous blonde waiting for him, looking upset that he’s on duty. Neeson says “What my daughter sees in you is a great mystery to me.” Probably she just likes the bad boy to piss off her clearly very overprotective father. Nah, I bet they’re really in love. What do I know?

0:41 – 0:48: “Enjoy these naval exercises, Harper, they’re likely to be your last,” says Neeson, “First you sneak around during some kind of important speech, then you boink my daughter, and let’s not forget the whole soccer fiasco! There’s just no room for minor indiscretions in MY navy, son!”

0:50 – 0:53: Oh, of course it’s the first day of naval exercises. Nobody ever has a problem on day 4. “Look, if we can get through the first day without creating an international incident, we’ve got a 99% success rate. Just please, don’t fuck up on the first day, okay?”

0:55 – 1:02: They see an unidentified object off the something-something that can’t be picked up on the scanner. But what could it be, I ask you? I think the real threat here is letting a vampire join the Navy.

1:03 – 1:08: Of course Harper has to be one of the ones to check it out. Just his luck. What a crappy day this apparently very amazing Navy person is having.

1:09 – 1:16: It’s a big, huge metal structure in the middle of the frigging ocean; By all means, stand on it. *shrug* “Duhhh, I don’t know what this is. Let me touch it some more.”

1:17 – 1:19: It threw him off with some kind of electrical discharge. I am so very shocked about this.

1:20 – 1:23: “Get out of the water and return to your ship.” But wait, something else is happening with the thing.

1:24 – 1:29: It appears… it… it looks like it has created a force field all the way up into space. Let me say that again: Space. Well that’s…that’s not something that things on Earth can do.

1:30 – 1:34: Whatever it is, it affects radar and makes a Transformers noise.

1:35 – 1:39: The already quite huge thing surfaces to reveal an even bigger object/boat thing.

1:40 – 1:44: And it can fly.

1:45 – 1:48: And it just likes playing leap frog.

1:49 – 1:51: Their facial expressions more or less resemble mine, though mine includes the face you make when you’ve just seen an annoying woman at the DMV miss her number being called because she was talking to herself.

1:52 – 1:58: It’s way the hell up in the air and fires things that look like giant version of the pegs used in the classic board game “Battleship,” a game that bears no resemblance to what’s going on here, save the boats.

1:59 – 2:02: The navy is going to fire the crap out of their weapons.

2:03 – 2:04: They fire the crap out of their weapons.

2:05 – 2:09: Jesus Christ, this is the movie version of “Battleship.” BATTLESHIP! The game you play only when you’re bored to death at age 6-12. The one everybody cheated at because no one would know. That “Battleship?” I think I’ve been playing it wrong all these years. I had no idea one of us was supposed to be aliens. That would have made the thing way more enjoyable. “G-14.” “Miss because I flew straight up in the air and dodged it.” “Aww man, why do I always have to be the stupid old United States?!” Why the hell would aliens have boats? And how did those giant ships LAND IN THE WATER without anybody even noticing it? And is Liam Neeson going to have a confrontational moment with the leader of the alien wherein he’s supposed to deliver the line “You sunk my battleship,” and make it in any way believable? He is, isn’t he? Goddammit. I’d rather take a battle-shit.



-Kanderson has stormed away from the computer in disgust, but thanks you for reading and invites you to follow him on teh TWITTERS

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  1. Juliette Carcovich says:

    Okay battleship wasn’t terrible but I’m not saying it was amazing either.
    My first problem with this is that it based of a freakin board game, I mean seriously what the freak?
    Second I know its made by hasbro and so is transformers but the alien ships in battleship looked EXACTLY like the ones from transformers. Come on people get a clue.
    Third, Rihanna is a singer not an actor but she was surprisingly good.
    I think those are all my complaints
    Oh and one more thing, anybody out there who bashes transformers can go and frag themselves cuz you don’t know what a good movie is when you see it

  2. Enlight_Bystand says:

    Might the crasy game be Aussie Rules?

  3. Bri says:

    @elbueno THANK YOU for recognizing Tim Riggins, but did you also notice Landry was the one who initially spotted the… mysterious space thing? I feel like everyone is severely missing the beauty of two Friday Night Lights characters fighting space aliens at sea.

  4. Randy says:


  5. SeggyGetsHyphy says:

    Apparently this is what just happened

    Liam Neeson: “You sunk my Battleship!”

    Megatron driving the Harvester ship from Terminator Salvation: “Hahahahaha! I peeked at your board when you took your 3D glasses off!”

  6. This trailer makes me miss Kurt Russel. This movie needs a bad boy, not G.I. Generic.

    I also miss when women are hot AND have personality as love interests. The end.

  7. Tom Darling says:

    1. I don’t understand how Neeson could get roped into this AND A-Team. He’s both Qui-Gon Jin and Oscar Schindler, for gosh sake! He was perfectly cast as Hannibal, but doesn’t he read the scripts? At least in Taken he acted his age (kind of). At least Samuel L. Jackson thought the idea/title of Snakes on a Plane was funny. Ugh.

    2. In the UK, Shutes and Ladders is Snakes and Ladders. Great horror, tension, trapped-in-a-house/cave concept piece.

    3. In truth, any game holds the basics to a decent plot. But why add aliens (other than a cynical Transformers rip-off, which hasn’t worked for any other move since Transformers I.)? A stripped down naval drama on par with The Enemy Below could have been a low budget thriller. And Battleship could even lend itself to being a Saving Private Ryan for the Navy. Of course, this all takes good writing (and not a team approach saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if….).

    4. What wrong with marrying a mattress salesman?

  8. Joyce says:

    This reminds me of Armageddon (with the “You’re in love with my daughter & I am your boss” angle)
    meets Transformers (alien robots! in disguise!)

    ….. but with boats.

    Cause that’ll make it better!


  9. Nathaniel Wedgington Hornswagle III says:

    I’m glad it has orange and teal. I hate when movies omit that.

  10. Beeznitchio says:

    [Lloyd Bentson]I have seen Mystery Science Theater 3000. I know Mystery Science Theater 3000. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was one of my favorite programs. Senator, you’re no MST3000.[/Lloyd Bentson]

  11. Ethan says:


    Tee hee! You called soccer football.

  12. Jeremy says:

    I love Liam Neesom, but I don’t think even he can save this bad movie. It’s a bad idea altogether to base a 2 hour movie on a game that doesn’t come packed with a story. What’s next….Hungry Hungry Hippos in IMAX 3D???

  13. Julie says:

    I saw this trailer in the theatre yesterday.

    There was mostly stunned silence, until the word ‘BATTLESHIP’ appeared on screen when there was audible giggling and a hilarious, collective ‘WHAT?!’ from the audience.

  14. Arturo Sanchez says:

    Curse Hollywood and their unoriginal ideas!!!!

  15. Three Toes of Fury says:

    red band trailer…..

    {police interrogation room. cop questioning suspect. cop played by edward norton. suspect played by Crispin Glover looking batshit crazy as ever)

    cop: “Im tired of your bullshit! We both know that you are the SixSided Killer. I want you to be Straight with me or i’ll Flush your sorry ass down the prison shitter. You killed the entire Johnson family during their reunion..they had a Full House. This is your last Chance…come clean or fucking roll the dice and i’ll see to it that the judge sends you to the chair!!!!”

    suspect “Am i the killer??…{smiles…evil laugh}…..YAHTZEE!”

    YAHTZEE: coming memorial day 2012

  16. Jules says:

    Liam Neeson’s battleship is so big, it could never be sunk.

  17. Three toes of Fury says:


    “Major! Our base is under heavy attack!! It would appear there was a spy in our midst and he killed Marshall Gaim Piece. Scouts are advancing on all fronts and not stopping!!! Jesus Christ we think they’re using Miners to diffuse the bombs protection our…(BOOOOOOM!)…..flaaaag…………….”

    comming soon STRATEGO

  18. Three Toes of Fury says:

    Nathanial H: node thread sounds fun! go for it!

    Magnoliafan: LOL! i just finished the most recent Hollywood Babbleon…the Liam Neesons cock bit is @#[email protected] hilarious.

  19. Magnoliafan says:

    Was that a battleship or Liam Neeson’s cock?

  20. Nathaniel H. says:

    Do they ever let Brooklyn Decker wear clothes in movies?

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the same thing Sawyer mentioned: according to Liam Neeson, this guy is basically a navy hero… and that’s wasting himself? Someone needs to run that one by me again.

    As for the movie itself, I’ll probably see it. Good ol’ fashioned turn off your brain type flick. I do love me some Transformers, after all. Though I haven’t seen the new one yet…

    Hey, Three Toes, mind if I steal your idea there and make a Node thread? Or you can. Either way, it’d be fun to see folks make a whole bunch of those tags.

  21. elbueno says:

    Tim Riggins wants to bang Neeson’s daughter, shaves head. Eric Northman doesn’t like any of this and decides to send Riggins out to “investigate” some mysterious ship.

    My guess is that Riggins gets totally wasted prior to investigating the ship and ends up having hallucinations about an alien space ship. The ship doesn’t really exist, is actually a dragonfly.

    He wakes up, passed out in a dinghy, and decides to go back to Lyla Garrity.

  22. Michelle says:

    Thanks, Kyle, for taking something so horrid & terrifying and making it funny. I will now picture kids playing the game like this and be not quite as dejected at this film’s creation.

    LOL @Aarika and @ThreeToes! “Discs of Terror” and Hungry, Hungry Hippos!

  23. UnklPhil says:

    @Artie I also thought it was rugby at first, because they are way too physical for it to be soccer, but one player was definitely wearing shin pads. I can’t see a ball, so maybe they’re just shoving each other for the fun of it.

    Besides, why would they play rugby?

  24. Kyle Anderson says:

    Thanks, most of you, for being cool and getting what these posts are about. You all are awesome.

    Mike #1 and JB,
    You guys know that this is a website run by a comedian, right? Are you guys the kind of people who watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 and say “Aww, you’re ruining this movie with all your talking.” Sorry if I’m harshin’ your buzz about “Battleship,” but it’s a fucking movie about aliens based on a board game.

  25. Three Toes of Fury says:

    ooooo Zak…good timing…i was just working on a Candyland tagline but i couldnt think of anything good…dont remember the game enough but would kinda envision the 2012 version being a derranged clown implementing some kind of Saw meets Willy Wonka for a group of college students breaking into an old candy factory. The Oompa Loompa zombies would be worth the price of admission alone.

  26. Zak R. says:

    What’s interesting about this film to me is how clearly it demonstrates all the necessary requirements for a modern Hollywood “blockbuster” formula film: recognizable franchise, action, romance, big name star, big effects, big explosions, heavy advertising, merchandising, pro-American sentiments, and of course zero plot. The only novelty is that the franchise they’re milking is a board game, which is somewhat new territory (did I just imagine hearing that someone was making a “Candyland” film?), but otherwise this appears to be completely cookie-cutter film-making.

  27. Three Toes of Fury says:

    “NURSE!!! Get me 200cc’s of anticoagulant STAT! I am not going to let this patient die…not on my watch! I dont care if he’s a humanoid robot..dangerously close to shorting out….he’s still my patient!! Now hand me that removal tool! We need to get at and remove the piece of shrapnel imbeedded in his stomach. It appears to be the shape of a breadbaske….BZZZZZZRRRRTTTT….beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep (flatline)”.

    OPERATION June 2012

  28. Three toes of Fury says:


    First there was a killer shark in Jaws.
    Then there was an angry dog in Cujo.
    Then there was the rise of the Apes.
    Now Paramount pictures brings an all new animal terror….

    (cut to lab covered in blood…dying man typing final words on computer screen)

    “….experiment went horribly wrong…..test subject animal group C13 responded erratically to vaccine….created rage and hunger….group C13 attacked, killed, and ate staff….escaped…unstoppable……group c13 animal class hippopotamous……”


  29. Three Toes of Fury says:

    “LISTEN UP SOLDIERS! I cant promise you that we’re going to survive this push into enemy territory. Some of you are going to die. They’ve booby trapped the field with trap door slides leading to your death. But if we dont make a stand..well…humanity is lost. NOW GET UP THOSE LADDERS AND FIGHT!!!”

    from the film CHUTES .n. LADDERS, 2012

  30. Brian E. says:

    “I eagerly anticipate Kanderson’s future review of Connect Four: Discs of Terror.”

    LOL Nice!

    Yeah this movie looks incredibly stupid.

  31. Bob says:

    This looks terrible and yet so did all three Transformers movies. Those all made a bazillion dollars anyway and I bet this will too.

  32. JB says:

    This is just a big fail and embarrasing.. and im not talking about the trailer…
    U can make any trailer/movie/whatever look like shite by dissecting it like this…

  33. Cinders says:

    Ugh! Horrible! It’s like Transformers: Aqua Force. I guess the only redeeming part is Alex Skaaaarrrrrrsssgard is in it.

  34. Hickspy says:

    I was astonished when I found out this trailer wasn’t from funnyordie.

  35. Mike says:

    Oh that was God awful…I mean I read it and thought it can’t be THAT bad….it was.
    What is up with these crappy ass remakes of TV shows, movies and board games….next thing you know they will remake a musical and have it star midget that worships a dead science fiction writer.

  36. Sawyer says:

    Here’s what I don’t get; wouldn’t the father be happy that his daughter was hooking up with a Navy star instead of some sadsack lower who got kicked out, for example? I mean, it could be worse; she could be engaged to a mattress salesman, for example. Shouldn’t he be happy she’s gone for a guy with talent instead? I can suspend disbelief for everything else in the trailer (even the idea that Rihanna is in the navy) except that.

  37. Artie says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s rugby, not football.

  38. Aarika says:

    Excellent trailer recap. I somehow know I’ll end up seeing this movie and that really hurts me.

    I eagerly anticipate Kanderson’s future review of Connect Four: Discs of Terror.

  39. Katie says:

    That’s almost the same reaction that I had when I saw the trailer for Real Steel, a.k.a. Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots the movie.

  40. After reading that time-detailed rundown…well, I was going to say thank you for saving me the two minutes of viewing the trailer, but it felt like it took two minutes to read. 😉

    Tired of bad movies. Tired of remakes. Just tired…and old…and crabby…and stuff. 🙂

  41. Shannon says:

    Sorry Mike, I’m with Kanderson.

  42. Mike says:

    Wow, you’re a bummer. It’s supposed to be stupid and cheesy. It’s a movie about Battleship. If everyone was acting like it was a big joke, it wouldn’t be funny. It may be a common “nerd” trait to think that you’re the only one who sees what’s really going on, but it’s not true and you miss out on the joke entirely.