Image courtesy Universal. Because I don't want this crap on my server.

I have never walked in on my parents having sex. I have never discovered a roach leg stuck to the inside of the foil lid of my half-eaten yogurt cup. And I have definitely never tongue-kissed a hot girl for half the night just to find out she was a transvestite. 

But I have watched “Battleship.”

I’m just going to jump right in and say that this movie produces the kind of mental scarring that makes one long for the memory-numbing effects of oxygen deprivation, severe head trauma, and electroshock therapy. I’m having trouble sleeping, frankly. I keep waking up yelling “chicken burrito!” Drugs and hypnotherapy are doing absolutely nothing for me.

I’m not going to give a comprehensive review of this film, because it would require me to mentally revisit it and … urp … *gag* … no. Besides, where should I even start?

OK, take every ‘80s movie you ever saw that involved a rebel screwup who gets a chance to “get his act together” and make something of himself after he is forced into a structured and highly disciplined environment. Throw in anything by Michael Bay, if you can stand the aroma. Toss in just a dash of stoned fanboy musings over microwaved burritos and Pop-Tarts—the kind of conversations that start with phrases like “Whoa, what if we made a movie about …” Stir it all to hell and serve it on a plate covered in a thick, gooey bed of every movie cliche you’ve ever seen and seen and seen. Now you have the first five minutes.

It gets worse. 

We’ve got heroic good guys who die pointless deaths. Mouthy and uppity military types who are somehow, simultaneously, the “chronic screwup” and “the guy in charge.” The random decision to show every main character giving commands while holding a mug of coffee in a their monkey paw. Linchpin characters who only show up for two scenes. Celebrity B-listers who are overplaying the dramatic pauses and soul-searching. “Sassy” celebrity pop stars who are overdoing … just … friggin’ everything (what the HELL Rihanna?) Honest-to-God veterans of real, actual wars, who can’t act but are still the only actual high point of the movie. And finally, at the end of the credits, a surprise teaser scene that drones on into non-sequitur insanity, and yet is STILL more interesting and has more of a plot than the rest of the movie. 

What the hell is Liam Neeson doing in this thing? Between this and playing  Qui-Gon Jinn in “Star Wars: Episode One,” I’m starting to think someone is holding this guy’s family hostage somewhere.

I’ll be frank … I hate this movie. I know, I know, “Way to spoil the surprise.” I’m also the guy who blurted out “OH! Bruce Willis is DEAD!” fifteen minutes into “Sixth Sense.” Forgive me, I’m a big fat ruiner. But this movie makes me want to kill all humans again. Or, at the very least, I want to beg someone to jab the arms of my glasses into my eyes and hang me with the waistband of my underwear. I’m creative.

Don’t watch this. 

I know, now you’ll be all “HOLY CRAP, now ALL I can think about is pink elephants!” And that’s fair. Because I didn’t heed any warnings either, and now I’m praying for brain trauma to take the bad things away. But trust me … don’t watch this. It will only end in self mutilation and/or expensive therapy bills. Go watch your parents having sex instead. Take popcorn.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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