I hate the precocious kid trope that dominates TV and film.
It’s clearly perpetuated by the lazy and/or the childless. If you’ve ever seen children up close, you know they are capable of dim, ill-considered actions even on a quiet day.
They require closer observation than high-risk felons in a super max.
And teenagers are worse.
That said, I couldn’t be too angry with director Peter Berg for wedging in a subplot about a pair of teenage stowaways aboard a destroyer. Even though the youths had absolutely no business in a war pitting the U.S. Navy against alien invaders on the seas around Hawaii their presence was, at least, tolerable.
And that’s because they behaved in shallow, narcissistic, irresponsible ways.
Based on the old Hasbro Battleship game, this movie is something of a patriotic Transformers. Navy destroyers including the U.S.S. John Paul Jones are attacked by an advance guard of alien bad guys with awesome, if limited, weapons.
As Lieutenant Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) rallies the crew of the Jones for a life and death clash, with the fate of the planet hanging in the balance, his stowaway niece and nephew accidentally knock out the ship’s radar trying to play video games.
|The game in question; meta marketing at it's very best.|
At first the two teens (Kleven Monk and Taylor Henweigh) lie furiously, denying any connection to the incident. Then they are confronted with irrefutable camera evidence. After a half-hearted attempt at, “That doesn’t even look like me,” they shift gears and blame one another, then sulk and make passive-aggressive remarks.
During this exchange several vessels are sunk and Hong Kong is destroyed.
The teens later ingest drugs and interfere with weapons firing because they are taking cell phone pictures of the alien assault vessel to post on Facebook.
|"It was a HIT! I repeat, L-7, HIT!|
At no point do the teens outwit adults or come up with a good idea that saves the day. And that’s because they really don’t know anything other than goofing off.
Berg must have teenage kids and they must really cheese him big time. That’s my guess. Other than that I have no idea why they were on screen.
Unfortunately meth addicts edited this film. No scene is longer than two seconds. After awhile, everything blurs into a stream of consciousness that leaves you wondering if you even just saw a movie.
The only evidence is popcorn on your shirt.
Two and a half stars for realistic portrayal of alien invaders.