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Watch: Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna get real in new 'Battleship' trailer

Liam Neeson leads the crew against Transformer-like villains in new clip

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"Battleship" is a tale of two trailers.

The first trailer for the latest based-on-a-boardgame epic, looked like CW-approved, tongue-in-cheek fun, complete with trite music cues and a lurid twenty-something romance (between Taylor Kitsch and Brooklyn Decker).  The limited glimpses of effects-driven action were saved for the second half.

The new trailer is more focused and serious, but there are still large chunks of it that look like a tired retread of "Transformers" at sea (naturally, "Transformers" is also a Hasbro property). The special effects in the clip look aces, and it's hard to turn down Liam Neeson as a Naval commander -- not to mention Rihanna in her cute little uniform.


"Inspired" by Hasbro's classic naval combat game, the film pits Liam Neeson and a crew of young hotties (Including, in her film debut, Rihanna) against some sort of alien robots that want to destroy Earth. Alexander Skarsgård ("True Blood") and Asano Tadanobu also star.

Director Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights"), who at one point was slated to adapt Frank Herbert's "Dune," brought a smart, offbeat sensibility to his other action-oriented films "Hancock" and "The Rundown," so he hopefully found the right tone for the film as opposed to Hasbro insisting it be heir to the "Transformers" film formula (the trailer even sounds like the Michael Bay films).

"Battleship" opens nationwide May 18, 2012.

What do you think of the new trailer? Does it pique your interest? Or does it sink like a battered battleship?

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Dave Lewis
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Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at Variety.com. He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.
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