Yep. That's exactly what I'd expect a Peter Berg "Battleship" to look like.
It's funny… Berg is one of those guys who has definitely made enough films now that we can get a handle on him as a filmmaker, and between his writing, his producing, and his directing, he seems to be a mass of fascinating contradictions. The rancid, curdled laughs of "Very Bad Things," the heartfelt sincerity of "Friday Night Lights," and the balls-out macho of "The Rundown" all feel like the work of different people, but I get the feeling that's Berg in a nutshell. Here's a guy who is capable of great sensitivity, but who has an inner musclehead that will not be denied.
"Battleship" looks, frankly, hilarious. Berg is smart enough to know that there is something inherently ridiculous about making a film based on that game, and so he's embraced that and made a movie that looks, based on this first trailer, to be blatantly aware of what it is. That Brooklyn Decker/Taylor Kitsch stuff on the beach is straight out of the "Armageddon" playbook… all we need are some animal crackers. And the dynamic between Kitsch and Liam Neeson looks awfully familiar as well for fans of Michael Bay's movie about the meteor the size of Texas.
This movie's got a crazy long post-production process, even as it continues to shoot new footage as recently as this week. My guess is all they're shooting now are human moments, and that all the big crazy battle stuff is long since in the can so that whoever's providing the FX can be hard at work trying to make it amazing. The quick glimpses we get of the spaceships at the end of this trailer are nice, and it certainly looks like it's going to be a big concussive ride. I may not love the final script for "Hancock," but Berg can shoot big-scale mayhem as well as anyone else working right now, and that's exactly what you need for a project like this.
Keep in mind this is an early teaser, and we're not really seeing a lot of the cast here. "True Blood" fans will be frustrated by the very quick glimpse of Alexander Skarsgard, who plays Kitsch's brother in the film, but I'm sure that won't be the case in the final movie.
We've had our own people who have been part of some early looks at how "Battleship" is coming together, and we'll have that coverage for you here on HitFix in the near future. For now, though, Universal's put together a very canny first look at what to expect when this one land in theaters May 18, 2012.