Battleship clip lashes the tail

Hasbro has released the first clip for its upcoming board-game based alien invasion action film Battleship. In the video, an alien ship fires a volley against an American military installation.

The new footage makes it clear that these strange, glowing, metallically menacing weapons are not just bombs or missiles of some kind. Rather, they seem to be machines or intelligently controlled weapons – perhaps even a vehicle for the alien forces – making them seem more malevolent than we have seen thus far.

The effects for this film, so far, all look pretty impressive. Unfortunately, that seems to be all that we’re getting from this one.if you leave your brain turned on in the theater, you probably won’t be able to enjoy the film. Of course, it’s still more than I ever expected from a film based on a plotless semi-tactical boardgame.

The idea of the boardgame, if you somehow haven’t played before, is that each player fires missiles blindly at the opponent’s ocean, only knowing if their missile hits, then basing further moves on the pattern of hits and misses, taking turns until one fleet or the other is completely covered in little red ‘hit’ markers. Mostly it’s a game of chance, with little actual skill unless you get two players who know the game or each other very well.

In this film, the blind firing is represented by a lack of ability to ‘see’ the alien ships on sonar or radar, and the limited engagement space is created by a force-field the aliens deploy.

The ships, guided by a surly Liam Neeson and a rebellious Taylor Kitsch, will have to find a way to fend off the aliens blindly from inside their limited field of engagement. The sub-plot puts Kitsch’s character in bed with Neeson’s character’s daughter, played by Brooklyn Decker.

Here’s the latest trailer, for reference:

Battleship, which also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Josh Pence, Jesse Plemons and Peter MacNicol, opens May 18, 2012.