Channel 4: Saturday 22 August, 8pm
Aboard admiral Liam Neeson’s ‘Battleship Galactica’, brothers Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgård face an alien armada with Top Gung-ho enthusiasm. For reasons best known to Hollywood accountants, so does pop singer Rihanna. As dumb blockbusters based on unlikely sources go (in this instance, a boardgame), it’s far dumber than anything ever made by Michael Bay. Including the Transformers films. Although the explosions look impressive, the story’s too stupid to be exciting. “It’s the North Koreans, I’m telling ya…” says a sailor. Right, because they’ve got so much money they’re the ones with the interplanetary technology straight out of The Abyss. Peter Berg directed The Kingdom. This is quite a comedown. It makes regulation TV action fare such as Last Resort and Falling Skies seem like the height of intellectual sophistication. From the start, it lurches from one pandering low point to another: a hunt for a chicken burrito accompanied by the Pink Panther theme to a ‘soccer’ tournament denied ‘overtime’ by a penalty miss. Then the alien action kicks off. Unlike The Amazing Spider-Man (which should have been classified PG), it earns its 12 rating. Bring belt, braces and earplugs: the theme song’s by Aerosmith. “We’re looking at an extinction level event,” says a boffin. In regard to movies displaying any signs of intelligent life, we certainly are. Even the Mayans didn’t see this one coming.