This young century has brought us many wonders, ranging from the iPhone to replacing bread with meat, but chief among them has been the explosion of parody films. What was once a trickle of Scary Movies and Loaded Weapons has blossomed in the 2000s into a gushing river of spoofs, the most recent of which include Superhero Movie (superhero movies), Vampires Suck (Twilight movies) and Up In the Air (critically acclaimed movies). Now the stakes have been raised yet again by the brilliant Peter Berg and his 2012 blockbuster Battleship. The trailer for the $200 million film, released today, reveals it to be nothing less than an elaborate, note-perfect parody of Michael Bay and his Transformers trilogy.
One needs only to watch these insane two minutes to know that it’s true. What else could be happening here? Bay has made hay with some 30-year-old toys. So Berg, logically, has reached back to hoarier source material: an 80-year-old guessing game. Only this time, instead of fellow boats, the Naval ships are going up against suspiciously transforming alien warships. And in lieu of plastic pegs, we have Brooklyn Decker and Rihanna. With the specifics taken care of, Berg can move on to nailing more significant Bay-ian details such as a bracingly lazy interest in plot (Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard as enlisted brothers is pinched from Bay’s Pearl Harbor while the hero-in-love-with-a-disapproving-father-who-is-also-his-boss angle is straight Armageddon) and committed disinterest in continuity (if Kitsch “went from enlisted to officer faster than anyone in the history of the United States Navy” — !! — then why is shown getting his hair cut now? Unless he did it as quickly as Megan Fox went from car-washer to actress). There’s also an ample supply of women hired for their racks more than their resumé (Berg sees Bay’s Rosie Huntington-Whitely with the aforementioned Decker and raises him an unproven pop star in camo) and shamelessly paychecking Oscar nominees (just how brutal are Liam Neeson’s mortgage payments, anyway?).
All that’s left is for Berg to crank up the cock-rock and let the weapons fly. How many weapons, you ask? As Neeson mutters in between calls to his broker, “all of them.” Hilarious! Truly, Peter Berg is a subversive, comedic genius. And, according to the countdown clock (classic Bay!) on the official website there are only 295 days remaining until we can all laugh it up together. While Berg, of course, will be laughing all the way to the bank.