10 years ago, Rihanna made a terrifying sci-fi movie — and started an even worse Hollywood trend

Battleship is a bad movie. There’s really no way to beat around the bush — or the grid — of a summer blockbuster that sucks so badly that even Rihanna can’t save it from doom. The 2012 board game adaptation had a wealth of compelling actors and impressive alien ships, but none of it was enough to keep its anemic dialogue and lousy story alive.

Directed by Peter Berg and starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna and Liam Neeson, Battleship debuted May 18, 2012…to indifference at the box office. Seeing it a decade after its theatrical release doesn’t enhance the viewing experience. However, the anniversary reveals one thing: Battleship opened the door for toy makers eager to break into the entertainment landscape, quietly influencing Hollywood and serving as a blueprint for how not customize a board game.

From the plastic board to the big screen

Battleship has origins that can be traced back almost 100 years. Introduced in the 1930s, the game was played with a pad and pencil until 1967 when Milton Bradley developed a version that used a plastic pegboard. In 1979, it was one of the first games to be reimagined for computers. Most people have tried at least once in their lives to track down their opponents’ plastic ships.

The original game doesn’t have aliens, however Battleship, The film asks a radical question: What if for some reason it was like this? As with most alien contact stories, the results are disastrous. An alien mothership isolates the Hawaiian Islands and cuts off all communications within its shield, forcing the US Navy’s most handsome officers to destroy the alien threat without the aid of radar.

What follows are 131 minutes of empty bombast. There’s plenty of ooh-and-aah visuals, but not much character or plot development between the explosions and alien attacks. It’s at least fun to look at, but the most notable element of Battleship is that neither Hasbro nor other toy companies have given up hope of making it in Hollywood.

How Games Influenced Hollywood

You met my alien monstrosity. Universal images

Hasbro’s first transformation of toys into theaters, 2007 transformers, was a smash hit, and subsequent Transformers movies (revenge of the fallen 2009 and The dark side of the moon in 2011) also did well at the box office. Hasbro’s simultaneous attempts to convert GI Joe for the big screen (The Rise of the Cobra and retribution 2009 and 2013), followed by Battleship, were less than outstanding.

Rather than throw in the towel, Hasbro turned its attention back to it transformers, the release of three more films. During transformers 2 through 5 failed to captivate audiences like the original, its sixth attempt – bumblebee in 2018 – was a smash hit, surpassing the critical and public reception of the original and proving that maybe toys can make it in Hollywood. Battleship taught Hasbro and Hollywood what not to do, and eventually the floodgates opened.

The seventh transformers snap, Rise of the Beastsshould appear in 2023. Hasbro will also participate dungeonswith an upcoming film set to debut on March 3, 2023.

Taylor Kitsch does his best to get involved Battleship. Universal images

This trend goes beyond Hasbro. Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed the triumph of LEGO, Sonic the Hedgehog and Pikachu on screen in CGI, and The Witcher, Castlevania, Carmen Sandiego, The Cuphead Show!, and League of Legends: Arcane All become Netflix favorites.

Fans can look forward to even more titles based on toys, board games and video games, such as Greta Gerwig’s live-action Barbie, as well as other Mattel properties like Polly Pocket, Masters of the Universe, Magic 8-Ball, and U.N. always the canvas treatment. Netflix develops live-action series based on Assassin’s Creed and Far cry, during HBO produces one last of us Series with a leading role The Mandalorian Pedro Pascal and Hildas Bella Ramsey.

Hollywood shows no signs of slowing down its game-to-screen adaptations. So thank you (or curse) Battleship, for not drowning the hopes of toy companies trying to make it big in Tinseltown. Sometimes you have to sink before you can learn to swim. Or sailing.

Battleship leaves Netflix on May 31.

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