Exclusive: Liam Neeson and Rihanna play and lose in “Battleship” - VIDEO

Irish actor Liam Neeson in 'Battleship'

Helpfully, the 80-year-old former sailors who once manned the ship have all inexplicably assembled on the dock in their old uniforms. They have also had the good sense to frame their unexpected appearance behind a massive stars and stripes from the maximum patriotic impact. Naturally they 1980s metal music greets their arrival.  

By this stage it’s clear that the director has either lost control of the story, or his mind, and he has decided to make a virtue of it. Who better to repel the invading hordes but the last centurions of the Greatest Generation?

The only people missing from the final confrontation are Lassie, the Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon and possibly Wonder Woman. Everyone else has presented for duty in the embarrassingly jingoistic go-USA finale. 

A word about pop star Rihanna, who plays Petty Officer Cora Raikes, in this absurd stew of cinematic clichés. She can act, and perhaps one day if given a decent script she’ll have an opportunity to. In Battleship she simply has to launch bombs, doge bombs and star in a bomb. 

Battleship cost a reported $200 million to make, and it stars world-class actors like Neeson and Japan’s Tadanobu Asano, who acquit themselves with as much dignity as people in epic explosions can muster. 

I hope that at least several of the millions this film burned have enriched Neeson’s bank account. It’s too depressing to contemplate where the rest went.

Battleship - Official Trailer