I can’t lie– this movie had plot holes so large you could steer the eponymous vessel through them without worrying about scratching the paint job.

USS Missouri refuels (1980s refit) www.ussmiss...

It’s certainly not the first movie based on a game. We even have movies based on games that didn’t exist, like Jumanji and Zathura.  It tried way too hard with the flying peg weapons. And yet there were some things it did that I thought were pretty awesome.

#1 Rihanna

Rihanna’s weapons officer character was based in part on a real female naval weapons officer who consulted on set. Although she’s a secondary character, she’s a strong presence as a professional doing her job. I think it’s fabulous that Rihanna was willing and able to drop her pop princess persona for the character. The character doesn’t do anything remarkable or special, except that females competently handling their job (including making sure that silly bridge officers don’t accidentally get killed and herding a slightly gormless subordinate around) without any commentary is rare and wonderful in today’s movie scene.

See an interview with Rihanna  Here

#2 “They Killed My Grad Student!”

Nerdy researcher, yet another secondary character, in a stock character sort of role. Yet despite his niche as “timid egghead”, this character still manages to kick some alien booty and take names, and is useful *because* he’s smart, not in spite of it. His poor grad student wasn’t quite so lucky. . .

#3 Wounded Soldier

Colonel Gregory Gadson, a double amputee still in active service, played a wounded veteran in this movie. His portrayal of a man with life-changing injuries who still feels great responsibility towards his country and his duty is lovely and a great icon of our wounded soldier/wounded veteran community.  Some of his “rehab” scenes were filmed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, with more actual wounded soldiers in the footage. I can see that some people might find this a bit manipulative and/or exploitative. Personally I think we need more veterans in movie placements and roles like these.

Read about Col Gadson Here

#4 Geezers for the Win

And some more veteran action, the movie cast several older veterans to act as the retired crew of the retired Battleship USS Missouri.  I’m a sucker for any movie that shows older people being active, useful, respected members of the community.

Read more about the Old Salts Here

#5 Liam Neeson

Under-utilized, but still 100% scary and awesome as the admiral. Set “suspension of disbelief” to maximum, lock your common sense in a closet (hopefully blindfolded and sedated), and enjoy the explosions. Say a prayer for that poor doomed grad student, and maybe one for Taylor Kitsch when he has to face down Liam Neeson.

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