Humans find a planet which is similar to the earth. They set up a communication base in Hawaii and start sending signals to this distant planet using satellite links. But very soon, the aliens from Planet G descend on the earth to colonize it. So, the fate of the earth depends on a highly unlikely hero, currently engaged in peace operations with Japanese Navy, elevated to a leadership role . This is the premise of movie adapted from the board game with the same name and directed by Peter Berg.
The movie suffers because of the script. The script tries to infuse as many cliches as witnessed in the movie history into one movie. They also try advertising or product placement for the US armed forces namely rehabilitation of the wounded veterans. If this is not enough, the setting is Pearl Harbor and joint exercises are with Japanese. With the film releasing during Memorial Day weekend in US, we already know where they are aiming. Then you have the customary sidekicks who mouth one liners intended to make everyone laugh during the action. To add to the crowded scenario, they bring back the World War II veterans for the climax to demonstrate old (technology) is gold and comes in handy when everything else fails. The WW II veterans have done their part. Why don't you guys leave them alone during their retirement? In sum total, the movie tries to say a lot of things but unable to focus on anything.
You have Alex Hopper(Taylor Kitsch) with a lot of potential who is always helped by his big brother Stone Hopper(Alexander Skarsgard) Commanding Officer of a destroyer and always eyed suspiciously by Vice Admiral Shane(Liam Neeson) for being his daughter Sam(Brooklyn Decker)'s boyfriend. We don't see any potential in Alex other than breaking into a convenience store to get a chicken burrito for Sam! But Alex can quote Homer and also The Art of War at opportune moments! After the initial long minutes of tension building between Alex and everyone on Hawaii, the action kicks in. That is when the movie becomes watchable at places primarily due to the graphics and also the sound design.The scene in which the battleship performs a half-doughnut is remarkable because it is perfect example of an otherwise impossible shot implemented with the help of CGI. The scene works because the half-doughnut maneuver is shown with an aerial shot too. Performance wise, there is nothing much to write about. If you are wondering about Rihanna, I am also wondering about her; about why she agreed to feature in a silly role.
There are two circumstances in which I will recommend this movie to you. The first, you are ready to suspend every ounce of disbelief from your system. The second, you love sound of action. Otherwise, skip it.