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With the fate of the Transformers franchise still in the works as Michael Bay allegedly works out a deal to direct the fourth one, next summer we'll be getting what looks like the next best thing. I hadn't been thinking of Peter Berg's upcoming Battleship-- yes, based on the board game-- as the heir apparent to Transformers but it's hard to think of anything else watching this new trailer, which reveals a lot of the alien warfare and CGI shots and even sound effects that bring Optimus Prime firmly to mind. You can watch the trailer below.
Everything from that opening text-- "From Hasbro, the company that brought you Transformers"-- to the metallic booming effects to the little ball alien that throws out a tentacle and rips through a plane feels so, so much like a Transformers movie. Then there's Brooklyn Decker as your random hottie with very few lines, Taylor Kitsch as the rugged but relatable leading man, plenty of enormous explosions-- all you need is some shots at "magic' hour" and some lame jokes to have the perfect Bay formula.
To be fair to everyone involved, you'd be an idiot not to market this movie on the back of Transformers, one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. Universal especially, attempting to launch a franchise beyond the Fast and Furious movies, is smart to take whatever leg up they can get. Knowing that Peter Berg has done good work in the past I'm not willing to write this off just yet as a simple Transformers knockoff, but I'm frustrated that there doesn't seem to be a single original reason to look forward to it. Couldn't they have shown us the parts of the film that don't feel familiar, or given us a sense of why this one has real characters, or better dialogue, or something? Every summer needs some good big budget spectacle, but do they all have to be identical to each other?
Let us know what you think of the trailer in the comments below. Battleship comes to theaters May 18 next year.