It’s a little early to name the best movie of the year (hint: it ain’t Green Lantern), but it’s not too early to name my favorite movie of 2012. That would be Battleship, the naval action spectacle based on the popular Hasbro board game. With a cast that includes Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker and, uh, Rihanna, how could it go wrong? And did I mention the plot? According to the good folks at Wikipedia, it’s about an “international navy fleet engaged in a very dynamic and intense battle against an alien race .”
Sounds just like the popular game we all grew up with, right?
Now that we’re putting everyone’s favorite childhood memories on the table, without fretting over such inconvenient details as, oh, say, what they were really about, I have only one question.
Where do I sign up?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not just looking for a cheap buck—although if Hollywood comes calling, I’m not going to turn my nose up at any tractor-trailers carrying bags of cash with dollar signs on them, like in those old Scrooge McDuck comic books. No, sir. If movie studios are eager to cash in on my childhood, then I have an obligation—nay, a duty—to offer my assistance. After all, as a perpetual adolescent who’s been 15 for more than 25 years, I’m their target audience.
Without further ado, here are my suggestions for pillaging strip-mining capitalizing on those favorite toys of yesteryear.
Army Men: This one’s too easy, since the video game industry has already provided us with the template: a series of games about molded-plastic combat troops doing battle against giant real-world backdrops (flowerbeds, workbenches, etc.). Forget the games’ backstory and just get to the money shot: tiny little soldiers waging bloody war across a typical suburban home, from the kitchen to the backyard.
During WWII, an elite squad of Allied soldiers (including Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis and Brendan Fraser) infiltrates a top-secret laboratory to stop the Nazis from launching a teleportation device. Something goes horribly wrong, and Axis and Allied troops alike are transported across time and space to the home of little Timmy Burrows in Wilmington, Delaware. Oh, and they’re now like an inch tall. And throw in some cowboys and Indians while we’re at it, just to spice things up. Picture a cavalry regiment flattened by a car tire, or a mad German scientist played by Ralph Fiennes—the troops’ only hope of returning home—snatched up in the jaws of a giant housecat! It’s got franchise—and Oscar—written all over it. You know, like Lord of the Rings.
Barbie: Who else but Gwyneth Paltrow could portray this glamorous fashion model, teacher, doctor, homemaker, astronaut and President of the United States? And who else but Bradley Cooper would fill role of her love interest, vapid male model turned football star turned Wall Street trader Ken? It’s a romantic comedy, a medical drama and six different action movies rolled into one. Will their love survive the crash of the stock market, a triple heart transplant, and a terrorist attack during the Super Bowl? You’ll have to wait for the sequel.
Hot Wheels: Picture the Fast and the Furious franchise or the Smokey and the Bandit movies, without all the bothersome plot and attempts at acting. Picture dozens—no, hundreds of the sleekest, meanest machines ever built, let loose across the highways of this great land for two hours of car chases and spectacular explosions. Done! Next?
Sea Monkeys: An oil drill destroys an underwater city of humanoid fish-men, prompting all-out undersea war—in 3-D! It’s got an environmental message—like Avatar, except underwater! Liam Neeson is the lord of this ancient aquatic civilization, with Amy Adams as his impudent daughter, who falls in love with marine biologist Shia LaBeouf. The guy who plays Gollum needs to be in there somewhere, too. I think it’s a law.
Slinky: Nuclear scientist Kevin James activates a new supercollider poised to create a brand-new, clean, renewable source of energy. But oily Vince Vaughn sabotages the experiment so that his company can continue to profit from our dependence on fossil fuels. Hey, maybe it’s the same company that destroys the sea monkeys in the other movie! Anyway, the supercollider becomes a giant perpetual-motion coil of doom that, um, slinks across the country, destroying everything in its path! Alcoholic President Tom Arnold sends a team of specialists—Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Zooey Deschanel—to stop this helix of atomic death from… well … spiraling about. Who cares how they stop it? It’s got property damage! Explosions! And let’s add a bit of gratuitous—I mean, tasteful nudity. You know, for the foreign markets.
Spielberg, call me! And mail the checks to me care of this website.