Hawaii-filmed Battleship, an action-adventure/science-fiction movie, is now making its box-office debut in theaters across the country, with star billing going Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker and Rihanna.
But that list, in circulation among movie critics and box-office news and in advertisements, omits specific mention of one ahem, HUGE star who is featured prominently in scenes with and without the lead actors: the 45,000-ton ship itself — Battleship Missouri, also known as the “Mighty Mo.”
Want to see how the historic battleship was transformed into a fully functioning movie set? Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Missouri Memorial Missouri is now offering a "Battleship the Movie Tour," which features filming areas from the movie.
In a news release issued by the memorial on Oahu, Dean Kelly, visitor experience manager at the Missouri, said: “We’re taking our guests and plopping them right onto the set as they walk the same corridors as Admiral Shane, Alex Hopper, Raikes and the crew” of Battleship, which pits humans against aliens in a fight for Earth domination.
While this is not the Missouri’s first on-screen appearance — she was featured in the movies Pearl Harbor and Under Siege as well as several TV productions — this appearance in Universal Pictures' Battleship is perhaps her most substantial on-screen role.
In the new release, Mike Carr, president of Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Missouri Memorial, said: “The Missouri has never been one to shy away from the spotlight. She cemented herself in history on Sept. 2, 1945 as the site of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces ending World War II.”
Carr added, “The partnership between Universal and the Missouri has been a tremendously positive experience for us. Through Universal, the Missouri once again took to the open seas in January 2010 as she was towed outside of Pearl Harbor far enough to allow filming without having land in the shot. This was the first time in more than a decade that she was in the open seas.”
The USS Missouri, an Iowa-class battleship, which sailed during World War II, the Korean War and Desert Storm, is fitted with nine legendary 16 inch-barrel guns capable of hurling projectiles as heavy as Volkswagens Beetles over 23 miles. According to the news release, Battleship’s filmmaking involved bringing Missouri’s armaments “back to life in dramatic fashion.”
Since opening nationwide on Friday, the movie, which somehow inspired by the classic Hasbro naval combat game, Battleship, has received mixed reviews.
The Washington Post called it an “invigorating blast of cinematic adrenaline,” while the New York Times described its plot as “unambitious as a macaroni dinner, familiar and easy to eat and not particularly nutritious.” Among the pans, the New York Post cracked: “It makes Top Gun look like the work of Orson Welles. At least the Tom Cruise movie remembered to cast actual actors.” Ouch.
Even so, the movie reportedly earned $25.4 million in ticket sales across the country over the weekend (second only to The Avengers), and has already grossed an estimated $226.8 million overseas since launching in April.
For more information about Battleship the Movie Tour, click here.
Photo: (top and middle) Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Missouri Memorial; (bottom) Battleship Missouri Memorial at sunset, Thomas Fake