American Warships premiered on the Syfy channel as one of their Original Saturday Night popcorn “B” TV-movies. But was it the usual fare or did it fail miserably as some of these Asylum produced movies usually do? Read on in this review and find out!
American Warships stars Mario Van Peebles as Captain Winston, Carl Weathers as the land-based General McKraken, Johanna Watts as Lt. Caroline Bradley & Nikki McCauley as Dr. Julia Flynn.
The movie opens with a disclaimer saying these events never happened. We then pan across an ocean scene, seeing a large naval fleet in motion. Suddenly two jets crash for no reason and two missile looking objects hit the aircraft carrier and it sinks.
We jump to scene where some men pick up General McKraken, then jump to the U.S.S. Iowa and an admiral and Captain Winston are chatting about making the ship a museum. While in transit to San Pedro, they’re told that the navy has lost contact with some naval ships and are redirected to the action as they divert the soon-to-be museum that is unarmed, into the action.
As they arrive at the region, two inbound missiles are detected and they use the defensive Gatling gun systems to destroy them. (Nice that the museum was fully armed!) They retaliate with Harpoons but the ship in the water turns invisible and they miss. They then fire with other guns on the last visual location of the ship.
Then something shorts out ALL electrical equipment on the ship, but the Iowa is so old that it still stays operational. All the vacuum tube equipment is still good.
Meanwhile, in the background are international tensions that could cause world war 3 and the movie becomes a classic representation of Battleship as the combatants exchange rounds, sometimes hitting, sometimes not. While the tensions between countries around the world depends on what happens here in this patch of the ocean.
As morally opposed I am to these rip-off mock ups, it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. I’ve seen some of the Asylum productions that were so horrible that it was insulting. In fact, so insulting that I stopped watching Syfy for weeks afterwards because they actually aired them. But this production was a bit better than I expected and I actually ended up watching the entire movie. (That in itself is a point to take note of.)
Don’t get me wrong, yesteryear’s digital effects package that is used in third world schools was the power behind the imagery. The script was as flat as the usual Saturday night movie.
Peebles delivered a very flat captain who tended to look out at the horizon when delivering lines. (And damn, were those not the biggest binoculars you’ve ever seen?)
Weathers was a subdued but wise General, but it was nice to see him in something new.
And aside from some of the usual hokey visuals, they had nabbed some stock footage of a battleship in motion and it looked like, of one firing some small guns.
As a Saturday night movie, American Warships was on par with Syfy’s usual fare… not one of their best, but not as bas as it could be. I don’t think you’ll be too bored with this TV movie if you ever see it show up on your schedule!