For about an hour it's a all going swimmingly. Aliens arrive, Hong Kong gets hit by one of their spacecraft, and one American navy ship gets trapped behind a forcefield with the rest of the critters. Aces. The aliens are cool. They look a bit Halo(ish), i.e. men in suits with lizard eyes but they do the menacing thing quiet nicely and they have some kit that turns a couple of navy vessels into molten metal. Cool.
Taylor Kitsch is the lead, reminiscent of Ray Liotta at his blandest, he sort of passes through the film, his character on some sort of yawn fest of a 'journey'. But it doesn't really matter, the explosions are big and loud and y'know... the aliens and that. Cool.
AND THEN.... BOOM! IT ALL GOES AWFUL.
It's like that time your grandfather took you to McDonalds and the cute girl from school was there and he said, 'What on earth is a Big Mac, we're not eating here, let's go to that place where none of the cute girls you like will be and where there is nothing called a Big Mac.' Remember THAT?! It's like that.
Instead of 'enjoyable but implausible' it dives bombs into laughable. Old men are sat up high, on a ship. A battleship. And it's just hilariously bad. It doesn't sound hilariously bad. Trust Diary of a Ledger, it is hilariously bad.
The ending is mawkish in the extreme, the script delivering more cheese than a really cheesy cheese thing stuffed with cheese.
It's a pity because for an hour there is a lot to like in an easily forgotten sort of way. It was never going to be anything other than an effects fest and if that's your bag you'll enjoy the ride. But when the two hundredth and first ACDC song kicks in it's time to get up and go. You'll miss a legless man taking on an alien but there will be no old men, who have apparently been waiting ALL THEIR LIVES to kick some alien butt, standing up high. On a ship.