Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"My Thoughts on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" or "Yes, I Would Like Some Cheese With My Whine."

If there's one geek stereotype I've tried to avoid, it's the whiny fanboy. That being said, I'd like to apologize for what you're about to read.

I just got home from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

I have issues with it.

My big number one issue is how Michael Bay chose to portray my childhood heroes. Optimus Prime. Ironhide. Sideswipe. The Autobots as a whole. They are iconic characters to a generation. That's the key word there: characters. They are people...granted, 50-foot tall metal people, but living breathing people nonetheless.

But Michael Bay treats them as nothing but hardware...big shiny things that point big guns that go boom. There's no character development with them, we don't learn anything about them, hell, they hardly even speak!

Arcee is in this film. Arcee! Yay! Iconic for being the token female Autobot. Blink and you'll miss her. She only has two lines. I know because I counted.

These characters are more than just military machines, but military machines are all they're treated as.

In fact, a good way to look at this is like a Godzilla movie. We all know in a Godzilla movie the main appeal is watching the giant monsters slug it out. Same as with Michael Bay's Transfomers. The appeal is watching the giant robots do battle. But they have to reload some time, so while that happens, we focus on the humans, and rely on them to advance the plot. The big question in the Godzilla movies is, "How do you make the human characters interesting?" Michael Bay's answer was, "Make them as annoying as FUCK!"

Sam's mom eating some pot-laced brownies and getting high on a college campus...it's as bad as you've heard. Sam's new roommate, the geek who constantly screams "WE'RE GONNA DIE!" It makes my brain hurt.

I fully understand the need for comic relief. But they chose to go with bad comedy...men in thongs, dogs humping legs, stuff like that. There's at least five "dog humping" jokes. Dogs humping dogs, dogs humping legs, dogs humping robots, robots humping legs. WE GET IT!!

And when they're not being annoying, the humans fare about as well as the robots. No character moments...no conversations between them that turn them into people. Like this. Remember the first movie? Megan Fox's dad is all in prison cuz he was a car thief? Well, in this movie, he's out of prison, and they have a father/daughter auto shop business. The two of them are just...there. They don't even ATTEMPT the obvious...which would be some kind of father/daughter reconciliation scene. Nope, the dad has about two lines, and Megan Fox just stands around looking hot. We get it. Megan Fox is hot. At least ATTEMPT to have her do something! God, at least strippers get to dance. Megan Fox doesn't even get to do that.

And the Autobots named Mudflap and Skids. The centre of all the controversy right now. Every negative wannabe gangsta stereotype rolled into two Autobots. Dubbed by some as "Car Car Binks." Not much more I can add to what's already been said. Well, one thing. Perhaps one good thing. Because of all the coverage they've been getting, I was expecting them to be much more...prominent in the film. The good thing is they're not there as much as I thought they'd be.

There's only one real character moment...one scene that gave me goosebumps. Megatron, Starscream, and the Fallen, all on the burnt-out remains of Cybertron, plotting their next move and explaining the Decepticon's mission. We get to know Megatron, we get to know Starscream, we get to know the villain's motivation...a few more scenes like that and a lot less humping jokes and we might have had a movie.

Enough negativity. What I liked: spectacular fight scenes. ILM once again brought their A-game. Great action scenes. Enough name-checking of Transformers lore to make me smile...space bridges, the Matrix, etc.

But great fight scenes and randomly tossed-out references do not a good movie make.

2 out of 4 nibs.

Proper review coming soon.


Eveeee said...

College humour...they need to throw something in to appeal to everyone, riiiight?

kenten said...

Yeah, but college humour is for 12-year-old boys. SOME 12-year-old boys. And for those who's brains never developed much past that.

I thought the best acting moment Megan Fox was given was her 2 seconds staring at that "User Offline" web chat screen. I really wanted to kick ol' Sam in the ass.