Ok, to a certain extent I have been happy to defend Michael Bay on some (certainly not all) of his movies. “The Rock” was a kick ass action movie, and it brought Nicholas Cage to a whole new level of stardom which he has since pissed away (to a certain extent anyway). When he gave us “Transformers” two years ago, it seemed really good when you compared it to a lot of his other movies. It seemed like he might turn out to be a little better than we typically give him credit for. Steven Spielberg worked with him for crying out loud!
But now here comes the inevitable sequel entitled “Transformers – Revenge Of The Fallen,” which I thought for a moment could possibly be the “Empire Strikes Back” of the franchise. No such luck, not even in the slightest. If I didn’t have an intense hatred of Michael Bay before, I sure as hell do now. I came out of this sequel cursing that mother fucker as if he had no reason to live. “Transformers – Revenge Of The Fallen” may very well represent the biggest waste of money ever spent on a film that I have seen since “Waterworld” (not to mention “Norbit”). Yes, it has action all over the place, and the effects are incredible and incredibly loud as you would expect them to be. But I came out of this movie wanting to spit at the screen. This is a movie with no heart or soul, and it renders all the hard work put into it as utterly meaningless. What a pathetic waste of celluloid this is! But what’s truly depressing is that no matter how trashed this movie gets by the press or the fans, it’ll still make tons of money.
Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky in a performance that threatens to be as utterly annoying as Ralph Macchio’s was in “The Karate Kid Part III.” Despite being a hero and helping the Autobots defeat the evil Decepticons in the first movie, he still acts like a pussy whipped bitch during this sequel. I don’t think Shia’s a bad actor, but he needs to stop playing characters like this lest people start thinking that he’s playing himself in this role. The first “Transformers” gave his career a huge leg up, but this god awful sequel can take him down just the same if he’s not careful.
Megan Fox is also back as Sam’s voraciously attractive girlfriend Mikaela Banes, and she makes her entrance in the film by leaning over a motorcycle showing off one of her best “assets.” This will probably piss off a lot of people (especially females) as Michael Bay makes good sport of objectifying women throughout, and it wouldn’t be the first time either. Still, I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn’t say I did enjoy that visual even if it was from a far away distance. Hey Megan, I know you want to be taken seriously as an actress and believe it or not, I would actually like to see that happen for you. Maybe that will happen when we see you in “Jennifer’s Body” later this year, a film written by Diablo Cody (“Juno”). All the same, if there is a third “Transformers” movie, I strongly advise you NOT to do it. I honestly think that you and (yes) Shia deserve better than this.
The plot of “Transformers – Revenge Of The Fallen” is… well, it’s somewhere in there. It involves… uh, some shard from that cube that lodged in Sam’s clothing that…umm…well, ends up filling his head with symbols that… jesus this is hard to describe! It makes Sam write all these symbols that…that…I don’t know, lead him to this big fight in Egypt… Oh yeah, he meets up again with Optimus Prime from the first one… Bumblebee is back too, and he threatens to be even more of a pussy than Sam is, but he kicks ass… Then they end up in Egypt and fight alongside those military dudes from the previous film…you know, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson? And then… uh, well… There’s a lot of action!
It’s clear almost from the start that Michael Bay is not concerned with developing a good story or giving us characters that are anything but shallow. It certainly would help to bring us into the action more on an emotional level. I have a pretty good idea what Michael Bay is thinking: Fuck the critics! I make my movie for the audience, not you snobs! But in the process of flipping the bird to those film critics, he is also insulting the intelligence of the audience. And yes, that includes all those 12 and 13 years who this movie was clearly made in mind for. I can’t say that I was a huge fan of the Transformers as a kid, but I bet that even the most die hard of Transformers fans will find a hell of a lot to hate about this horrid sequel, and the call for Michael’s blood will be as loud as the explosions in this film.
All the hallmarks of a Michael Bay movie can be found here; loud explosions every other millisecond, characters communicating to each other by yelling at them (and that’s even when they are clearly close to hear each other), and inane dialogue that makes George Lucas look like John Patrick Shanley. I’m sure there are many who will say that this is a movie where you can “check your brain at the door,” but that only goes so far. There is a point where you take your audience for granted, and finding forgiveness for that transgression is a bitch to say the least. This isn’t the first time that Michael Bay has gone out of his way to intentionally piss off those who seriously hate his films. “Bad Boys II,” another monstrosity of a movie by the way, was Bay lighting a fire under the ass of many a film critic. But the maker of one god awful sequel has now succeeded in creating one that’s every bit as bad.
Michael Bay flips the bird at us even more by introducing two Autobots that are really nothing more than extremely offensive stereotypes of the blatantly racist kind. I’m talking about Mudflap and Skids, the Transformers’ answer to Jar Jar Binks. I figured that by having an actor like Tyrese Gibson that it just might balance out since he doesn’t descend into any stereotypical behavior here, but this is a movie whose main audience will be kids for crying out loud! I usually think that people look into the way certain people are portrayed in movies a little too much, but this time the criticism is more than justified.
Speaking of characters yelling at each other, this god forsaken sequel may very well contain the most yelling of multiple characters in any film (let alone a Michael Bay film). Do you have any idea of just how annoying it is when people TALK LIKE THIS AS IF YOU HAVE SOME HEARING DISABILITY AND THEY THINK YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR HEARING AID EVEN THOUGH YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE ONE BUT THERE’S SO MUCH FIGHTING AND EXPLOSIONS GOING ON THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THE FUCKING TIME TO APOLOGIZE TO EACH OTHER BECAUSE YOU EITHER ARE RUNNING LIKE HELL FROM THOSE NASTY DECEPTICONS OR YOU HAVE TO FIGHT THEM ASSUMING YOU GOT ANY BALLS LIKE THE MILITARY DOES BUT HAVING ANY OLD GUN WON’T HELP BECAUSE YOU NEED THE EQUIVALENT OF A BAZOOKA?… I’m not sure I have seen another movie where I have been desperate to see so many tracheotomies performed in one sitting! It’s not enough to tell one person in this movie to shut the fuck up just once. You have to do it over and over, and they still will end up screaming their anxieties right out at you!
Not just that, but half the time I couldn’t even understand what the hell anyone was saying. Did Bay sneak crystal meth into everyone’s food? It’s bad enough that he gave us a movie at two and a half hours long (who does he think he is, Paul Thomas Anderson?!), but is this how he chooses to condense a lot of it? I wonder if Bay could actually explain to us what’s going on here. I bet the way he sees it, he gave us all sorts of loud explosions and expensive special effects, then who are we to argue? You can get away with that in another movie, but sure as hell not this one.
I feel really bad for all the actors in this movie. They are all just treated like tools at the disposal of the director. Really good actors like John Tuturro and Glenn Moreshower are wasted in a movie like this, and it doesn’t really matter if they’re even good here. If I were an out of work actor (actually, I am now that I think of it), I
would be foolish to turn down a role in a Michael Bay movie. But I tell you, if I were a big star, I would not hesitate to make it clear that I would NEVER work for Michael Bay, ever.
My reaction to this new Transformers movie reminds me of when I witnessed Roland Emmerich’s tragically horrific take on “Godzilla.” I went out of that movie feeling depressed and saying to myself that if this is the way Hollywood is going to keep making movies, then I am not going to another one ever again. Over 10 years later, it suddenly feels like we haven’t come any further. Does Michael really think that this is something that people will instantly embrace? In the end, it won’t really matter because “Transformers – Revenge Of The Fallen” is bound to make a ton of money no matter how bad it is. This will enable Michael Bay to make many more movies like this until he stops delivering the profit (assuming there is one to be found). The moviegoers will keep going to them out of curiosity, wondering if he’s gotten any better. I’m no different.
It’s not worth it wasting anymore time on this movie anymore than I already have. Seriously, I was all but ready to spit on the ground of the theater I saw it at. If you didn’t hate Michael Bay before this movie, you will now. Going out of the theater I quietly said to myself:
“Fuck Michael Bay! Fuck him royally! Burn in hell!”
In regards to the audience I saw it with, the best piece of praise I heard from anybody about the movie was, “its okay.” Talk about being generous! Right now, I am sick of movies being just okay. So far, there has been only one truly great live action movie out this summer, and that’s “Star Trek.” Coincidentally, two of the screenwriters on this massive train wreck of cinema (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) also wrote the screenplay for that one. What the hell guys? Or maybe you’ll get off easy since Bay runs thru your dialogue so fast that we can’t understand what anyone was saying. Don’t worry Robert and Alex, Bay is taking all the heat on this one.
But seriously, fuck you Michael Bay and thank you all the same. You have just given us a great example of how NOT to make a summer blockbuster. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch “No Country For Old Men” just so I won’t forget what great filmmaking looks and feels like.
½* out of ****