And there are so many robots this time around. There are robots everywhere. Big robots, small robots, racist robots. And there are characters everywhere, too, because characters have been assigned for each and every role. Nobody is allowed to serve more than one single solitary purpose. So we have hackers, soldiers, government agents, intelligence officers, unnecessary sidekicks… all in place to distract you from trying to understand what the hell is going on. And what might be going on is intercut with… well, dog-humping jokes, shots of Megan Fox’s ass, bad gags, idiotic one-liners and… more explosions.
It takes a lot to make an action movie-lover hate explosions. They’re a staple of the genre: they look good on-screen, and they evoke a certain primal impact that just seems… right. And though it’s become a little overstated to say that Michael Bay is obsessed with explosions, it’s none more apparent than it is here: his explosions explode, and when they’re done exploding, there’s but a few seconds of momentary nothingness before something else goes up in a wreck of fire and metal. It actually becomes ridiculous to watch.
If the CGI is good, you wouldn’t know. The robots battle it out, but the effect resembles that of a video game. It’s frantic and messy and you don’t know who’s fighting who, who’s winning, or who’s throwing the next punch. The film is so much like a video game, in fact, that when searching for an image to use in this article, I stared at the screen at the results for well over a minute, trying to decide which image was from the movie and which was from the tie-in video game. I’m still not a hundred percent sure.
Did I mentioned that this movie is also two and a half hours long? And that Steven Spielberg’s name is attached? It’s an embarrassing state of affairs for Michael Bay, yes, but what were people expecting? Spielberg, on the other hand, should be ashamed to have his name associated with something as poorly conceived (and executed) as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He’s a filmmaker of the highest calibre. This is a true cinematic travesty in every sense.
Had it not made almost a $1 billion at the box-office, this is the kind of overblown hackjob that might put a director out of work forever. But the producers assumed (and rightly so) that it didn’t matter much whether or not a Transformers movie actually made sense, as long as it was masked with special effects and explosions and Megan Fox: “When kids play with their Transformers toys at home, it probably doesn’t make proper sense, either, does it? That’s the beauty of imagination!”
As it stands, Bay made a third film in 2010 (perhaps just as bad as this one), and a fourth outing is currently in the early production stages. Will they continue to bring in the money? Almost certainly. For now, all we can do is take pleasure in the fact that Transformers is the movie franchise that makes all other ill-concieved movie franchises look a whole lot better. Absolutely, it can’t get worse than this.
What do you think? Is this movie as bad as we say? Let us know your thoughts (and suggestions for next week’s entry) in the comments section below.