Sunday, August 02, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review

The short form: 1 count

Jesus. What a heap of dung.

Let's get this out of the way, right off the bat: Megan Fox, as pretty as the media would try to have you think that she is, can't act; rather, she acts like Fergie sings. That is, so horribly that you'd rather fist yourself after Mexican food diarrhea then rub the sleep out of your eyes. There are several scenes where she and Shia Lebouf (who I'm also pretty skeptical about), after having faced almost certain peril at the hands of the Decepticons, stop cold to question their love for each other. I don't know what I'd do if I had skyscraping fucking robots chasing after me with the sole purpose of dissecting my brain, but I'd bet you that the last thing I'd do is have a fight with my girlfriend about where our relationship is going.

Also, one major complaint is that, in an effort to make the robots look all super-cool and toy shelf friendly and so NOT like those cheesy toys of the 80s, the special effects folks failed to make the robots look any different from each other, save for a few exceptions that I'll mention later. Plus, their voices are all interchangable, so they all sound damn near alike; The Fallen sounds like Megatron, sounds like Starscream, sounds like ... et cetera. But that's the Decepticons; all the Autobots sound like Optimus, save for some varying vocal inflections.

Then there's the "black" Autobots. The filmmakers decided that the film could appeal to a wider audience if they included some "colorful" characters. So Mudflap and his brother whose name I don't even think was mentioned are buck-toothed, big eared, gold toothed (and the gold ... is in his grill!! HAW!), jive talking pimped out rides that can't keep from clowning on each other, even during the serious scenes. Dey so coo'! I was expecting at any point that they'd grab a nearby tree, roll it up in a billboard, and puff-puff-pass. Any scene they were in had me questioning, "other Autobots had to lose their lives, but these fuckers live on to fight another day?" Transformer God is a cruel, vengeful god indeed.

One thing that I also found very disconcerting was that this movie moved fast. Everything was fast: The dialogue, the fighting, the drama, even a character going from the kitchen to the living room was handled as if the director was yelling, "Okay, we only have 15 min of film for the next hour of footage ... and, ACTION!"

Skip this one, and head straight to the animated film. Much better, with almost the same story.


Rev. Joshua said...

I was never a Transformers guy so this doesn't really bother me like the G.I. Joe movie does, but the general point I'm getting at is that I've resigned myself to having my childhood raped and I'm just going to pretend the A-Team movie isn't happening unless the role of B.A. Baracus goes to Vin Diesel in which case I'm going to pretend I'm not in prison for the rest of my life after I nuke Hollywood.

Rev. Joshua said...

Oh, "...she acts like Fergie sings. That is, so horribly that you'd rather fist yourself after Mexican food diarrhea then rub the sleep out of your eyes." I like that. Well done.

Ron said...

Nate, you haven't even touched on the worst part of the movie. Devastator's transformation was absolutely awesome....then he turns out to be a big ol vacuum cleaner that cleans dirt off of the pyramids and is defeated by Mudflap. The largest of all transformers is defeated by Mudflap. Yeah.....ok. His brother's name was Skids, by the way.

Nate said...

Thanks for the love re: my "Mexican diarrhea" reference.

Funny you mentioned the Devastator scene. That part of the movie aimed me in the direction of mentally cataloguing a few plotholes and problems with the film, and while I'm not a film nerd that does this a lot, when the film in question is supposed to be this big awesome balls-out production, when the plot holes and errors are so glaring, I can't help but keep track of them. With that in mind, assume spoilers:

1) I already mentioned at the beginning that the robot characters were pretty much interchangeable, but I swear that there's a scene where Megatron states that Soundwave has found a shard of the "cube" that they're looking for, but the scene suggests that "Soundwave" is the remote control truck (Wheelie), not the Decepticon that takes over the satellite (for the WHOLE movie). And to someone for whom "Soundwave" = "cassette player robot," not "yet another generic jet plane," that got confusing.

2) I mentioned the blackie antics of Mudflap & Skidmark (thanks be to Ron), but I totally overlooked the unfortunate oversexualization amongst the robots in two scenes specifically.

2a) Why ... no, how ... no, I was right the first time, why is there a scene where Wheelie - again, the remote control car - is humping the leg of Megan Fox? And to what end could that even possibly accomplish? I mean, would Wheelie, if left unimpeded in his robocoital pursuits, have jizzed on her boots? What does Transformer jizz even consist of? Motor oil? Coolant? "Energon?" (No wonder they need so much of that shit.)

2b) Did we really need to see wrecking balls standing in for Destructor's ersatz testicles? And did John Turturro - who is in fact one damn fine actor - honest to God read that part of the film and say anything other than, "Oh what the fuck, it's a payday?"

3) Okay, the biggie; spoiler helmets on:

Sam finds the Matrix of Leadership key, but it turns to dust when he picks it up. He gathers the dust in a sock, figuring out that if he can somehow get the dust of the matrix to Optimus Prime, it will resurrect him. Somewhere along the way, Sam dies, but goes to Robot Heaven (despite not being a robot), where the Prime robots tell him that "the Matrix is not something that can be found, but must be earned." Sam wakes up, the Matrix reforms from the dust back into the key, and Sam stabs Optimus with the adrenaline-needlesque Matrix. Then, through the further confluence of events, the Fallen ends up getting the Matrix in his hands by which to operate the Sun Killer machine. So now, my question is, what did The Fallen do to "earn" possession of the Matrix?

Here, watch this: The Rude Awakening of Optimus Prime. Four and a half minutes that are infinitely more entertaining than the whole Transformers sequel.

Ron said...

No no no. You missed the point of Soundwave. He isn't just another jet....he is the creature that latched on to the communication satellite in the opening scene and relays all the instructions to the Decepticons. Because, you know, the Autobots would never think of having something standing guard over their communications infrastructure to prevent such eavesdropping from happening.

Nate said...

Yeah, I wondered why the military didn't have some kind of security system on that thing. Hell, for that matter, why not just "robotize" the satellite? 'Cause I'm sure the toy line had a Transformer satellite.

Man, this'll all be worth it if we get Unicron in Transformers 3.

Rev. Joshua said...

So the best part of this movie is deciding not to watch it? That's what I'm getting from this discussion.

Ron said...

Yeah. It is pretty two-bob.

Nate said...

So the best part of this movie is deciding not to watch it? That's what I'm getting from this discussion.

See, now that's the funny thing. While by no means do I think my life to be greatly enriched by the experience of seeing the film, I'm in this discussion and I realize, man, I actually had fun watching that film. Granted, it was on the off side of MST3K kinds of fun, but you can't beat a film with robot testicles.

In sum, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ranks right up there with the greatest 80s films to feature robots or aliens, like "Mac & Me," "Electric Dreams," "batteries not included" or "Short Circuit" and the like. It's a film that, were this still the mid- to late-90s, it would have ended up on USA's Up All Night.