Enormous Heaps of Metal

June 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

Despite the countless bad reviews for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I went to go see it in a theater that was surprisingly packed for a 10:55PM show, and I basically got what I expected. The action was fantastic — giant glistening robots beating the crap out of each other, hell yes — and everything else was kind of paltry or mediocre. Transformers had no lack of humorous gags in it too, from marijuana brownies to a humongous robot monster with dangling balls.

At almost three hours long, this film included a lot of rather useless shots that seem to have been put in for the purposes of trying to pretend like the audience actually cared about anything other than explosions and/or Megan Fox [digression on that to come soon]. This means much time spent watching people roll around in the sand or run from Decepticons, which in my mind is ridiculous because how do you outrun a monster like that?! I would just give up and crawl in a hole.

One memorable line that really should have been crossed out of the script came from a soldier looking up in awe at Optimus Prime: “You gotta wonder, if God made us in His image, who made him?” I don’t know, but probably not GM. The plot was also rather insipid and negligible — some silly story about intergalactic vengeance, power-hungry robots, harnessing the power of the sun, what? There were also a number of explanatory monologues that I know are important to the development of the story, but were really boring to sit through.

I had read about the racist caricatures before going to see the film, and I thought that the person was just overreacting, but now I think that his concerns are valid; those twin-bots were really rather inappropriate, from their character design to voice-acting to behavior. It made me cringe.

The movie begins in Shanghai, China, with the secret Autobot-ally division wrangling some misbehaving Decepticons. I bring this up only because it would be a huge shock if China were ever to allow Americans to enter the country to take care of something like that. Of course, Transformers cannot be expected to follow real-life scenarios, so I’m wasting space even talking about it.

On the same note, the film’s depiction of college is vastly different from reality. Anybody who has seen this movie and has been to college can attest to how laughable this imaginary Princeton experience is. And anybody who hasn’t been to college shouldn’t be too disappointed when their classes aren’t filled with only beautiful people who for some reason shower on moving-in day, which causes them to roam dormitory hallways clad only in bath towels. Really, Michael Bay? As if you haven’t appealed to your horny male audience quite enough?

I actually found myself connecting with Megan Fox’s character for a little bit — long distance relationships are far from easy, and Sam Witwicky really did not reject freaky-girl’s advances quite strongly enough. Shia LeBeouf is not a bad actor; his one teary-eyed scene even succeeded in pulling on these jaded heartstrings of mine. I wanted more Josh Duhamel, but in the end this was a story about a boy. And a girl. I’m okay with the relationship woes, but the romance was taken a bit far, I think. More robots, less kissing, please.

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