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The Revenge of Michael Bay

By on Jul 16, 2009 in Reviews | 9 comments

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Transformers 2 movie posterMy rating of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: B (Good)
Cast: Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson
Directed by: Michael Bay
Studio: Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks SKG

Originally posted at Youthpad.

The movie Transformers 2 has turned into a juggernaut the likes of which we have never seen before. It has already surpassed Angels & Demons as the highest grossing film of the year. Director Michael Bay uses this as a platform to point a middle finger at one and all for not handing out some awards to the best-selling physics tutorial documentary The Island. (Seriously, watch that movie once and physics ke saare funde clear ho jaayenge. As in, you won’t remember anything you learnt in physics class at all after watching that movie. It’s  a good movie though – my rating for it would be an A).

At first even I approached the original Transformers movie with skepticism. “How retarded can it be to have inter-galactic wars over a frikkin’ spark plug?!” I pointed out some inaccuracies in the script and so did others. The same story repeats with Transformers 2. There are hilarious FAQs ripping the movie apart – that article’s funny but also ‘unfair’ since they’ve twisted bits of the story to suit their jokes. Rolling Stone refused to give any stars to the movie in its rating. Cinematical talks about absurdities in the script. The most accurate summing up of the movie would be in Paste Magazine. That’s the legacy Transformers 2 seems to be leaving behind in all critics’s reviews – all of them mangling parts of the story to suit their own jokes. Then you realise that Michael Bay simply isn’t playing to that gallery with these two movies. I admit I have blasphemed, Mr Bay. I never knew The Right Path of what the eff exactly you’re trying to accomplish with your movies until the day I saw The Island.

Watch the trailer for Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

In Transformers 2 Michael Bay dishes out explosions at a never seen before scale – or rate for that matter. Get the Physicists Association on phone, guys. I propose that the ‘scientific unit for the scale of a fake explosion on a movie set’ be named ‘MichaelBay’ in His honour. Among the very first scenes is one in which a C-40 transport aircraft airdrops a GM truck, which transforms into Optimus Prime mid-air for skydiving, and then transforms back into a truck while crash landing onto a Shanghai freeway. This means the ‘Mind your head’ signs they put in the theatre need to be taken literally; if this scene does not convince you to switch your brain off and soak in the visuals for the next two and half hours, nothing will.

This movie suffers from is that it’s way to long and repetitive. An hour into the film you start wondering when this will ever get over. There are so many Transormers milling around that you can just vaguely make out that Autobots are fighting Decepticons and that’s about it. One giant robot fight after another is piled on your senses until they go numb. The humans have nothing much to do except scamper around calling for ‘more Autobots’.

Michael Bay & Co also make no qualms in showing off their huge collective crush on the US of A military. Whatever screen-time is left where metal monsters aren’t ripping each other apart is spent on slo-mo showcases of the ‘latest munitions’. Knowing Bay for what he is, I’m surprised he didn’t have a scrolling ticker at the bottom with a 1-800-BAY-BOMB number to “ORDER YOUR OWN FUNCTIONING MODEL OF A GODDAMN PREDATOR WOOHOO!”

A lot has been made out of racial stereotyping through the characters of ‘black stereotype Autobots’ Skids and Mudflap. I wouldn’t hold Michael Bay exclusively responsible for that kind of ‘outrage’. Any black Hollywood actor other than Denzel Washington, Terrance Howard and to an extent Will Smith has had nothing at hand other than “Yo homies” ‘black stereotype role’. So it’s Hollywood at large which is at fault, not Bay.

Megan Fox continues with her role of a cutesexyhoteyecandy™ who has nothing to do other than wrap herself around Shia LeBeouf’s character. And honestly, I’m happy that they didn’t give her anything to act after watching this trailer of her upcoming movie Jennifer’s Body. (Diablo Cody will prove that Juno struck a chord because of Ellen Page’s acting and NOT Cody’s screenwriting.) Megan Fox is there for Michael Bay just so that he can zoom into her boobs or bottom every now and then. Nobody’s complaining. Oh, and also watch out for newcomer Isabel Lucas as the Decepticon chick Alice.

Don’t try to dig too deep into the plot. It’s utterly ludicrous for most bits. (There’s a scene where the US Navy beats the fucking crap out of a monstrous alien robot from hundreds of miles away by blowing off its metal scrotum using a railgun. True story.) Like how Sam Whitwicky dies at one stage, goes to Cybertronian (note, not human) heaven where a refreshing beverage of Castrol engine oil is presented to him then he gets sent back by Optimus Prime’s ancestors ‘for his courage’. Shia gets a second lease of life, a magical ‘Matrix of Leadership’ key gets reformed from silica dust to something which brings Optimus Prime back to life – in the most belief-suspending use of deus ex machina ever.

The movie is littered with funny moments. You could laugh all the way if you wanted at the sheer scale of robots fighting but you’ll probably get bored soon. Instead, stick around to watch the genuinely funny moments and dialogues – of which there are many.

Watch the music video for the song New Divide by Linkin Park, part of Transformers 2 soundtrack

You’ll probably hate Transformers 2 for being too long, but give it a shot. The sheer lunacy of this whole operation keeps the movie ticking. There are great visuals to watch out for (and I’m not talking of only Megan Fox here). Don’t think too much while watching this movie.



9 Comments

    • Ankur

      July 17, 2009

      Post a Reply

      I included a link to that FAQ in the article! :P As I mentioned, that FAQ is funny but the author has twisted parts of the story to make it sound more ridiculous. I could point out a few errors in that if you want to take it seriously, but the whole point of that FAQ is that it’s not to be taken seriously. Just like the movie.

      • Shitij Nigam

        July 17, 2009

        Mustn’t have read the article carefully then :p

  1. Varun VS

    July 17, 2009

    Post a Reply

    yup the last war scene was way too long..
    n there was nothing much with Ms. Fox the basic reason i watched the movie..
    the visuals (some of em specially) were pretty appealing

    n i had no clue optimus was the last of the primes!

    oh n by the way y is it that “the fallen” guy could be defeated only by A Prime?

    • Ankur

      July 17, 2009

      Post a Reply

      The last war scene was the only interesting war scene despite some utterly ludicrous scenes. True, a lot less Megan Fox on display this time around.

      I’d no clue about this whole Prime backstory either. And that ‘The Fallen’ could only be defeated by another Prime might have something to do along the lines of Neo / Harry Potter being ‘The Chosen One’ – arbitrary, but part of the storyline.

  2. Aditya

    July 20, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Nothing is right about Transformers 2. At two and a half hours, it is extremely boring. Especially the unexpressive scenes of Shia and Megan.
    There’s no decent plot as well! Transformers was way better.
    Even the game sucks.

    • Ankur

      July 24, 2009

      Post a Reply

      Shia’s performance in the college when he reads a whole book and starts explaining why Einstein is wrong is quite funny though.

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