Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen makes me tired.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a tough movie to describe. Overlong, hyperactive yet crushingly dull, sexist, racist; Michael Bay hasn’t made a film this this since Bad Boys 2.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is interesting in it’s general lack of interest. When presenting scenarios like the discovery of alien life forms or the massive destruction of aircraft carrier’s and submarines, the lack of detail and care about these events is galling and sad. If the filmmakers are going to all this effort to present such a convoluted story involving the Transformers and their working relationship with the American military, along with the entire population of the Earth finding out they are not alone in the universe, shouldn’t these be handled in a significant way? This might be the only film I’ve ever seen where the revelation of extraterrestrial life is treated with shrug and a yawn. During it’s entire excessive runtime (150 minutes, goddamn!) I could not stop thinking about these details. Why introduce such a crazy scenario (Decepticon’s reveal selves to world, threaten destruction) and have no one comment on it? I should mention that they do comment that the Decepticon’s demand the World turn over Shia or face reprisal, so all anyone can talk about is that Shia’s face was all over the news. “We are no longer alone, our concept of the universe and our place in it has been forever changed. Who was the kid with the dirtstache?”


The plot is needlessly complicated, with Autobots working with the government, Decepticon’s bringing other Decepticon’s back to life, Decepticon’s hiding weapons to blow up the sun, just because. It’s tough to care because the Transformer’s are boring. Their sole purpose in life is to fight other Transformers. When one character actually points this out, Optimus Prime gets all mad. BUT HE’S RIGHT, Optimus Prime! What else do you do? You’re a giant alien race that has gun arms. Denial isn’t just a river. (Speaking of Transformers, why so ugly? When they’re vehicles, they’re shiny and detailed and look like nice, new cars, but then transform into garish monstrosities with the appearance of badly shaped aluminum. The whole point was that when they looked like Robots, they looked like Robots, and when they looked like cars, they looked like cars. Now they look like they turn into shit.)

As far as spectacle is concerned, Michael Bay can still blow everything up. He has not lost this ability one iota. I had to smirk as he worked his way through the film, destroying a library, a college dorm, a forest, parts of the Smithsonian, an aircraft carrier and finally the Great Pyramids. Though much of the time I smirked so as not to cry.
Do you think Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich get drunk together?


I can imagine someone saying, “Well Lorin, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen wasn’t made for you. It was made for children and teenagers.” In that case, I would use my own anecdotal evidence of the behavior of the teenagers and young children during the screening I attended. Not quite halfway through the teenagers began talking loudly, the film no longer holding their attention, and during the credits clapped for so long that even if it wasn’t irony it became so by default. The young boy seated in front of me with his mother kept leaning over to ask questions, which meant that I wasn’t crazy with my issues with the film either. Granted, he could have been telling her how awesome it was. Y’know, he probably was. He also got up a bunch of times to go to the bathroom. I knew a kid in elementary school who pissed his pants during Home Alone. So there’s a barometer for you; elementary school kids refuse to piss themselves during Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

I think someone called Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen “cinematic nihilism”. That sounds about right. I realize that I didn’t touch on the sexism or racism, but yeah, it has that too. I’m just tired.

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