Mr. Bill George Presents

The More Things Transform, The More They Stay The Same

In Film on June 24, 2009 at 11:04 PM

Hey, remember the first Transformers movie? Yea? I just saved you ten bucks! You no longer need to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

This sequel to the 2007 summer blockbuster is beat-for-beat the same as the original… minus the novelty, spontaneity or excitement that comes with a new franchise. It is two and a half hours of same old, same old. AKA Michael Bay being Michael Bay. Which, when working with something new and exciting like alien robots that transform into American made motor vehicles, is fine. But that was 2007 and this is now. I need something a little more fresh.

So how does he attempt to liven things up? For starters, introduce a new element to the story in the first minute and leave us in the dark about for the next 149 minutes. Not only that, but also toss in a bone headed authority figure character written with a level of unrealism not seen since the chief of police in Die Hard.

And, for good measure, two new “comic relief” autobots make their debut and in the process set back race relations in this country 50 years. I’m sorry, but the very existence of Mudflap and Skids is an affront to humanity itself. Anyone who laughed at their appearance, antics or dialogue should be ashamed of themselves. And all the people responsible for writing them into the script, giving them a voice, digitally rendering them or letting them appear in the final film should face jail time.

There were so many damn things in this movie that actually caused a physical, adverse reaction in my body. The biggest being the noise level. I still have a pounding headache from the decibel level in that theater as I type this. As for the script itself I cannot count the number of times I rolled my eyes, put my head in my hands or smacked my forehead.

I could go on but I’m sick of sitting here seething over this atrocity. The more I think about it, the more anger I feel. (Oh! And I didn’t even get into the ridiculousness of all the subplots like going to college, capturing a decepticon or revisiting John Turturro’s character! AHH! Memories rushing back! Make it stop!)

BOTTOM LINE: Long on spectacle, short on spectacular.

In Other Movie News:

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, in all of their glorious wisdom, has decided to expand the field of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 starting this year. You can find their official press release on the matter HERE.

I, for one, am relieved. That show was already running pretty short. Thank God we’ll have more clips to show and nominees to read off in order to fill all that air time.

One more quick note: I recently saw a commercial for the next Harry Potter. Now I know I read the book two or three summers ago, but I think it’s a bad sign when I don’t recognize a single thing from the ad. Either this movie is going to take some huge liberties with the material or I really need to work on better retaining what I read.

  1. I went into transformers expecting nothing more than big shiny robots and shit blowing up and it delivers that in spades. I must say going into a movie such as Transformers 2 not caring if there is a good story, good writing, a clever plot, and engaging characters really enhances the experience. It was by no means a “good” movie, but it was hell of an entertaining one

  2. See, I felt that way about the first one. But that just didn’t fly with me this time around. Now we live in a post-‘Dark Knight’ world, in which a mega summer blockbuster that makes billions of dollars can indeed exist with a coherent story, fleshed out characters and a heart (as well as bitchin’ action sequences). Reverting back to mindless explosions is proving difficult for me.

  3. It’s a movie about alien robots in a civil war and trying to destroy earth. The plot is, predictably, “let’s see how much stuff we can blow up in 150 minutes.” Were you expecting something else? If you hold everything to “Dark knight” standards you are going to be constantly disappointed.

  4. Alright. Point taken. But my issue isn’t so much with the story. I should clarify. More than anything it’s the script/dialogue and the overall direction. The plot points are what they are: he’s older so he goes to college, there is still a piece of the all-spark and the robots have to fight over it. Sure, fine. I understand the story is going to be basic. It’s more important how that story is implemented and conveyed. And I just think they did a wretched job of it.

    So I guess what I’m getting at is, it isn’t the subject that bothers me, I’m not against ‘Transformers’ per say. I know what to expect when I enter that territory. I’m against what I find to be crappy movies. Regardless of how shiny the CGI bow is that they put on top of them.

    (And that isn’t a stuck up, ‘I’m too good for action movies,’ generalized statement. There are plenty of movies that I give a pass on the quality of the filmmaking if my enjoyment of the action/style is enough to hold me over (‘300’ and ‘Matrix:Reloaded’ and ‘M:I2’ all come to mind). But ‘Transformers 2’ didn’t pull it off. That’s all.)

  5. I totally agree. The action sequences were, like the first one, cool to watch, if not a little monotonous, but the script didn’t seem very well thought out. It was all cheap laughs and shallow plot. I’m so glad I am not the only one who thinks this, because all I’ve heard is “Transformers 2 is the best movie ever!” Not even close.

  6. I have taken an “It is what it is.” outlook on films like this. Some of the delivery could have been much better. A few questions… Did the story really need 4 characters (3 robot & 1 human) specifically for comic relief? Did the primary battle have to happen in another Middle Eastern desert? Did Megan Fox have to be so insanely hot that she was a distraction in any scene she was in? Do they expect everyone to forget that another piece of the allspark still remains in the safe at the bike shop? Are your ready for Transformers 3 – Maximum Destruction in 2011?

  7. Bill, have you read this review yet? It’s incredible.

  8. haha, that’s pretty funny. good find indeed.

  9. […] What I’m trying to say is: G.I. Joe knows exactly what it is and what it wants to do, and it does it well. It excels at being an entertaining action film. It succeeds everywhere that Transformers 2 failed. […]

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