By Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
Take the plot from the first movie, add a couple Autobots straight out of a minstrel show, and give Optimus Prime a Jesus complex.
John Turturro’s character does have some reasonably funny moments as the special-agent turned service-industry worker and part time conspiracy theorist. But like so many good ideas, it is easily ruined by being surrounded by so many terrible ideas (Jock strap).
You might remember in my review of the first Transformers move that line about broken watches being right twice a day?
Turns out it doesn’t work with digital watches…
The same problem with the camera work and character design that made the action sequences near incomprehensible in the first film returns, and is multiplied by the even more bloated budget and with even shakier cameras. There was a point in time where you could say “well, he can’t film dialog and exposition to save his life, but damn can Michael Bay shoot an action sequence.” This time has passed, and his action is now dominated by the same ADHD style cinematography that every other action director is using.
Optimus Prime is apparently a messianic robot who is descended from the only bloodline of Autobots that can destroy “the Fallen”. Ok, I’ll buy that, it does expand the universe of the first film and provide a legitimate reason to kill his character off and make him go all Jesus at the end. But before this can happen an incredibly stupid precedence is set that ruins any suspense the action sequences had left. Megatron is brought back to life, so any that means any Transformer can be brought back. And why should they have to resurrect any character at all? I know it is in the name of action figure sales and fan service, but I seem to remember that Optimus Prime was killed off in the 80’s cartoon movie quite definitively. And there was a huge uproar over it among fans, but fans are not always right. In fact, the animated film benefited from the dramatic change in pace, and it set the tone for a much more interesting denouement.
There is no denying that the concept of robot aliens dressed as cars is cheesy by nature. But at least in 1986 the filmmakers knew something about emotion and suspense.
From pee jokes in the first film, to Transformer balls in the sequel, I fully expect Optimus to be sporting a mechanical hard-on in Transformers III: Dark of the Moon
I should take the time to explain that I’m not against having sophomoric humor in movies such as this. However, it becomes clear that the screenwriters each had entirely different thematic ideas for how the Transformers movies should play. At times, they are taken very seriously, especially in scenes where the aftermath of a Decepticon attack is shrouded in parallels to 9-11, the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict, and natural disasters. They make it very clear that the civilian death-toll in the movie is gargantuan, and then teabag you with Transformer balls, ostensibly to lighten the mood? Teabagging is no laughing matter.
Ok, sometimes maybe…
Sam Witwicky’s parents were annoying in the first film, but they had a certain suburban naiveté that made them somewhat endearing.
Ever so slightly…
Not so here; from the first minute of this movie and sprinkled in at inopportune times throughout we are presented with two of the stupidest people on the face of the earth. His mom eats pot brownies and talks about masturbation… I’m glad this is only a movie, because the existence of people this messed up in real life would serve as incontrovertible proof that god does not exist.
Rounding out the six-pack is inclusion of the single most offensive characters in recent film history. You have two transformers who are shitty economy cars upgraded ghetto style, who have voices right out of 1930’s blackface performances. How there wasn’t a more general public outcry against something this insulting is beyond me.
And you thought Jar-Jar Binks was bad?
Nuke it from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure…
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever a transformer dies.
Take a Drink: for every new transformer introduced
Down a Shot: for Leg Humping moment!
Take a Drink: anytime Skids or Mudflap open their fucking mouth flaps.
Down a Boilermaker: for each transformer resurrection