Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dart Adams presents The Dartflix Film Review: Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen

The new Transformers sequel hit theaters at midnight on Tuesday marking the beginning of June 24th and the official opening of the Summer blockbuster season of 2009. Unfortunately, even though the film raked in $16 million on that one day and has grossed more than $60 million at the time of the writing of this review there isn't much to like about the film itself. It launches into a narrative about how the Autobots & Decepticons have been on Earth "from the beginning" then a Decepticon steps on a bunch of Africans/Aborigines. Black folks dying first in a Sci Fi flick before the goddamn credits even roll? Check. How many more cliches will we see before the film is up?

The Autobots have teamed up with the military to form a special team called The Nest in order to smoke out the Decepticons and wipe them out. I have issues with this for several reasons. First off, the military is of no real help to the Autobots in these battles. It's just a device that the screenwriters & director use to keep humans involved with the plot. With the action happens, humans are usually left in the dust trying to find cover. If they'd just introduce more Autobots then center the story & dialogue around the Autobot/Decepticon war and minimize the human element this could've been an okay film...provided someone else wrote it and they knew anything about the Transformers.

The worst parts of this film involve the antics, prattling and overall uselessness of it's cast members. The humans in the Army act as if they're giving orders to the Autobots instead of just being along for the ride. Sam's parents are completely annoying and it seems the only thing that people do in this film are crack jokes, deter the plot, be half naked to try to distract you from huge plot holes or try WAY too hard to provide some form of comic relief between CGI, special FX, explosions and a lack of explanations or anyone telling you who anyone else is. The initial story/plot itself is pretty flimsy, the Decepticons seek a shard of the All Spark that's in Sam Witwicky's possession...so why is it taking so goddamn long to pan out?

Everything about this film seems overdone, processed, manufactured and bloated. It's like you can hear the board meetings with consultants, product placement agents and the obvious attempts at reaching certain demographics to ensure that regardless of what or who you are your eyes will stay glued to the screen. With all of this pandering they somehow manged to neglect the most important demographic of all: people with critical thinking skills, common sense & good taste. They refer to them as "film snobs" or "critics". They use terms like "popcorn film" and claim that you shouldn't expect much in the way of story from a movie based on a cartoon. Are these assholes seriously making premeditated excuses for why this film is ass?

The special FX, CGI and visuals are top notch...it's just too bad you have no idea whom exactly is fighting whom due to the fact that you can't tell any of the Decepticons apart from each other. Since none of them are solid and they often fight falling or in the air it's tough to follow the action. If someone catches it, you're stuck wondering which Decepticon just died. Without any real dialogue or banter between the only things that matter in the film, the Transformers themselves, you're just confused looking a screen full of CGI carnage explosions and running humans. What's going on again? Who's doing what? What's it's name? How long has this movie been on? Did one of the Decepticons really turn into a human female? SMH

Now let's get to the meat of where the screenwriters went wrong, shall we? Let's begin with the Autobot twins Skids & Mudflap who have the internet going nuts (no Paul Wall). Their faces don't look like the other Autobots. They're extremely grotesque looking with bugged out eyes, long ears and huge lips. They speak in broken English and sound like ignorant little kids that ape urban culture. The reason I'm irked by it is that the original Skids was a popular 1st generation Autobot and the Autobots already had a pair of twins in Sideswipe and Sunstreaker (pictured below). They used to banter back and forth and bicker with each other as well...why not just use them instead? Wouldn't that have made more sense then to introduce some characters in the hopes of appealing to young kids with baseless "humor" and stereotypes?

They sling around unfunny insults and the overwhelming percentage of Blacks and Latinos and urban dwellers in general were pretty put off by Skids and Mudflap completely. Most of them said they either heard no one laughing or if they did the turned around to see why said person was laughing. The screenwriters and producers and even the voice actor of one of the characters has placed all responsibility squarely on Michael Bay's shoulders for the personalities and appearance of both characters (a gold buck tooth?). They're like the Jar Jar Binks of the film. How did this happen again? Also, why is Bumblebee acting as if he's Sam's pet rather than his protector? Bumblebee still can't speak? What the hell? Why are new Decepticons popping up and wreaking havoc all over the place but there are no new Autobots being introduced (ones that are any good, I mean)?

The introduction of Wheelie is yet another sore spot for anyone that knows anything about the Transformers. Wheelie is changed from a young Autobot created specifically to appeal to younger audiences that saw the original 1986 film "Transformers: The Movie" into an annoying Decepticon agent used to spy on Sam & Mikaela and help them obtain the All Spark shard they seek. He's essentially a New York/ Jersey Guido stereotype as well. I just wondered to myself if after the writers finished a scene did they feel proud of the final product? I can't believe they did. Not only did this character play a pivotal role in the film (?) but he was one of a couple of new Autobots that sucked given the Decepticons gained Devastator and The Fallen among others on their side. What the hell, man?

The director and screenwriters could've done a gang of things in this film. They've could've introduced Blaster to create smaller Autobots to effectively fight the Nanobots that Soundwave unleashes to do recon or infiltrate the Autobot ranks. They could've introduced Springer as one of the military helicopters to bolster the Autobot ranks. They could've added Wreckgar and made him Mikaela's motorcycle/personal protector. They could've added Wheeljack, introduced the whole Energon issue and had Wheeljack study Earth history then create the Dinobots to battle The Fallen (pictured below) & Devastator (which is what they were actually created for in the first place...Duh!).

Between the creation of ANY of these characters, you could've tossed in a gang of jokes, pop culture references & dumb humor within the parameters of the Transformer continuity without worry or grief from fanboys. I'm a writer, remember? Wreckgar spoke in TV language, the Dinobots were dumb as hell and Blaster could play music & make pop culture references. The plus is that they all could read! Maybe even bring in Ultra Magnus to be Prime's 2nd in command? It's bad enough I can't tell who's doing what on the screen at any given time but why couldn't the plot or the team lineups at least make some kind of sense?

The Fallen comes back, Devastator appears and the military types from The Nest are completely useless. For some odd reason there are no more Autobots around to face a growing number of deadly Decepticons (?) and everything is on Sam Witwicky and his hot girlfriend to ressurect Optimus Prime as he's the only Autobot capable of doing...well, ANYTHING. Huge plot hole. Big ass problem. Humans shouldn't be the focus of this film, they should just be there as dressing and stay the hell out of the way. Egypt gets wrecked. Why can't Michael Bay just leave Black folks and Africa the fuck alone? Can I get some commentary so I know if that's Starscream (pictured above) or not fighting Ironhide? These explosions aren't making me forget that no one knows what the hell is going on!

In the end, the human comes through and saves the day. Bullshit! Jetfire (pictured above) is revealed as an old dying Autobot that much like Wheelie can only help advance the story and can't actually help the dwindling Autobots ranks to fight off the Decepticons? Bullshit! The real Jetfire was a huge Autobot jet that crashed on Earth ahead of the other Autobots and helped them out after the Decepticons gained new soldiers. They could've done so much with Jetfire becoming a member of The Nest as a fighter plane. None of that happened. He died and gave his powers to Optimus Prime who once again was the only effective Autobot. The Decepticons have a gang of effective soldiers...red flag! The ig'nant ass Nig..Autobot twins claim to not do much reading but Wheelie (the Decepticon) helps them get their bearings (?)

In closing, this film was nothing but a steady diet of useless characters, corny jokes, inane dialogue, derivative writing, tasteless racial stereotypes, explosions and really great CGI and visual effects. It's sad to look at a screen and not be able to determine exactly what's going on or whom or what is doing what as well. I don't care how many cool action sequences you splash across the screen if the movie itself is a random mash up of corporate marketing, product placement and pandering to different demographics in hopes of attaining a high Q rating. I didn't give a fuck about ANY of the characters in the film except for Optimus Prime...and that was because he was the only hope of making this piece of shit movie ever end!

The Coonicons/Sambots/Niggabots above didn't spoil this movie. This film was doomed from the start. Why? Because when this project was first presented to Michael Bay years ago he wasn't a fan of the Transformers and he thought it was stupid and ridiculous at first. He reported laughed at the thought of making a live action film out of this property. At that exact moment, the Transformers franchise was doomed to be a series of horrible movies that made a shitload of money. Had I wrote this film, it would've been a concise story that would've appealed to not only Transformers fans but people that have no idea what it's about. I wouldn't have had Sam's mom get high and tackle people on campus or had Wheelie become Mikaela's de facto pet (?) or hump her leg (?).


Fuck this movie and fuck Michael Bay (pictured above). Watch it online wherever or find your local bootlegger. I give "Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen" the finger! *Sticks up middle finger*

One.

5 comments:

Atlas said...

Bro:


"Oops my bad"

That line right there spoke volumes on the writers and directors lack of respect for the source material. I was all done to give GI Joe a chance but when I saw the extended trailer with those robo suits. It is lights out for this BS.

hylandaz said...

Great review, my thoughts exactly. Before i had even seen the monkey bots i was done with this crap. How does anyone justify googily eyes when all the other so called robots are "Humanoid" in appearance.

Dioracat said...

Beautifully scathing as I expected it would be. Fuck Michael Bay. As nauseated as it makes me to say, McG did a better robot movie. At least he actually confessed to caring and TRIED to do a good job.

Vato From San Anto said...

Word!

S-Diggy said...

im a big transformers fan, but i didn't expect the movie to be that good. and it wasn't. but it was good for what i thought it would be. mad explosions, and action. woulda been much better if they had a plot