mimschkin - wrote on 08/22/10
Transformers 2 got a whole lot of backlash back when it was released, so I really was prepared to give it a big beating, but now it's time to review it, I'm finding it hard to even evoke enough passion to do so. Like I'm too disillusioned by the movie industry if this is the kind of film that makes so much money. It's just sad. So I've decided, for once, to compress my thoughts as much as possible, because other than the following points, there really isn't much to say about this film.
First off, the story. What story? Some robots fight, for some reason. It's boring. Also, the plot is just the most bizarre and nonsensical contraption that I've witnessed in mainstream cinema in recent years (and not in a good way). The plot is basically this (may contain some spoilers, though I guarantee that they won't make a shred of sense because, well, the film doesn't either): the good robots are defending the earth from the bad robots because the bad robots want to get to the boy from the last film because he touched a shard of a cube they destroyed which contains the secrets to the origin of the robot species, which the bad robots need in order to make the freaky embryo-robots they're growing in outer-space not die. So the boy is having these weird visions with symbols and stuff. And then some bad robots turn good? Because they find out from the symbols that there's this thing they need that's sealed in a cave that will help them defeat the bad robots. Or something. See, this is what happens when you make a movie based on a series of childrens toys. It makes no sense.
Second, the film can't decide whether it wants to play to the now-grown up little boys who enjoyed the cartoons and toys back in the day, or the little boys who are currently enjoying the cartoons and toys of recent years. The result is that on the one hand you have a horrible leering quality that's supposed to play to the desires of the adult male masses (because that's the reason why young men go to the cinema?). So you get Megan Fox draped over motorcycles and the hot female students at the University of Hotness, which is really quite gross and mildly offensive (see below). On the other hand they give us the most infantile dialogue they could possibly have written, with a bad robot standing over a wreckage declaring that 'THE END IS NIGH!!!!!!!' out of nowhere. So the film is conflicted, and terribly written.
Third, this movie is sexist; Megan Fox is only there for the above reasons, to cater to the male audience. She does nothing but pose for the camera and run around with the male protagonist. I really feel quite sorry for Megan Fox, I wish filmmakers would treat her with a little respect for a change (whether or not she is worthy of it is a different topic). She's always cast in these terribly degrading roles, I want someone to give her a chance. Who knows, maybe she's not so bad if she was provided with some material that wasn't just her standing around looking sultry and posing sexily. On another related note, the film has some issues with racial stereotypes, with two robots using stereotypically "black" lingo. Unless they can justify this by identifying that robots indeed have races, and that these races happen to have the same sort of slang as human racial groups, there really is no reason for this. In fact they'd have to go into a lot more detail than that. Where does this slang come from? Do the "black" robots have a similar history of persecution as black humans? What about other robot races? Because as far as I can tell, there are small robots and big robots, and good robots and bad robots, and robots with English accents and robots with American accents. Are there hispanic robots too? What about Jewish robots? See the can of worms they opened with it with their "hilarious" dialogue? Does anybody actually even talk like that? It's like Ali G, only more shocking because the script appears to have been written by people who actually think people talk like that, in a serious way.
I've probably gone on enough now, but I'd also like to point out that Transformers 2 is FAR too long. No film should be 144 minutes long, especially one as vacuous and imbecilic as this one. There is no point for it to be that long. Also, it looks hideous, but then that's the standard Michael Bay "let's make everything look shiney and lens flares and explosions and everything is way too bright" look. The special effects are a lot worse than the first one. If I saw this film being played in a shop window, I'd think to myself "that's a pretty decent looking video game". Every scene with a robot in it looks like a cut scene from a video game, unlike the first film which actually had some quite impressive special effects.
So that is all. If you've stuck with me for this long, thank you for reading. Spare yourself the torment of watching this film.