7/5/11

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON - REVIEW


It's hard to describe my anticipation for Michael Bay's new attempt at a Transformers live action film. On the one hand, seeing a good Transformers film would blow me away so there's always THAT hope, on the other hand...

Transformers 2...

The prospect of sitting through another 2 and a half hours of moronic, nonsensical, offensive cheese with robots thrown in was a painful one but I just had to know if Bay could sink any lower than Transformers 2 or, god forbid, make something half decent!

But Mr Pearl Harbor did not disappoint with a follow-up every bit as childish, stupid and tasteless as its predecessor but minus the fun and 10 more minutes thrown in. Now that said, I should point out that this effort is probably better than the last one if only for some impressive effects, no Megan Fox and no racist robots.

Yes the pain is diminished slightly but new pain is introduced through countless stereotypes, macho homophobic humour, rampant sexism, music video-style directing, horrendous writing, NO editing, plot holes the size of Chicago and worst use of characters since the original Casino Royale.

Shia LaBoeouf's Sam seems to suffer from an extended mental breakdown throughout the film as we see him kick his car repeatedly, speak faster and faster, get "deep wanged" in the men's toilets, scream countless times and get thrown around like a yoyo on a trampoline. And get ready for a "quirky" looking-for-jobs montage like they used to do in the 80's: Cocktail-style!

...IN A TRANSFORMERS FILM!!!

Focusing primarily on humans and comic relief characters in a film about giant robots really is the franchise's main flaw. This isn't Sam Witwicky's Day Out, this is Transformers! All Bay had to do was make the Autobots/Decepticons somewhat recognizable, set the whole thing in the future or on some planet and follow the titular robot aliens as they fly through space, beat each-other senseless and interact with each other like real characters. I don't care if Sam's boss is John Malkovitch, I don't care if Frances McDormand works for the government and I certainly don't care that John Turturro is back a third time for more assness.

An hour and a half at least could and should have been cut out of this overlong mess: anything not having to do directly with the Transformers should have stayed in the recycle bin in the top left corner of Michael Bay's desktop instead of in my paralysed cortex where it currently resides.

Plot-wise, we learn this time around that JFK was in fact made of old burritos (check out the awful CGI), we learn that Decepticons were behind Tchernobyl this whole time (tasteful) and we are reminded of the Challenger disaster and 9/11 in a film directed by the guy who thought that the Pearl Harbor tragedy would make a kickass action flick...

Add a ghastly Ken Jeong and a shameful Alan Tudyk and you've got yourself one unpleasant cinematic experience.

Now many of you will say that as long as robots are fighting, you're happy. Well there's a whole hour of that so go wild. I, for one, cannot care about characters whom I know nothing about, whom I haven't been given any reason to like and whom I have barely seen in three very long films so Decepticons or Autobots, you can all just go right ahead and dismember yourselves, I'll be at home, playing Robocop vs Terminator on the old MegaDrive, now THERE's a robot fight I can get behind.

"We pretended to die so that your people may learn how important we are to them"

"You mean while Chicago burned to the ground and thousands of people needlessly died?"

"...ERROR..."

What Michael Bay seems to have tapped into is that nostalgic low threshold bad movies can have: with Transformers 3 you've got a film which promises great special effects, great 3D and big robots and for most people that sounds just about right. He has understood that people just care more about idiotic, mindless action than solid storytelling, wit, subtlety or clever plotting and he's making millions. He's making millions and we're getting "deep wanged"...

People: we need to be more snobbish about our films. We can't just keep giving those Michael Bays millions, they need to earn it! So Spielberg tricked us into watching nostalgic backwash with Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, but you know what? He earned the right to make one turkey once in a while. He made Minority Report, Jaws, the good Indy movies, Schindler's List. Michael Bay made Armageddon and Victoria's Secret adverts...

If his penis shrinks anymore with these big robot movies where women are compared to cars and Transformers are sponsored by Ferrarri we'll get a film about God and Jesus shooting planets at each other's Coca Cola-tattooed balls...

FOR 5 AND A HALF HOURS!!!

To wrap this up, lets just say that if you're 5 or if you liked the other two Transformers films (sigh) you'll love this one. If, however, you have EYES linked directly to a brain capable of intelligent or, at the very least, rational thought, you might as well watch your own ass in the mirror.

Awful. Just awful.

Looks nice except for JFK burrito.

Awful.

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