Tuesday, July 31, 2007
PlanetMe Battles The Shite Robots
TRANSFORMERS gets reviewed
"TRANSFORMERS", the film based upon the movie based upon the TV series based upon the toys, is Michael Bay's masterpiece. Sadly, his masterpiece is still the celluloid version of a ADHD kid on a Sugar High let loose with a CGI Canon at a movie theatre. In other words, it's stupid shite.
Bay - responsible for the celluloid abortions that are Pearl Harbour, Bad Boys II, and Armageddon - is probably the worst film maker in the world. Give Bay a bunch of explosions and car chases to shoot and he'll be happy - give him anything resembling a plot, exposition, even dialogue, and watch him crumble. Bay is the world's best second unit director. His films meanwhile are popcorn bubblegum kerpow bang bullshit.
Bay is the world's oldest 8 year old. Explosions? KEWL! Cars? ACES! CGI Killer Robots From Outer Space? TEH ACES!
Bay is everything that is wrong with modern movie making. "Transformers" is a generally incompetent, nonsensical, incoherent mess. It can't decide if it wants to be One Boy And His Car or Top Gun And The Robots or Ice Space Adventurer. The tone and pacing jerks wildly between scenes, characterisation is razor thin to the extent that actors are merely ciphers to move plot to the next setpiece, and the effects? Well, effects are good.
Why do you remember the Star Destroyer at the beginning of Star Wars? Because of the rest of the film is so fucking good. That’s not the case here. Transformers is shite : effects do not in themselves make a good movie. Never have. Never will. The effects are fantastic. But it's worth considering that the effects are also incomprehensible. A bunch of CGI steel fights another bunch of CGI steel, whilst the camera jerks around and moves like a breakdancer having an epilectic fit - to the extent that the viewer can't do anything but gawp confusedly at a bunch of bangs pops and KER-POWS! ...and think What The Fuck Is Happening?
Plot rests on an improbably bullshit McGuffin. Product Placement is brutal : not a shot goes by without a nod to GMC, Nokia, Ebay, Mountain Dew, the Xbox 360, USB memory cards, and so on. The Bad Guys (Decepticons) are at best mere puppets aimed at destroying mankind because... well, it doesn't matter why, which is good : because we're not told why anyway. There's utterly redundant X-Files subplots, and, of course, the utterly pointless teenage kid shoehorned in to appeal to the Pocket Money Demographic. The kid who happens to have - get this - the location of the Transformers Genesis Device All Spark Energon secretly imprinted by improbable chance into a broken pair of glasses from his great great great great grandfather Sir Ice Explorer Algernon McImprobable.
It's not all bad, of course. The Autobots themselves are wonderfully flawed, and Optimus Prime is, to be blunt, a not particularly good leader who seems like a nice guy. The humour is well placed, and the action setpieces are quite interesting in a CGI-porn way, but there's no real sense of danger and Megatron's character arc is miniscule. The music is jarringly chosen token stadium rock designed to peddle a soundtrack album.
I know we're not taking a Kubrick movie, or even Batman Begins, but for heavens sake quite why the bar has to be set so low is still baffling. Entertainment need not be stupid - and whilst there's nothing wrong with a bit of simplicity in these kind of broad brushstrokes, Bay seems to have confused simplistic with plain fucking dumb. If Transformers was a person, it would be held back a year for having learning difficulties : intellectually it's a brain dead cripple in an irreversible coma, doomed forever to be kept on life support as it pisses and shits it's little remaining dignity away. It's a cynically designed machine aimed at separating teenagers from their pocket money and utterly, utterly worthless in any cinematic terms.
Transformers isn't a film, it's the longest advert you will ever watch. This is Michael Bays masterpiece, and make no mistake, it's a great big pile of fucking crap.
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