(Planet Me)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Transforminators 2 : Utter Bullshit

Transformers 2 – oh, I’d heard all about how bad this was – with the jive talking robots, the lack of a plot, the confusing CGI, the jump cuts, the round ass visuals and lingering shots of girls bottoms and I thought… it can’t be that bad.

Optimism is a curse.

Because it’s not just that bad, it’s actually worse. But I have an explanation.

Michael Bay is, at heart, a 10 year old boy, caught at the cusp with the first hairs on his pubis, filled with raging hormones, aware of the lure of girls, but with no real understanding of the female gender in anything but the most primitive manner. It’s a fleetingly short stage of life, where the body is kidnapped by unformed desire, where big explosions and primitive ideas are still amazingly cool, and a world where a shiny truck can actually be the leader of a mechanoid alien race.

To call this film emotionally retarded is .. well, it’s an insult. This film isn’t just emotionally challenged : it has the insight, depth, cohesion, logic, intelligence and sensitivity smaller than my pet rabbit.

Though there is an excuse, during The Writers Strike, the film still existed. Instead of piecing together a plot and finding a reason for it, “Revenge Of The Fallen” started with all the action setpieces carefully constructed but no plot, no dialogue, no reason. It was only after that a (presumably cheap) somewhat unemployed and incompetent writer was appointed to make sense of it all in a short timescale, put together the pieces, and try and create a narrative that explained what the dickens was going on. And he failed.

This film doesn’t make any sense. Not one iota. And not in a “2001” sense where what is happening is so obtuse that it is difficult to decipher. Transformers 2 is just… intellectually rancid and spiritually bankrupt.

At not one point did I care in the slightest what I was watching. I was watching stuff blow up, I was watching a bunch of 60 foot tall animated robot trucks fight about something hidden in a pyramid that would suck the Sun out of the sky. But I didn’t care. In some ways the end of all human life would be preferable to the Autocondeceptabots winning, because I was losing the will to live in this tale which isn’t worth telling.

I was having what you could call “The Shakes”. Within the first hour I had seen so much stuff explode – helicopters, aircraft carriers, cities, cars, lampposts, telephones – in fact anything and everything you can possibly blow up bites the dust. I just wanted the noise and colours to stop for a little while.

And, with too much screentime occupied by two borderline racist, misogynist, jive-talkin’, idiotic Deceptatwinbots, I started to feel myself getting stupider. Because maybe if I couldn’t think and was stupid, I might enjoy this more.

Well, some stuff blows up, there’s some loud stuff, a few explosions, some shots of Megan Fox’s backside, and ultimately a few hundred million pounds are wasted in generating some popcorn sales. But none of means anything. I cared more about what I’m having for dinner, which I will forget in 8 hours, than anything in this film. It’s ultimately utterly forgettable, with no context – the events of the film are fading from memory before the end credits, because the narrative smoke has the substance – and weight – of a cloud.

When the Apocalypse comes, and Mankind is asked to justify its existence, for heavens sake, don’t show this film to the judge. We’ll be judged guilty.

Don’t see this, and don’t pay for it. All you are doing is encouraging them to make more films like this. And believe me, humanity does not need that on it’s conscience.

I didn't see the original movie because I had no desire to. I was asked by some old friends to watch Transformers 2 on the imax and it actually managed to be even more hideous than I was expecting. I thought about writing my own review but everyone else seems to have covered it well enough already. It's just hideous from start to finish, none of it makes sense at all.

I remember Mark Kermode describing one of the pirates films as 'the death of narrative cinema' and I think Transformers 2 is indicative of the trend to build a film from setpieces rather than to tell a story.

It is sad because you wonder where the dumbing down can actually end. Where is the logical conclusion?

We are raising an entire generation of cinemagoers that lack the attention span to follow a story, to appreciate good storytelling.

I read an article yesterday which suggested that the way we scan read information on the web is actually damaging our ability to read and absorb information from books, if that has some truth in it then you could argue that terrible films with no regard to story, narrative, dialogue are damaging our ability to appreciate quality filmmaking.
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