By James Beardsley | October 28, 2009
The main difference between a director like Christopher Nolan and a director like Michael Bay is fuck Michael Bay. He's a terrible person, a claim I make with no knowledge of his personality; this movie is enough. Most of his films suck more than your mother at a dick festival, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen exceeds her at her sluttiest. While the first one was decent—maybe even above average—this one was an abomination, and I'm being nice. It's hardly unusual for sequels to fall short of their predecessors, but nothing could have prepared me for the plunge this franchise took from 2007 to 2009. The disparity between the two live-action Transformers movies is best illustrated with the following observation: I saw the first one and had no desire to see it again. I saw the second one and had a strong desire not to see it again, and also to shoot myself in the lungs. At least it would hurt less and be over faster than a cruel and unusual 150 minutes.
If you know what a film critic is, there's little I can say about this movie that you haven't already heard. So I won't waste time dwelling on the inane dialogue or the insipid plot or the lame humor or the incoherent action sequences (which, by the way, are the one thing Michael Bay used to do well; those days are gone) or the cardboard characters or the mechanical romance or the constant explosions or the excessive length or the way it made me want to kill myself and everyone else in the theater as a final act of mercy.
On a positive note, the CGI was good.
Anyway, instead of dwelling on all of that, I'll just point out that the writers of the screenplay were paid eight million dollars. Digest that for a moment: Three guys received eight million dollars to write "kaboom" a thousand times. That's eight thousand dollars per kaboom. But I'm being unfair; after all, there's much more to the movie than the perpetual combustion. Consider the brilliant dialogue: "Okay, so a giant robot's out to break apart a pyramid that'll release a machine that'll eat suns. If that happens, goodbye sun, goodbye earth, goodbye everything! Not on my watch. Not on my watch!" Or the final lines: "Our races, united by a history long forgotten and a future we shall face together. I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message so that our past will always be remembered. For in those memories, we live on." Then there's the exchange that gets set up near the beginning when Mikaela (Megan Fox) complains to Sam (Shia LaBeouf) about how he won't use the word "love" to describe his feelings for her, and he says that guys won't say it first because they're afraid the girl will run, and then later, during the climax, Sam briefly falls unconscious (a device rarely employed in this genre), and Mikaela's like, "I love you," and he wakes up and says it back, and she says, "It took all this to say you love me." His reply? "You said it first." Pass the Kleenex.
But don't take my word for how bad this movie is. Just ask girl-everyone-wants-to-fuck-turned-movie-star-everyone-wants-to-fuck Megan Fox, who had this to say during a promotional interview:
I don't know how you saw it in IMAX without having a brain aneurysm or at least a migraine headache... I'm in the movie, and I read the script, and I watched the movie, and I still didn't know what was happening. So I think if you haven't read the script and you go and you see it and you understand it, I think you might be a genius.
Megan Fox is certainly an expert on what's required to be a genius (and on the taste of Michael Bay's hand), but has her assessment of the movie been affected by her feelings toward the others involved in making it? Many rumors are currently circulating to the effect that Megan Fox is a bitch, a twat, or anything in between. While I can't specifically comment on whatever stories you might have heard, I can share with you my own personal experiences with the attractive young actress who (mark my words) will someday exceed Meryl Streep in Oscar nominations. Let me set the record straight: Megan Fox is not a bitch or a twat. She's both. Several months ago, Megan and I were in a dumpster making sweet, uninhibited love. She's the girl of several million men's dreams, so to prolong our encounter, I started counting all the actresses more talented than Megan Fox. When we finally reached our personal nirvana, she moaned louder than a Republican on November 4, 2008, or a Democrat on November 2, 2004, or a Libertarian always. She kept calling me Michael, which I don't think is my name, but it might explain how she got cast in Transformers in the first place.
The next morning, I awoke to find she had already left, though she was kind enough to leave an autographed photo of herself on the sidewalk, sans the autograph. I decided immediately that I needed more. Several weeks passed, but I eventually located her at the London premiere of Transformers 2. I tried offering her a flower from the aforementioned dumpster as a token of my eternal love, but instead of taking her home that night and conducting an excavation ten-and-a-half inches into her groin, I was cruelly ignored:
I was devastated. I tried sending a bullet through my brain, but the gun misfired because Transformers 2 is so shitty. It then occurred to me that perhaps my desire to harm myself should be redirected, but before I had a chance to set in motion my plan to exact violent revenge on Megan Fox, I received word that she had apologized to me in an interview, claiming she didn't see me over the camera flashes of the paparazzi. We've since reconciled and made X-rated magic in more positions than are legally viewable on the internet. Unfortunately for her, I hadn't quite forgiven her callous rejection. All I have to say is that maybe the paparazzi aren't the only ones whose cameras she should be worried about. Don't be surprised if you're surfing the web a few days hence and stumble upon a viral video of the best sex you'll never have. Please note, however, that Megan is fond of elaborate fantasies, so at her insistence, she and I did it in costume as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, respectively. If you feel like you've seen the video before, convince yourself you're wrong, because you're wrong.
Back to the movie. It sucks hardcore.
By this point, you might be wondering why, if I know that sequels tend to be worse than first installments and didn't love the first film, I chose to see this disaster. The answer is that I didn't. Not really. My best friend since the third grade wanted to see it, and I'm a desperate loser trapped in a love affair with loneliness, so I went along. We're not friends anymore. To put that into perspective, our relationship survived his stealing my girlfriend and backing over my dog on purpose. If I had a son who made me sit through this garbage, he'd find himself disowned and out on the street faster than a gay kid at Westboro Baptist.
In addition to everything else that's wrong with Transformers 2, some critics have accused it of racism. I'm not sure the movie had time for prejudice between all the explosions, but many reviewers have cited supposed instances of stereotyping directed at Arabs, East Asians, Jews, and others. Most prominently, those charging the film with racism point to its alleged insult toward black people in the form of the characters Mudflap and Skids, twin Autobots who come complete with gold teeth, illiteracy, and simian features. When asked for comment, Michael Bay said, "Get away from my set, you fucking coons! Filming for Attack of the 50 Foot Watermelon ended months ago! Guards! Guards!" He then opened fire and ran to the nearest bank to deposit his paycheck for agreeing to direct Transformers 3, then ran to the nearest fire hydrant to continue pissing on little kids' dreams.
Is the movie genuinely racist? If so, I must admit I didn't notice it during my first and only viewing. It's possible, though, that its pervasive awfulness was too overpowering for me to be thinking about potential racial stereotypes. A second viewing might clarify the matter, but I think I'd rather just pour boiling acid over my testicles.
Along with the charges of racism, accusations of sexism have been leveled against the movie for supposedly objectifying women and depicting them as unintelligent. One review I read also cited a scene in which a robot calls Mikaela a bitch. In response to this charge, I offer only one defense: The robot was addressing Megan Fox.
More than the prejudices possibly evident in the movie, what bothers me is that so many people saw this film. Actually, that's untrue; I really don't care that they saw it. What bothers me is what they're not seeing. Far too many people would rather see this piece of shit three or four times than watch Casablanca even once. They're neglecting great movies that happen to be a few decades old, in a foreign language, or independently financed and flocking to new releases often made only to generate revenue. Many moviegoers won't even consider attending films lacking multi-million-dollar marketing budgets.
Closed-mindedness prevents many people from experiencing enthralling films simply because they believe the older, foreign, and independent movies they're avoiding will automatically be boring. If you genuinely enjoyed Transformers 2, recognize it as the guilty pleasure it (for you) is, and if you're someone who shuns the types of movies I mentioned, consider expanding your cinematic horizons. In fact, I have an offer for anyone who feels less than inclined to see films of that sort: If you commit to trying to see more of those movies, I'll let you borrow Megan for a week. She says she won't go willingly, but that shouldn't be an issue. If you're reading this and happen to be involved with law enforcement, I'm just kidding. Otherwise, send me an email so we can work out the details.
Transformers 2 is more than a terrible movie. It epitomizes the worst of the modern Hollywood blockbuster and makes me ashamed to be an American—nay, part of the human race. It is trash, plain and simple; one of the worst films I've ever seen. If there is any justice in this world (and there isn't), Michael Bay will spend the rest of his life banned from the film industry and suffering from hepatitis, and then his entire afterlife watching Transformers 2. I hated this movie.
I sent Michael Bay an email with a link to this review. He replied within an hour to thank me for the constructive criticism:
Date: Thursday, Oct 29, 2009 at 10:17 AM
From: "Michael Bay" email@example.com
Subject: Re: Fan Club Application
Real funny, kid. I laughed so hard I MADE 90 MILLION DOLLARS AND GOT MORE HEAD THIS MORNING THAN YOU WILL GET IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. You and the fucking critics can eat my ass. $830 million. You dumb fuck.
Also, go see Transformers 3 July 1, 2011.
Copyright 2009 by James Beardsley