Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review Rewind: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Time for another edition of Review Rewind. This time I tear apart the piece of shit that is a Michael Bay movie. Normally you just pick any of his films to tear apart but this one was extra bad. Ready? Here we go!

Rating: F
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Starring: John Turturro, Rainn Wilson, Tyrese Gibson, Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Isabel Lucas

Screenplay: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Ehren Kruger

Director: Michael Bay
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material.

Reviewed by: George 'El Guapo' Roush - 06.24.09

G.I. Joe is not the movie Paramount should be worried about.

****DISCLAIMER**** This review is for entertainment purposes only. I can guarantee you that this review will make more sense than the movie I'm writing about. Oh, who am I kidding. Nothing I write makes any sense.

This review will have spoilers. I suggest you read it anyway so you don't have to bother seeing the movie. The review will be all over the place because there is so much wrong with this film that I doubt if the flow will be as linear as I want it to be. Nothing new there...

The 2007 release of Transformers ushered in a new revolution in cinema watching. Audiences have now accepted big, giant explosive films that are just plain awful to sit through. We're now inundated with the type of thought that "It's a kid's movie," or "Just turn off your brain" should be an acceptable way to watch a film. And Hollywood has listened, bringing out trash that makes no sense and requires zero brainpower from the crowd. It's a shame, and Revenge of the Fallen is perhaps the biggest ingredient in this ongoing recipe of movie shit. "But, it's a movie about toys, lighten up!" says the common man. To that line of reasoning, I say "FUCK YOU." I don't care if it's a movie about toys or about toothpicks, you make the movie, then make it as good as you possibly can. Don't just rely on that bullshit to carry the film.

Alright, let me start this damn thing. In the words of my friend Hans, "Shit just got diarrheal!"

This movie is filled with boobs.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is now going off to college. He's still dating Mikaela (Megan Fox) and keeps Bumblebee in his garage cause that's where cars belong, bitch. The Autobots have joined forces with our military to stop any new Decepticon threats. With news of The Fallen and the return of Megatron, the Autobots must come together to stop the bad guys from doing whatever the fuck it is they plan on doing.

Optimus Prime tries to enlist the help of Sam, who now sees strange symbols after having been exposed to the All Spark. The All Spark, a strange device that turns any electrical item into a robot, must be kept safe or it will be used to revive Megatron. I'm curious, why is it the All Spark only makes Decepticons? How did the Autobots come around if all the All Spark ever created were bad guys? This is just one of a thousand questions you will have while watching this train wreck. In fact, one of the opening scenes of the movie sees the All Spark shard burning through the floors in Sam's house only to land in the kitchen and cause all of the electrical appliances to come to life and attack Sam and his family. Bumblebee comes to the rescue, effectively destroying the mini Decepticons along with the house. But that's not a big deal because the government will just rebuild their house since the Witwickys are now a part of the hush hush cover up. About as hush hush as you can be with an enormous yellow robot on your front lawn.

So Sam goes to college. He can't take Bumblebee with him because freshmen aren't allowed to have cars on campus and Sam wants his freedom. He meets his Hispanic roommate Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) who immediately introduces him to his team of website employees that post viral videos and info on the Decepticon attacks that are always being covered up. The scenes between Sam and Leo in the apartment are supposed to be funny, but the dialogue is so awful that you actually laugh at how bad it is.

But that's nothing compared to the dialogue between Sam and Mikaela. Megan Fox, who is perhaps the worst actress on the face of the planet, can't even say one word lines convincingly. I have no idea why this chick is famous. She's not that attractive (spot the makeup covered acne in IMAX. It's awesome), and everytime she says her lines it's like her brain is struggling to figure out what's going on. Her acting and line delivery remind me of a broken Speak-n-Spell. Megan is shown in skimpy outfits and runs around in slow motion. I guess we're supposed to be impressed. Personally, I'm not impressed with any aspect of her when there are so many good actresses out there that could play the role so much better than she ever possibly could.

"Sam, I'm brukking up wiff youuu."

Shia has now gone from a decent actor to someone who just runs around screaming stupid shit like, "NO!" and "OPTIMUS!" He's been playing the exact same character for years. It's not really his fault. I may make fun of the kid, but I really like Shia and I'm happy for his success. It's just sad that he goes from playing decent characters like in The Greatest Game Ever Played to dipshit ones like Sam in the Transformers movies. Plus, he hurt his hand somewhere in the film and bandages magically appear on his arm without ever being explained. (A result of his real life car accident during filming.) Whatever. The whole movie is one of convenience so details like that will always be ignored.

The first thing you notice from the new Transformers is how nothing has been improved (sans the CGI) from its predecessor. The film's jokes don't work and the entire movie was written so it could be enjoyed by 10 year-old retarded children. There are numerous plot holes and questions you will have during the entire 2:20 runtime. It's as if we just watched a Mad Libs movie and we're here to fill in our own blanks.

The military is once again portrayed as no-nonsense serious business. There are multiple monitors showing random shit and a bunch of guys saying things that aren't important to the story. General Morshower (played by Glenn Morshower, how original.) walks around saying important things like, "Let's get clearance, Clarence," and "What's our vector, Victor?" Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson return in their respective roles but are given little to do. In fact, I'm surprised Tyrese is even in the movie. He really does nothing and is hardly shown. And since the fight at the end is such a visual mess, he could transform into a giant rapping robot and nobody would even notice.

Speaking of robots, I guess I should start talking about them, huh?

All of your favorites return except for Jazz who I believe was killed in the first for being really fucking useless. Megatron is revived by the Constructicons after they manage to get the All Spark Sam was holding on to. The military notices five objects submerging at an enormous rate of speed where Megatron is located at the bottom of the sea. The Constructicons then tear apart one of their own to give Megatron parts that were destroyed in the last film. Megatron is brought back to life, and they all ascend to the surface. All of them. Including the one that was apparently destroyed just moments ago. The military now counts six objects (not five like it should be) rising to the surface. So either the Constructicon wasn't destroyed or the writers just didn't give a shit. Well, at this point in the movie I already knew they didn't give a shit.

Megatron and Starscream have their differences in leadership, a relationship that was never explored in the first film except when Megatron tells Starscream that he's failed him again. The two bicker throughout the movie, but it doesn't matter. Megatron is now serving The Fallen, who for 2,000 years has known the location of the Energon device that previous Prime robots protected (via flashback). I'm curious as to why he decided to wait 2,000 years to go after it since he always knew the location. I'm also curious as to why Megatron feels the need to extract the information from Sam himself if The Fallen has known about the device's location for so long. See, The Fallen needs the Matrix of Leadership to activate the Energon device, and since he was around at the exact location of where the Primes hid it (again via flashback), why is he using Megatron to try and locate its whereabouts from Sam?

The second act is just as tedious as the first. Sam and Mikaela are on the run after Optimus interfered with Megatron trying to get the location of the Matrix of Leadershit from Sam. Optimus fights three Decepticons - Megatron, Starscream and some other dude. During the fight on the forest moon of Endor (None of the locations make any sense. They may as well be fighting in LegoLand), Optimus rips apart the head of one of the Decepticons. At first I thought it was Megatron, but it wasn't. Then I thought it was Starscream, but nope, he was standing there a minute later. So I have no clue who it was he killed since the action was such a god damned mess to try and follow. Optimus is killed in the battle but the Decepticons leave when the Autobots finally show up. Why didn't the Autobots ever try transforming into jets? Seems like they'd be able to get around a tad quicker.

There are two scenes I enjoyed in this entire movie: One is when Prime fought in the forest against the Decepticons. Not because I could really follow what was going on, but because at least something was happening in this fucking movie. I mean, they wasted 10 minutes with Sam's Mom eating pot brownies and tackling Frisbee players on the lawn. I'm not kidding. Plus we had to deal with the whole Pretender Decepticon of Alice (Isabel Lucas) as she tries to kill Sam by making out with him when Mikaela walks in. It's just stupid and a real waste of time. The second were the scenes with Ravage, the Decepticon Soundwave sends to retrieve the All Spark. Ravage just looked cool. In fact, he was the only one that actually seemed to serve a real purpose in this movie. Too bad we didn't get enough of him.

The only pussy worth watching in this movie.

Sam's parents, who are vacationing in Paris, are unaware of everything going on. Sam's dad is drinking a Bud while mom gets disgusted by the exotic flavoring of Escargot. They're also being bothered by a mime, because mime's are apparently all over the fucking place in Paris annoying tourists. Seriously, this script and Michael Bay are constantly telling the audience that they are as stupid as they imagine them to be. They must think that shit like this is humorous to someone older than three months in the womb. But wait, it gets worse.

There are two twin Autobots called Mudflap and Skids (voiced by Reno Wilson and Tom Kenny). These are the sequel's "ethnic" robots. By ethic, I mean they're the southern black robots of the film. Why would I say such a thing? Because Michael Bay and his cohorts put in perhaps the most racially offensive stereotyped black characters I've seen in years. The two talk like they're rappers from New Orleans, they have gold front teeth, look like monkeys, and admit that, "they can't read" when asked to decipher symbols only meant for the Primes to be able to read. (Even though Wheelie, one of the tiny Decepticons, knows what language it is.) They also repeatedly call characters "pussies" and talk about busting caps in people's asses, all with that southern crunk drawl. Song of the South comes across as Leave it to Beaver compared to this. I mean, what the hell are these people thinking? What executive from Paramount saw these characters and was OK with it? They're not innocent playful characters that today's youth will 'relate to.' I swear to God at one point, when Bumblebee separates the two when they're fighting, one of them says the 'n' word. It might have been my ears playing tricks on me after being assaulted for an hour, but I wouldn't be surprised. (I need a reader to verify it for me.) They're about as racially offensive as you can get. I'm surprised Bay didn't have the latino character of Leo running around holding a fucking bean burrito and a piƱata.

Michael Bay's Bruthabots.

My favorite Autobot Ironhide is in the film but you lose him about halfway through and I have no idea what happens to him. Rachet is also barely seen. Like most of the robots in this mess, you lose track of who is who. Sam, Leo and Mikalea go to enlist the help of ex Sector 7 agent Simmons (John Turturro) who is now working at his mother's meat shop after his division was shut down by the government. Simmons, who has an entire basement filled with secret documents, knows about the symbols Sam keeps seeing and through the help of the tiny Decepticon Wheelie (an Italian acting Decepticon who is worried about "getting wacked"), whom Mikalea captured and locked up at the beginning of the film, they go to get help from the Transformer Jetfire. And I'm sure some of you have heard about the scene where Megan Fox is getting leg humped by a robot. It's in there all right. Wheelie decides he likes being with Mikalea and Shia and starts humping her leg. A Decepticon turned Autobot is humping a woman's leg. I hope you all die in car fires.

Jetfire is a SR-71 Blackbird housed at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. He's a former Decepticon who chose to help the Autobots. He's one of the oldest Transformers and walks with a cane, has I believe a British accent, can't transform very well, and has a bad memory. He's basically the robotic version of Michael Caine. He helps our heroes by teleporting (they can teleport??) them into the third and final act at the pyramids in Egypt.

We're now in Egypt where this entire clusterfuck of a film comes to its clusterfuck of a conclusion. Here's where the giant battles and massive explosions, followed by multiple scenes of slow motion take place. Nothing here makes any sense or follows any sort of logic whatsoever. Sam is trying to get the Matrix of Leadership that he found to Optimus' dead body. While maneuvering in the most difficult path possible, (I guess it would be too much to ask one of the Autobots to simply drive him there) the Decepticons and Autobots are running around kicking the shit out of each other. I have no idea who is who at this point.

Devastator is finally formed and is the big Transformer fans have been waiting to see. He looks fantastic, but like most of this film, just appears for no reason other than to appear. The Constructicons are already there by the time the Autobots arrive. They form Devastator, who begins to suck up the sand around him and crushes anything in its way. He then starts climbing the pyramid and begins destroying it. (And yes, he has a set of wrecking balls for testicles. Once again, Michael Bay trying to prove to everyone that you have a dick, or at least be a dickhead, to enjoy his films.) We see Megatron who I think is instructing Devastator on what to do. What's awesome is I think I saw some Constructicons in the background while Devastator was walking around. Devastator is eventually destroyed by a rail gun from a battleship and falls apart. Wouldn't that mean there are now at least five more Decepticons that can still function? They may have hit Devastator, but they didn't kill all the Constructicons. But why bother with attention to detail at this point.

Meanwhile, there are more explosions, and more slow motions scenes of Sam and Mikaela's tits running through the desert. Prime comes back to life, but is injured. Jetfire is mortally wounded and gives Optimus his Energon (I think??) and Prime comes to life, combines with Jetfire and flies to the top of the pyramid to confront The Fallen who teleported from out of nowhere and started tearing shit up. So basically Primes can be revived by other Transformers, then combine with them at will? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE?

This isn't from the film. It's an exclusive shot from inside Megan Fox's vagina.

Everything is wrapped up when Optimus destroys The Fallen (who can only be killed by a Prime, yet Optimus can easily be killed by Megatron or anyone else. Whatever.) and Megatron and Starscream take off. In the comic book adaptation, there are two panels at the end where we see the Decepticons on their fleet carrier The Nemesis, as Megatron yells, "Let my new army arise." But that wasn't in the movie, even after the end credits. Heaven forbid you do anything to set up a third film or even try and hint at Unicron.

The score by Steve Jablonsky is ear splitting. It's more military march and bass blasting bullshit. Most of the time the score is so loud you cannot hear the dialogue between the characters. I'm not kidding, there were multiple times when I had no clue what anyone was saying. It was a combination of the shitty score, the explosions, and the fact that the dialogue is just that hard to follow. The score is just another part of this movie that's too big for its own good, drowning itself in its own arrogance.

Michael Bay once again shows his hard on for the sweeping camera shot (I lost count at fifteen). I thought maybe he had the cameras attached to vultures and placed fresh corpses all over his set pieces before yelling, "Action!" He sweeps that fucking camera in and around everything. Around the robots, around Megan Fox, around Shia, around the fights, around the lights, around rooms, around the cars, around the planet Earth, around the fucking universe, through keyholes, plotholes, assholes, it just doesn't end. There's more circling in this movie than the participant warm ups at the Special Olympics. Put the fucking camera down, you maniac. What is his fascination with such nauseating shots? It's so overused I wonder if he tries to circle the toilet at home before taking a shit.

Look I can go on for another 3,000 + words about why this movie sucks but it's simple - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Standards is a complete and utter disaster. I was really looking forward to seeing it. The trailers had me psyched beyond belief and I prayed that Bay had finally taken some of the criticism from moviegoers to heart and decided to make a fun, serious action film without all of his trademark bullshit. Instead we got more of the same: big explosions, a stupid plot and horrible acting. It's borderline racist, it's loud, it's too long, it's dull, it's dumb and it doesn't make any sense. This is what happens when you let your "action" director do whatever he wants to do.

And before you anal fanboys start e-mailing me crying that I'm bitching about my childhood being raped, it has nothing to do with that. Our childhood was being raped when we were still children. I loved the Rubik's Cube but threw it away when they made the Rubik's Cube cartoon. We've been getting hosed since we were kids, we just don't want to talk about it. This has to do with a studio and director making a movie about transforming robots that's supposed to be a fun, well written story with great action and likable characters. And we didn't get that movie. I think it's time the studio execs start looking for a new captain to steer this ship of shit.

Before I leave you I just have this to say: Michael Bay has been giving us the finger for years. I think it's time we started giving it back.

I bet Transformers 3 will be good!

-El Guapo