Monday, April 29, 2013

5th Monday Ugh: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Actual movie quote: "I am directly beneath the enemy scrotum!"
It's a fifth Monday, and you know what that means, don't you? It means instead of reviewing some great work (as is heavily implied by the name of the blog), I will instead be addressing something which affects us all: bad movies. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen is my least favorite film. (And, yes, I've talked about this once before.) I'm not saying it is the worst movie ever made, I'm saying that I personally despise it with such tremendous passion that these feelings have come all the way around again, and I find it bizarrely irresistible. Drake Lloyd, director of the 1990 horror b-movie Troll 2, once said something to the effect of, "Having people tell me this is the worst movie they've ever seen is the same as them saying it's the best movie they've ever seen." Obviously, I don't think Transformers 2 is so bad that it has magically become the best film ever made, but I must concede, when I'm in the mood to be angry, I enjoy watching Transformers 2.

Typically on this blog, I try to organize my thoughts in a way that makes sense and is accessible to the reader, but I'm going to make an exception today. :) Bay expects his audience to sit through complete confusion, and he's incredibly rich. Perhaps lack of cohesion is precisely what this blog needs to propel it forward to absolute fame. So here is my rant, which should be read aloud and with as much gusto as you can gather:

There are THREE scenes in which something is humping something else. Two are dogs ("No dominating Franky!"), and one is a small robot. One of these humping scenes is a brief breakaway shot entirely unconnected to any other action or dialogue in the film. It hopes only to appease our appetite for random stimuli. 

I have seen this movie a number of times, but only in searching
for these images have I learned this little lady is apparently
named, "Alice." Good to know.
I watched in wonder and disgust, mouth slightly agape, as the two-and-a-half hour long juggernaut of a film lumbered on from one incomprehensible scene to another. The plot is about as easy to follow as Primer, but instead of showing confidence in our intelligence, the film seeks to destroy it. 

Shia's mom acts like a mental patient, but we don't know why. At Princeton (you know, the party school where everyone dresses like they just stepped off the cover of the Cosmopolitan, and no one cares about grades) she eats compacted green cubes out of bag with a marijuana sticker on it, insisting that they are normal brownies, despite her family's pleas that she stop. She then promptly tells three or four passing girls that her son's cherry was recently popped. This gem is followed by her tackling someone playing frisbee for some reason, but we are not sure why, since random violence is not a well know symptom of digesting pot. Twice during the film robots fart for our entertainment. Not one girl in the entire movie seems to weigh over a hundred-and-ten-pounds, and everyone of them has the same kind of clothes and wears their hair down. 

Robots fight, but we have no understanding of who they are or what they are doing. We cut away to a robot orbiting earth several times, but why? We cut away to some other planet where robots talk to each other about "waiting" to initiate a "plan," but we don't know where it is, or who is talking, or why. The "plan" is formless and without point A or point B. Did they end up "waiting?" Who knows! 

Let's see: Breasts? Check. Shia looking maybe not so smart? Check.
Random machinery? Check. Now just throw in someone screaming
a word or phrase repeatedly, something humping something else, and
some kind of indecipherable action, and you've got yourself the perfect
Transformers 2 tableau.

The sun is apparently going to be blown up at some point, and the only way to stop it is to bring another robot back to life, but the connection is lost to us. Some objects can bring some robots back to life, but not others. Some of these objects cannot be used without a human visiting Robot Heaven or someplace, where robots say that they are testing him. Also, they can control matter from beyond the grave sometimes. Robots have Brooklyn accents, English accents, "Gangster" accents, but we don't know why. Some of the robots are very, very stupid, but there is no explanation as to WHY ANYTHING IS HAPPENING. There are two robots named "Skids" and "Mudflap" who are insulting caricatures of African American "gangstas," that would be more at home in a closet white supremacist movie fifty years ago. 

Apparently, though they are super-advanced robots, they cannot read, nor can they think. Many robots fight in the desert, but we don't know why. They fight in a forest, in a city, near a beach, in suburbia. We don't know why. We are expected to not ask questions. Megan Fox wants to leave Shia Labeouf's character, but then she stays with him, then she wants to leave him, yet she wishes he would tell her he loves her, which he--despite being patently obsessed with her--has apparently never done. 

The characters talk rapidly, unintelligibly, repeating any line they can as often as possible. The subtitles assure as that the garbled mess we are hearing is actually made up of words. These are lines such as, "Go, go, go, go, go, go, go!", "You're my son! You're my son! You're my son!", "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!" and my personal favorite, "Stand up against the wall! Stand up against the wall! Stand up against the wall! Stand up against the wall!" Shia befriends a young man who is exactly like him in every way we can assess. The Rifftrax beg the pointed question "Doesn't this movie already have a Shia Labeouf?" 

See Shia. She Shia run. Run Shia, run.
The evil robots, whom I originally tried to keep track of by remembering that they are the ones who aren't colorful, become more colorful as the movie progresses, obliterating all hope of being distinguished. People make jokes, but we don't understand them. A professor acts godlike, Shia freaks out because he either touched something or saw something or read something, he says that Einstein was wrong, then leaves class. Do I even need to tell you that we don't know why he does this? 

We hope that by wishing as hard as we can we will be able to banish Rainn Wilson, Tom Kenny, John Turturro, and Scott McNiel from this mockery of film, but when we open our eyes, they are still in it. It goes from bad, to worse, to inexcusable, to unbelievable. You might wonder, out of all this (and so much that I have failed to mention), what was the worst thing about the movie? It's success. I bid you adieu, with the humble plea that Michael Bay's future funding be divided out equally among Shane Carruth, Joss Whedon, and Jared and Jerusha Hess.

-MA 4.29.13

PS - Can I just add this? The ENTIRE third film is devoted to creating some nonsense called a "space bridge," yet "Iron Hide" makes one in the second movie NO PROBLEM. Where are the quality assurance people??

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