Thursday, July 16, 2009

Transformers 2 review from an FNG (Caution: Big Spoilers!!!)

Michael Bay hit one out of the ballpark. Too bad he's playing on a grade school field.
This is my first time posting on this site, even though I've been reading the articles for years. It's 3:30 a.m. and I've just gotten home and settled in from the midnight premiere of Michael Bay's latest and greatest. My feelings were so strong that I felt it necessary to create an account and post my own personal review of this film. Here goes nothing...

Let's get right into it, shall we? I was expecting a traditional Bay film in which we get an amazing opening sequence with lots of fantastic action and a jump-start into the films' plot. Twenty minutes later, and I'm wondering what happened to the opening action sequence. I know that the whole Decepticon hunting unit idea was cool, but our first glimpse of NEST (as it's called in the film) was rather anti-climatic. We aren't really introduced to any of the new characters, and before it's over, two of them have died. Now, I know we don't need a bunch of character development at this stage, but a little introduction is at least warranted. I'd at least like to know WHO died without having to research it on the internet.

Once things get underway, we spend a little too much time getting familiar with old friends Sam and Mikela. (Although the virtual "upskirt" shot of Megan Fox left the auditorium cheering. Did I see a bit of cheek?) The scene is set, we know where most of the major players stand, and the film finally gets underway.
My first major grievance; Sam's new roomate is an assclown. 'Nuff said.
My next big issue was the "robot in disguise as a human" chick. When did the Decepticons get L.M.D.'s from Nick Fury? It was obvious from the moment we met her what she was, and it was annoying every second until she got crushed by Mikela's superb driving skills. Thank you, Bay, for one more unneccesary and agitating character.

Sam makes it to safety, the story continues to unfold, and it's about this time that I start to feel really unhappy about the progression of things, but I can't put my finger on why. Then it hits me in the face during the scene after Optimus bites the big one: they aren't giving us ANY CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AT ALL!!! The other autobots barely even flinch when they find out that their great leader has died. They all seem to act, pardon the expression, like machines!!! The first film gave life and emotions to the Transformers, and when the movie was over, you really cared what happened to each of them. This time, I felt like I was watching robotic body parts being piled up and thrown in large, unmarked graves, just to move on to the next scene of robotic homicide.
I've decided to quickly list each robot that recieved a personality and the fault I've found, if there is any, with each one:

Optimus Prime: Killed before the halfway point in the film, so what is there to care about?

Megatron: Resurrected as Megatron, not Galvetron. Same character as in the first film, just serving a master instead of being the master.

Starscream: Lacked any ambition. Became a complete pee-on coward the second that Megatron was brought back.

The Fallen: The newest badass and major villain. Too bad we all know that he's going to get smoked before the film ends.

The Twins: Comic relief. Why the hell would I get emotionally attached to the court jesters?

Bumblebee: Same character in the first film, but more badass. (Unless you count the pouting and crying scenes.)

Jetfire: Old man robot with a surly attitude. The best of what little we were given.

Wheelie: Another comic relief. Funny, but not awe-inspiring.

The point is, the characters that were developed were piss-poor, and the ones that weren't could have used some more time in the spotlight. Ravage rocked. Why couldn't we get more of him, and get rid of Wheelie?

Also, I noticed that a few familiar faces were there, with ZERO explanation as to how they got there. For example, Blackout. How'd he come back? Also, I thought I saw Brawl during the desert battle at the end. And I know that I saw Bonecrusher in there. We're just left to accept that they were magically reincarnated so that they could be killed all over again. I call bullspit.

Now, on to one of my biggest issues; Devastator. It seemed like he was made up of several different smaller Decepticons, just like in the original series. But if you looked, you could see that none of the individual pieces of Devastator actually became a robot. They just became PARTS. And during the final battle scene, I distinctly saw three of Devastators' supposed individual parts battling with the Autobots and humans. How can they be in two places at once?
One last major issue was this; It seemed that most of the robots that did get face time were given teenager-like personalities. I don't know about all of you, but I had enough of teenage personalities before the movie started, seeing as my entire auditorium was full of them.

Other issues: Arcee, or the lack thereof. Soundwave, or the lack thereof. Not enough Ravage. Too many generic, no name, just another face in the crowd Decepticons. Teleporting with no explanations? WTF??? No worthwhile bonus footage during the credits.

Now, I'm not all gloom and doom. There were some things that really pleased me. The first was Ravage. They did an outstanding job at portraying the big robotic cat. Ravage had more personality and character with no spoken lines than most of the other characters in the entire film.

The inclusion of energon and the Matrix of Leadership were also familiar and welcome additions. Having Frank Welker voicing Decepticons again was heart-warming, (in a geeky, macho kind of way.) Shia Lebouf screaming like a little girl was priceless. And the twins were not as "Jar-Jar" as I had feared they would be.

All in all, I left the theater stunned and disappointed. I can truly say that, as a Michael Bay fan, he has earned his place amongst the great directors with their respective "masterpieces": George Lucas and Star Wars: the Prequels. Sam Raimi and Spider-Man 3. Joel Schumacher and Batman Forever/Batman and Robin.

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