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Arguably the “biggest movie of the summer,” Transformers 2 is also the most soulless and mind numbingly awful, which is impressive considering the litany of cinematic trains wrecks we’ve endured the past 2 months: Wolverine, Angels and Demons, Terminator Salvation and so forth.
Like most relics of the 80’s, I cherish my nostalgic memories of watching Optimus Prime battle Megatron and his Decepticons while trying to transform my mangled, brutally worn out Starscream toy. This movie almost single handedly molested my childhood soul and tarnished those googly-tingly memories of Saturday morning goodness.
Michael Bay is quickly emerging as cinematic equivalent of a successful, slick Don King who repeatedly sells shiny tricks to a fast food nation population who is lured by special effects, explosions and hot babes [like yours truly!] The man must have made some Faustian bargain with the Devil – he keeps churning out blockbuster movies one after another yet somewhere along the way he undoubtedly sacrificed his artistic integrity, the semblance of a coherent narrative, realistic and interesting characters, and the ingredients of wit and ingenuity. [Although I did enjoy the original Bad Boys and The Rock.]
Furthermore, I’m finally convinced Michael Bay has no Black friends, or thinks all Black people come from 1920’s D.W. Griffith movies. In Transformers 1, the only “Black” Transformer, Jazz, talks in nonsense “Jive-talk” and inexplicably dances around only to be killed in the most meaningless and dishonorable manner by Megatron. His Autobot buddies give him one line of a eulogy and then just casually toss his dead carcass aside.
In the current flick, we now have the cinematic equivalent of the Ying-Yang twins and the Black Crows from the “Dumbo” Disney cartoon. These 2 buffoon Transformers are known as “The Twins” and watching them was laughable, embarrassing and completely uncomfortable. They talk in some sort of urban hip hop slang that can only be manufactured by writers whose entire concept of Black people is Flava Flav; they have gold teeth; they talk about “getting up on that ass,” and finally they confess their illiteracy since they “don’t care to read much.”
However, it’s a popcorn, summer nonsense movie, and one must not expect cultural sensitivities or intellectual prowess. What’s most insulting is the absolute, utter disregard for any comprehensible plot or remotely interesting characters to inhabit the screen. In fact, I wanted to punch all the characters in the face or knee them in the gonads with appropriate vigor corresponding to their level of annoyance. The ones who deserve a sledgehammer to the privates first and foremost are Shia’s parents, especially the Mom character, who decides to eat Weed Brownies and then proceeds to terrorize the college campus during orientation day. Then, I would like to rid my memory of the jive-talking Transformer “Twins.” Moving on, we take a swift hammer to the head of the robot that humps the leg of Megan Fox for apparently no reason. After that every single human character must be forced to staple their mouths shut, give one another painful nipple twists, and then jump in unison out of a flying plane without a parachute landing on a heaping pile of broken glass.
The most heinous hazing must be reserved for the screenwriters and the director Bay who brutally bombarded me over the head with 150 minutes of mind numbing, eardrum shattering pointless action sequences that were filmed in a blur resulting in a visual, incoherent mess which made my eyes hurt. I thought Robot Fights would be testosterone induced, orgasmic cinematic highs, but I mostly felt extreme annoyance trying to figure out what the hell I was seeing through Bay’s repeated use of noisy, violent quick cuts.
Let us not forget the brilliant dialogue. It consists mostly of Shia Lebouf yelling “OPTIMUS!” or “BUMBLBEE!” and outrunning alien machines that inexcusably fail to kill him despite having nearly 30 easy attempts to do just that.
As I grew shiftless, irritated and bored, I thought at least I can enjoy staring at the sex on legs that is Megan Fox. However, she barely registers primarily because her character is underwritten and mostly meaningless. But also because her facial expressions are paralyzed by botox and she seemed incapable of closing her lips due to heavy collagen shots.
All I wanted was some good, plain ol’ dumb mash-em-up fun. But, no, Bay and company had to ruin my low expectations and in the process demean the blessed memory of my beloved Transformers. It matters not: the movie will make a gazillion dollars, sell a grillion toys, and its inevitably longer, noisier, more digitally action-y and ultimately pointless sequel will be released in 2 years.
TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE CRAP