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Transformers: Revenge of the Written Accompaniment by Jamie

So there it is. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has been released and I’ve already given my general impression of the film in a mildly drunken way in the video review. I didn’t feel, however, that the time restrictions that YouTube strictly enforce coupled with the fact that we were filming in a hotel lobby allowed me the time necessary to fully explain just where I think this film went wrong.

I’m going to try and do this as detached, unemotionally and as neutral as possible but that will be difficult since this film angered me so. Seriously, it’s now been literally ages since I saw the film and still it keeps popping into my mind and making me angry. Really angry. Far, far angrier than a movie based on a cartoon based on toys from the 80s should make any sane or rational person, something which I’d considered myself to be until the release of this movie.

So what the hell was the problem with this film anyway? Why would it evoke such a reaction in someone such as myself? Well, let’s begin by looking at the Transformers themselves. Optimus Prime returns as the only Autobot from the previous film with any real screen time or personality. (Yes, Bumblebee returns as well but his voice is inexplicably gone again and even he seems to get the short straw this time around.) This is a problem considering the fact that Optimus is missing from most of the damn film. The reason being, of course, that Optimus dies fairly early on and honestly, I didn’t care. One of my favourite heroic characters got killed, again, and I just didn’t care.

The reason being is that, unlike in the original animated film, there is no weight to Optimus’ death. There is no sense of loss from any of the characters which pretty much telegraphs the fact that the big blue guy will be back before the film is over. Seriously, there’s a scene where the Autobots are gathered around Optimus’ body and I thought ‘Ah, here we go. We’re finally gonna see some mourning for Optimus.’ But no, the scene is cut short by the arrival of the military and is soon over. Compare this to the animated film where Optimus is slowly dying with the Autobots gathered around him and are genuinely upset with the passing of their great leader. Optimus even falters as he goes to pass the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus, just highlighting the fact that he really is dying. It’s an emotional scene that genuinely tugs at the heart strings.

So that’s Optimus dealt with. Let’s move on to one of the new additions to the cast and one that I was really looking forward to, the perennial fan-favourite, Soundwave. What the fuck did Michael Bay do to Soundwave? He went to all the trouble of making sure Frank Welker was there to voice the character and he doesn’t even bother to use a vocoder to make his voice sound right? Maybe I’m being pedantic and perhaps it’s something I could have gotten over if only they’d used the character better than they did. Soundwave is Megatron’s right hand robot and should have been used as such. Instead he sits in space, fucking a satellite in order to gather information. Sure, it fits in with his position as a recon-bot but really? That’s all one of the most popular characters in the franchise is going to be used for? Fuck you Michael Bay. Fuck you. Hmm, so much for staying unemotional. I guess I can take some small comfort that Ravage was still ‘ejected’ from Soundwave.

So the question raises itself, could Soundwave have been used any better? And I put to you that yes, of course he could. Here’s how I feel the movie should have gone: Megatron is dead. Starscream has assumed the role as the leader of the Decpticons. Soundwave has come to Earth with a few other Decepticons and is following Starscream’s lead until about halfway through the film he discovers the location of Megatron’s body and goes behind his new leader’s back in order to revive him. Perhaps don’t even have him succeed until the very end of the film with a shot of Megatron, Soundwave in tow, confronting Starscream with the implication that something very bad is about to happen to him, something akin to what happens when Galvatron returns at Starscream’s coronation. That would have been awesome and keeping in line with the character’s main traits, Soundwave’s loyalty to Megatron and Starscream’s desire to lead the Decepticons.

So let’s get onto those two characters now. If I’m honest, this is one of the few things I did enjoy about the this film and I realise that my idea for a plot would have pretty much taken the Megatron/Starscream relationship out of the picture which I guess would have been a shame because it’s one of the few things that were actually done right. There are genuinely great character moments between Megatron and Starscream that harken back to the original cartoon and they were actually enjoyable, so well done Michael Bay for having something good in an otherwise relentless piece of shit.
Now let’s move onto the Autobots in general. Most of them are just here as cameos without much to do through the film. Arcee is introduced along with two other identical though differently coloured female bots and has nothing at all to do. Ironhide returns and has nothing at all to do. There are a few others who have nothing at all to do and have their names mentioned maybe once. And then there are the Twins, Mudflap and Skids and… wow… Just wow. It’s like Michael Bay wondered what his first Transformers film was missing, decided to watch The Phantom Menace and had an epiphany. “That’s what my movie is missing!” He cried in joy at his sudden realisation “A racially insensitive character who will annoy the fuck out of every human being who has ever lived… But I am Michael Bay! I must do things bigger and better! I’ll have two of them!” And so these vile hellspawn of Jar Jar Binks were born.

The final part of the film sees the arrival of The Fallen and the constructicons combining to form Devestator. I believe much has already been said about Devestator’s swinging scrote so I’ll forgo mentioning how fucking stupid that was once more. Instead I’d like to mention something which shows just how much Michael Bay cared about this film. Once Devestator has formed there is still at least one Constructicon fighting in the main battle! That’s fucking stupid and it shouldn’t have been hard to spot since the Constructicons are the only Decepticons with any damn colour!

As for the Fallen himself, well, he just sucked. He came to claim a giant sun-eating machine that had been hidden in a pyramid, which no archaeologist ever discovered for some reason, and being killed seconds later. Bravo. And people said Nero was a shitty bad guy.

Overall, I still haven’t gotten everything I hate about this film off of my chest and I don’t think I ever will. I’m just sick of writing this damn thing whilst the sun is shining outside. So screw it. Let’s wrap up. Every scene in this film was either a set-up to a shitty joke or a shitty joke. The midget scene, Devestator’s balls, the dogs fucking each other and Wheelie fucking Megan Fox’s leg are all examples of this. The rest is robot fighting filler just so Michael Bay can justify calling this a Transformers film. What really did impress me though was how Michael Bay and the writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Ehren Kruger (for they must also shoulder a heavy part of this blame) managed to take the Transformers who were, in all honestly, one note characters with single defining characteristics and make them zero note characters.

Laterz.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wow you seriously complain way too much. I’ve been a fan of transformers since i was a kid. I have found nothing wrong with what Michale bay did. you have to understand that its not the 80’s anymore, so yeah sound wave needs a new look and new way to transmit for recon. i would have been upset if he still turned into a boom box. and as for his voice it sounded perfect to me. i literally got that felling of being a kid again and watching the cartoons.
I personally thank Michael Bay for having the balls to do the movies. He did a great job in UPDATING the transformers so that it fits our time period and can set a new fan base among the new generation of kids today. And btw if this was such a shitty movie as you said, then why did it blow all the other blockbusters for 2009 out of the water? if it was a bad film it would not have lived past Thursday opening week.

Comment by NOVASHINRON

The reason this did so well was because it’s been a pretty shitty year for films all round. Most of the movies being released now were, in some way or another, affected by the writer’s strike. Revenge of the Fallen also had the advantage of being a sequel to a successful first film and people are easily amused by shiny special effects.
I agree it would have been damn shitty if Soundwave had just turned into a boom box and I understand that it’s no longer the 80s but for a fan-favourite like him to be given such a damn shitty role was awful. Hell, make him a recon plane or something.
Finally, you are of course welcome to your opinion but if Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is such a masterpiece than why is it the lowest rated highest grossing film of all time? If it was such a great film it should have received glowing reviews from every critic.
Oh, and Michael Bay hasn’t updated the Transformers. He’s just slapped the title on something linked so tenuously that it might as well be called Transmorphers.

Comment by Jamie




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