Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers 2 Reviews

"...bloated, ponderous piece of s**t."

"This is so bad it's immoral."

"A great grinding garbage disposal of a movie..."

"Never in the field of blockbuster movies has so much been spent on so little."

"When the robots give a better performance than the humans, we have a problem."

"...the male teenage cinematic equivalent of snorting cocaine off a hooker's ass."

"...a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys."

and my favorite, from Rob Vaux @

"Critics really are eunuchs in the harem when it comes to movies like Revenge of the Fallen. Calling it bad 1) misses the point and 2) makes not the teeniest bit of difference anyway. Provided the number of giant robots bashing each other compares favorably with those silly talking sections, it more than meets the expectations of its fanbase. You might as well spend your time decrying the nutritional deficits of Doritos or telling a room full of smokers that cigarettes are bad for them. Everyone knows. They just don't care.

The bizarre honesty of director Michael Bay constitutes a sort of saving grace. He doesn't try to disguise the fact that his film is soulless corporate product; indeed, he embraces it with such obvious gusto that it becomes an auteurial style all its own."

It really boils down to that; "Revenge of the Fallen" sells soulless to those who buy soulless. It's not shitty filmmaking; it's supply and demand.


  1. I loved the first one, and it was by no stretch of the imagination a good film. It was a movie, a flick....Iron THAT was a film. Transformers was the cinematic equivalent of cheesy poofs.

  2. Anonymous4:56 PM

    You've hit the nail on the head. It is pure capitalism, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    I mean, I can be pissed off as much as I want that most of Tony Scott's recent movies are brainless visions of digitally obfuscated shakey cameras (and I am). The truth is that his movies have, and continue to, make money.

    And, to tell you the truth, I fall into it as much as almost anyone. Only giant spectacles only justified by a big screen can compel me to spend the cash on a movie ticket. Otherwise? Netflix. Every time.

  3. I'm gong tonight. May report back. I hear that there are robot farting jokes. This does not make me happy.

    I always sort of thought the TRANSFORMERS had a certain nobility to them lacking in other toy lines. Like, they were two different groups of Knights doing battle. I thought this was lost to some degree in the first. I'll be really sad if they are transforming dorks in this movie.

    Otherwise, the last review makes a lot of sense to me.

  4. I tried. I mean, I really, really tried to like this film. The first one was at best okay, but my friends loved it and I wanted to share the experience of a midnight movie opening on the IMAX screen. I held out a faint, dim hope that maybe Bay would try for something a little more faithful, do something really badass with the franchise. Nope. I ran at a football with a nostalgic name slapped to the side of it and ended up flat on my back. Again.

  5. Anonymous6:10 PM

    My main gripe with TF1 was that it was in no way a kids movie.

    Even fans of TF1 call this a bad film.

  6. Rob's right, but not in his sense that this represents some kind of triumph of economic planning or something. This movie has a built-in audience for whom cinematic aesthetics are meaningless. The draw for them is the smashin' and a-crashin' and the robotic fart jokes. And that's fine.

    But the other reviews are more for the general populace and so they do serve a purpose. I guess those harem eunuchs did as well-- I'm guessing he's refering to the guys who guarded the harem or something. Cautionary. But I'm not sure his metaphor actually works other than as some sort of vague insult due to his own lack of understanding of the critical function.

  7. Nah, scratch that last part. I was just thinking of the gatekeeper function, so his metaphor is probably dead on. Just smirkily chosen what with the castration reference and all.

  8. It's all a matter of opinion what's good and what's bad. How many people have the opinion that it's good determines how successful it is. But it's your own opinion about whether it's good or bad that's important, not someone else's. If you enjoy it, that's all that matters.

  9. It's not shitty filmmaking; it's supply and demand.

    Those aren't mutually exclusive, ya know.

  10. "How many people have the opinion that it's good determines how successful it is."
    I don't know... My friends all know it bad but we want to know how bad it really is. Also you don't need a good plot for me to enjoy robots killing each other.

  11. Here's the funny bit:

    Rotten Tomatoes has this at 21%, including professional critics.

    Regular users of the site, however, score the film at about 68%.

    There's more of them than there are of us, folks. As you go out into the world today, remember: you are surrounded by teh dumb.

  12. Saw it last night. aside from the dizzy camera circling around making me dizzy, it is what it is.

    Some new mythology, some good fights, lots of explosions... the audience applauding at the end.

    A few nits to pick... SR71 planes are still classified, and are displayed in museums above visitors. Sam/Mutt should know that the Holy Grail is hidden in Petra, and could be used to revive Optimus. A high tech military base doesn't notice the approach of a Decepticon meteor? There's no security around the Pyramids of Giza? New Yorkers didn't notice the Decepticons?

    And... how much did the cooperation of the U.S. military cost the government? Did Paramount pay those costs?

  13. I think Rob Vaux's point would be valid except I haven't heard a peep from any of this alleged "fanbase" who have actually liked the movie. Or thought it wasn't a loud, pointless affair.

  14. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Yeah, generally, fans of the first movie, I've seen and heard, hate TF2.

  15. Anonymous12:11 AM

    Val, I have to say I disagree with your assessment that it's soulless entertainment for those who buy soulless. We buy soulless literally all the time. From the first time a baby is fed her first taste of Gerber to the point where his next of kin has to deal with a big name medical insurance company, a piece of our soul is taken literally every time we go shopping. No one buys generic, independent entertainment is a thing of the past and even what we think of as great literature has been pureed in front of test audiences to a homogeneous goo that's designed to keep us entertained rather than enlightened.

    Soulless entertainment for people who buy soulless? That's pretty much every movie, book and song published for everyone alive. I'd like to say I'm hyperbolizing, but I'm pretty sure it's not, not anymore.

  16. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Contest, context, context.

    Let's not label everything one thing just because it is commercialized.

  17. This movie is all about a good time ... it is meant for fun ... to refresherize you ... plus its got Megan fox !!! good or bad, you gotta see her ... ;)

  18. Argument against the idea this a "harem" for fanboys:

    "Real fanboys, real geeks, the real Transformers faithful are as against the film as virulently as the much admired Roger Ebert. Geek poster boy Harry Knowles called the film, “hurtful and repugnant”, “an insult”...[Pile of bad webgeek reviews]..... And then of course there’s me, a geek, a nerd, a dork, and a Transformers fan since my 80s-fed childhood. I, who gave the first Transformers a 4.5/5 and declared it one of the best films of the year, alongside movies like The Namesake and No Country For Old Men. What of Revenge of the Fallen? Please don’t make me watch it again. I’m not sure I could take it."

  19. Spot on POV on what Transformers 2 is