First of all, for the record, let me say that I have not seen the new Transformers sequel. I’m aware of the hype and I did see the first one. Thankfully, this is not a review of the new movie. It’s a review of a couple of the reviews I’ve read for that movie.
In the early, pre-dawn hours of the morning this morning, I rolled over and picked up my Blackberry to catch a glimpse of the headlines. There’s always something there that will help lock your eyeballs open for the day. This day, it was the absolute idiocy of a couple of movie reviews that was able to get me from the bed to the coffee pot.
These reviews insulted my intelligence. Seriously. I’ll respond in more detail in just a minute. First, I have a couple of questions. Was anyone reading this expecting a Michael Bay film to suddenly become the next Citizen Kane or Throne of Blood? Should anyone have been surprised to learn that this movie is loaded with computer-generated animation and lots of explosions? Was there anyone going into this expecting the screenplay to suddenly rival Shakespeare with its use of wit and rhetorical devices?
The answer, in short, is no. To all of these questions.
Oh yeah, just for the record, there is also a very hot female playing one of the leads. I’ll get to that in a minute.
When you read these two reviews, though, you get the idea that that’s exactly what these two critics were expecting. They discuss Bay’s gratuitous use of pyrotechnics and CG. Seriously? Have they ever seen a Michael Bay film? This movie is nothing more than a summer blockbuster aimed with its cross-hairs on two key demographics: Young Teenage Boys Who Still Want Their Moms To Go Out And Buy The Action Figures For Them and Men My Age Who Had Their Moms Go Out And Buy The Action Figures For Them 20 Years Ago. Incidentally, some men my age are still buying the action figures, they’re just doing it themselves now (and are okay with that).
But I digress.
When you consider the target audience of the movie, the director of the film and his filmography (and, I might add, his financial success in doing it), and the fact that Megan Fox is in the movie, why would any reviewer write about stupid stuff like plot devices and editing styles…unless they were just trying to prove to their readers that they are clever and highly intelligent? And, if they have to prove that to their readers, what does that say?
Full disclosure: I liked the first movie. Liked. I didn’t rush out and buy thirty copies of the DVD only to have to buy them all over again on Blu-ray. However, since I walked into the movie (actually, I rented it) with the expectations I outlined above, I was not disappointed. It was a good action movie with the typical Michael Bay flair. I knew what I was getting, I asked for it, and I got it.
Take this excerpt from Mr. Charity’s review:
Combat scenes are a bewildering blur of crunching metal. On top of that, the humans are essentially bystanders and onlookers here, so that LaBeouf‘s primary contribution to the fighting is to run away, duck and cover. It’s the same deal for Megan Fox, only in lingering slow motion.
Let’s take this point by point:
The combat scenes are a “bewildering blur of crunching metal” BECAUSE THEY ARE FUCKING ROBOTS. If I went into a Michael Bay movie and saw two Transformers begin a fight with one of them taking his glove of and gently slapping the other on the face, with a fight that consisted of them drawing pistols at ten paces, I would walk out of the theatre and then smack the concession stand attendant.
“…the humans are essentially bystanders and onlookers…” BECAUSE THE MOVIE IS CALLED TRANSFORMERS. When they make a movie called “Humans” will Mr. Charity complain that the robots in the movie didn’t really play a role?
Which brings me to my final point about this quote. There wouldn’t be a point to the movie if any human could really fight the Transformers, would there? I mean, If LaBeouf’s character could stand in front of any of the Decepticons and pull a rocket-launcher out of his ass and kill any of them, it would take away from it, right? As for Megan Fox’s role in the show, let’s not put on any airs about that one.
Megan Fox is Very Hot. Make no mistake about it. I know that’s my own opinion, but I’m still right. She was cast in the movie(s) because she is smoking hot and they wanted to have a somewhat geeky, nerdy guy win the hot chick in the end. Of the movie. Megan Fox knew what she was doing when she signed the contract to be in this movie. She knew exactly what her role was and, by signing the contract, implied that she’s okay with that. She will make a career out of being smoking hot. Who knows, at some point, she might do a movie that let’s us see that she can actually act, too. However, if that doesn’t happen, she’s still going to make a billion dollars. Why? Because she’s smoking hot, she knows it, and she is going to get paid for it. I’ll actually be helping to pay her salary as her career continues. So, it can hardly be argued that her running away in “lingering slow motion” can be considered a negative point to this movie. That was the whole point.
I’m tempted to go see this movie in the theater just because of this line in this review. Not only because I now know for sure that I’m going to see a lot of Megan Fox, but because someone was stupid enough to write that as a negative point in their review of the movie.
Mr. Morgenstern takes a much more “social studies” tone to his review, referencing recent current events.
The ranks of the Autobots are rife with General Motors product placements, and in the current climate anything that may sell a GM car can only be seen as a plus. In a movie not distinguished by dramatic focus, the camera’s concentration on Mikaela’s [Fox’s] lips, breasts and behind is unwavering.
To his credit, he points out that “anything” which might help GM out is a plus. But, it’s the way he says it that is…um…deceptive here. It’s a backhanded compliment. He is not very coy about taking a stab at the movie for partnering with GM for product placement of their cars. It’s called The Movie Business. He makes it sound like GM is pimping out their shit to any old crappy movie that comes along because they are in such dire straits. I thought we wanted GM to succeed. Didn’t we? Sorry, after all the buyouts and government money being thrown their way, I’m actually lost as to whether GM is a good guy or a bad guy right now.
And, again, we have a reviewer picking on Ms. Fox again. If the review is supposed to be a “bad” review, why would you point out one of the strongest selling points to discredit it? For the movie’s target audience, this line alone would make them wait in line for three days without food or water, just to see the movie for the tenth time.
I would just like to see a review of a movie that actually takes the director and production house’s target audience into account while it’s being written. What was their purpose in making this movie? Did they succeed in that? Well, in this case, their purpose was to make a lot of money banking on the creation and continuation of a lucrative franchise. Did they succeed? As of this writing, the numbers for its opening weekend are still out. Either way, whether or not they succeeded is actually up to the people who actually matter: the moviegoers.