Movie: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Imagine, if you will, that somewhere in Hollywood a mad scientist has managed to splice the DNA of Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg. Now imagine that from this unholy union not one, but two beings are formed: One an elite, super fit, film-maker, with the ability to tell powerful, beautifully depicted and emotionally rich stories that examine the human condition. The other is Danny Devito… and he directed TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.
While my ‘Twins’ analogy is flawed, it’s my way of saying that since teaming up with Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay is learning from the best. It’s hard to argue against the notion that Spielberg is one of the greatest film-makers of our time. The problem is that Bay seems to be only taking on the worst of Spielberg – I’m not saying that I expected Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen [T2:ROTF] to be SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, but I sure would have liked it more if it hadn’t been so damn ANIMANIACS.
Things explode in this movie, just as they should. Michael Bay gets a fairly substantial ribbing for his apparent desire to see all things explode in a fiery death. But lets be completely honest. We all get off, at least a little, on watching Bay do that very thing, because he’s just so damn good at it! And in that sense, T2:ROTF is a massive success. The action is intense and thrilling… and giant robots beat the hell out of other giant robots – Can I get a HELL YEAH?!
But this movie has the worst of Spielberg rubbed all over it. There are the *gremlins*: A mass of small annoying robots which transform out of kitchen appliances and take over Sam’s (Shia LaBeouf) house. One of which has the nerve to hang around for the rest of the movie.
There are new side-kick characters: The Twins. Complete with cornball dialogue and slap-stick comedy. While the characters themselves may not be out of the Steven Spielberg handbook, they are used in much the same way as the gophers and monkeys were in the latest INDIANA JONES offering. And time that could have been spent giving us a reason to care about Mikaela (Megan Fox) and Sam is wasted on sight gags involving a Deceptacon getting caught in a mouse trap or our Transformer side-kicks jostling with each other.
As I’ve said in the past, it’s my opinion that, when it comes to science fiction or fantasy, Spielberg seems to be afraid to get too dark and resorts to silly comedy to lighten the mood. Sure, you can argue that this is a movie based on HASBRO toys, therefore is a kids movie and Bay was right to follow Spielberg’s lead… Ok, so if it’s a kids movie why am I being shown dogs humping? And how many testicle/scrotum jokes are you allowed before it’s no longer a movie fit for children? Or, for that matter, just how far up her ass do Megan Fox’s cut off jeans have to be before I’m old enough to not need my hand held by silly gold-toothed, big-eared robots during the action scenes?
At his best Michael Bay is the Arnold Schwarzenegger half of the genetic experiment. Especially when we’re talking about action movies. I really enjoyed the first Transformers film, even though it had some of the very elements that frustrated me in the sequel. The difference is that this time around these distractions are to the detriment of the movie.