Monday, July 06, 2009
More Than Meets the Eye
You may have read some bad reviews of Transformers 2, namely all of them.
They are wrong.
My reflex review of almost all action movies is this “It wasn’t good, but it was entertaining.” That’s what I said when I left Transformers. But after thinking about it more, I changed my mind. It WAS good, in that it completely succeeded in what it was trying to do.
Is it going to win best picture, even with 10 spots this year? Not unless Michael Bay spends 10x what he spent in special effects on bribes. But that’s not what it was trying to do. In this kind of movie little things like plot and believable acting are purely optional. Sure, you can have a movie like Children of Men that had great action WITH skilled acting AND a compelling plot. And it was a great movie, hands down, without qualifications. (And look how little money it made.) Transformers wasn’t even trying to be great, just entertaining. Just awesome. And it succeeded.
Did I like the immature antics (multiple humping scenes, robot testicles, slapstick humor)? No, but I didn’t say “these are immature antics that I don’t find entertaining” I rolled my eyes and said “Oh Michael Bay, you rapscallion.” I did, I said it in the theater. Not really. Did I like that it was too long? And it was too long. But there was only one time when I started thinking it was too long, and then Megan Fox appeared again and I forgot about it. Point being they did run long, but they ran long because they kept cramming entertainment into the movie.
There are lots of people who won’t like this movie. However if you fall into one of the following categories, you’ll almost certainly enjoy yourself:
1. You had Transformers as a child.
2. You are a child who has Transformers.
3. If this description excites you “Giant robots with swords for hands performing wrestling moves.”
4. If this description excites you “Megan Fox.”
5. If you like Shia Labeouf.
6. If you like Shia Labeouf getting beat up.
By my estimation, that’s at least 63.2% of the population. And there are very few movies that appeal to 63.2% of the population. If a director successfully crafts a movie that 63.2% of the nation would enjoy watching, I think you could qualify that as a good movie.
In terms of my personal review, I’ll be brief. The new Decepticons were great, the new Autobots, not so much. The action is much better than last time. Yes there are gaping plots holes, HOWEVER, some of the plot holes I’ve heard referenced are actually explained in the movie. Yes, it’s a big dumb action movie, but don’t whine about it not making sense if you weren’t actually paying attention. That being said, there are some ridiculous plot holes, which ADD to the entertainment as you point them out. And I have mentioned Megan Fox a number of times because she is ridiculous in this movie. Somehow, whether it was a special lens filter or her own “acting” she constantly looks like she’s about to have sex. And while you could consider that morally reprehensible, I again attribute it as a success to Michael Bay. He wrapped as much PG-13 sex and violence as he could into this movie, and while it won’t change anyone’s life, it will entertain them for 2.5 hours. And that’s all he’s trying to do.