Sunday, 26 July 2009

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Crash! Bang! Wallop (what a video!) The immortal words of Alan Partridge there but ones that can also be applied to Michael 'take some Ritalin and siddown' Bay's latest two and a half hour colossus, Transformers 2.

It's subtitled Revenge of the Fallen. The only revenge on the minds of the audience however should be that being hatched against the director for inflicting such bilge on us. Crammed with the latest CGI Hollywood has to offer, an easy on the eye cast and the luxury of an inflated running time, the tools are there for Bay to lead us into prime blockbuster territory. Instead, he's made an absolute stinker, one of 2009's worst movies thus far.

True the first Transformers (from 2007) hardly qualified as a masterpiece but it was passable fare, elevated by a surprisingly engaging Shia La Beouf performance. This time though, not even La Beouf (with added perma-tan) can draw us into this mess of convulted plotting, aggressive sound design and a frankly insulting lack of aesthetic continuity that jumps from space, to the bottom of the ocean, to college, to France and back again, for the tedious purposes of a papyrus thin narrative.

After the foe of the heroic Autobots, Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving) was banished to Davy Jones' locker at the end of the first film, humanity has been aided by a crack transformers team, headed by leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), in weeding out remaining Decepticon infiltrators. On hearing the ominous words 'The Fallen is coming' however, Prime is forced to seek out Sam Witwicky (La Beouf), currently upping sticks to college. Will Sam once again team himself with his old allies to battle a new, more powerful enemy?....Well, what do you think?

No more space should be wasted in attempting to unpack the dog of a script, safe to say it won't be the against-the-clock machinations of the plot keeping viewers in suspense; it'll be in knowing how much of the film is left.

True Bay has never been comparable with Bergman and the like but here he appears to have regressed into the state of 12 year old boy with a $200 million budget. Women characters appear to be ogled, nothing more (lip-glossed Megan Fox, returning from the original, first appears in denim shorts draped over a motorbike); two 'hero' transformers speak like black rap artists for no reason, while another speaks like Ray Winstone; the effects are busy but made redundant thanks to shakey close-ups and 'Baymotion' (Bay's annoying emphasis on slo-mo). Throughout there is a baffling lack of, well, entertainment, or even successful humour (humping dogs are randomly thrown in, presumably because that part of the script didn't go through the shredder).

Steven Spielberg should be deeply ashamed of giving executive producer backing to such garbage, especially given that he created what is arguably the finest effects film of the 90s, Jurassic Park. There, Spielberg generated real human investment and tension, and that in what is just a standard monster movie. Here the characters emerge from the Washington Space Museum into a desert. When the director himself can't even notice such howlers for the effect of being stoked on his own adrenaline, he's no longer providing popcorn entertainment; he's stealing the money from our wallets.

1 comment:

  1. I only liked action and Megan fox,and none was good there
    The first one was awesome :) but this one is not for me :)
    Watch movies online