Let’s stop trying to copy Star Wars, shall we?

Star Wars came around at the right time, had the right tone and gave the right message from people who cared about the film medium. They were able to take from a variety of sources (pulp fiction, science fiction film and books, swashbuckling films, samurai films) and created something with the right balance of humor, adventure and justice. Hollywood has continued to search for that Holy Grail, that lightning in a bottle and have rarely captured it. Even recent attempts by the ones who were closest to the Star Wars phenomenon failed to recreate the magic of the original.

When I reviewed the first Transformers movie, I gave it a passing review because it was the wet dream of any geek out there. You had giant robots, a hot yet approachable chick, cars, military weapons, stuff blowing up, secrets; it had all the elements we like. There was humor in the film, which did push the envelope considering we were talking epic struggle stuff, but it was light and quick and forgivable.

The first scene I remember from the new movie is of two dogs humping. It’s OK once, you’re pushing it for twice and when we see a third time (more on that later) it was well over.

The movie has made a lot of money, and truthfully I have no idea why. There’s no heart to this movie, no reason for it to be other than to make money. Where I lost interest in the movie, and this was early on in the two and one half hour film, was when Sam went to college. It might be me, but with the character in college, with the ivy walls, study hall and classes, it reminded me of another sequel that shouldn’t have been made. I’m talking the new Indiana Jones movie. Why did the college scenes remind me of this? Because the same actor was in both films and there was a chase/battle scene at a college. Indy was in the 50s and Transformers now, but I swear it looked like the same school. I was waiting for Indy to show up to lend a hand.

There was mention about two robots in the film that resembled black stereotypes and my thinking was before I saw them it might have been a bit of Jar Jar Binks going on. The character of Binks might have been dumb, but maybe not intentionally racist. When I saw the robot characters, it was another, ‘why are they here’ scene that is supposed to give ‘humor’ for a heavy subject. Jive talking robots aren’t good and these two were, and I’m being very charitable with this, borderline racist.

The best way to sum up my feelings on the film would be to look at the performance of Megan Fox. She walks onscreen and she looks fantastic. She is a geek dream come true. She is a great magazine looker. It’s too bad she has to actually act and say dialog because the dialog is bad in this film and she brings no acting talent to the role. There isn’t a lot to her role to begin with. As she said in an interview, a Transformer movie isn’t really acting. The director tells you to run from here to there, then two years later some techs add everything else. Be it robot, missiles or whatever, you just run. The movie is like that, it looks good on the surface but there is nothing underneath.

Talking about humping dogs from earlier, why does the robot that she had chained up since early on in the film (want to talk racist issues, there’s one there with the diction the robot speaks) decide to hump her leg? Why doesn’t she care? For some reason this film was PG-13 but with some of the dialog and situations (mom eating and getting high on hash brownies, the humping dogs and robots, the almost hot sex scene) could have been R. It’s not a hard R but the PG-13 was really stretched on this one.

All in all, I didn’t care for this film at all.



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Transformers 2 Review - July 15, 2009
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