Now, before I start my bitchfest, I should mention that even though I was a child of the eighties, I was never into the Transformers. I can only speculate, as my preteen memory is poor, that I simply skipped past them en route from ThunderCats to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And I’m not really sure why. Maybe I just liked the stories better? Or the music and animation?—Or maybe it was just a developing fetish for anthropomorphic animals with martial arts skills that set me about my ignorance of and indifference to shape-shifting cars? I’m just not sure. The point being is that whatever the case of my disinterest, the fact remains that this will be an unbiased look at the product simply for what it is: Michael Bay’s Transformers. With no comparisons, for better or worse, to the original show, as I am simply not a Transfanboy.
I’m a movie fan. And as such, I personally believe this to be…
The Worst Movie Ever Made:
The film begins with an exposition on how the Transformers race, and in fact, all life, was born. Delivered in pleasing baritone, over a vast visual of deep space by the biggest and shiniest Transformer, Optimus Prime. This masculine vocalization is performed by the original voice actor of the character from the cartoon show, Peter Cullen (Eeyore, WINNIE-THE-POOH). Cool though that is, I think that most fans were probably a little too giddy, due to that fact alone, that they may have missed just how stupid what he actually says, was…
“Before time began—there was—the cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them with life.”
Lets start with ‘The Cube’.
If they don’t know where it comes from, how the Hell do they know that it existed before time? Did robot scientists perform carbon dating tests on the god damn thing? But I guess it does at least provide an answer (all-be-it a poorly scientific one) to the age old question, “Which came first, the Space Cube or the Robot In Disguise?” OK, I know, I’m being ridiculously picky and I assure you that the rest of the piece will not be this anal; I just wanted to point out how quickly the film got on my nerves.
Alright, Optimus goes on to tell us how harmony was disrupted on their planet as after awhile, some of the robots wanted to use the power of the cube for good and some of them, for evil. Though neither of these sides are explained, nor subjective, so we are left to assume who is good and who is evil by the color of the robots mechanical eyes. A war soon followed, ravaging their planet, consuming it in death and ending civilization. And somewhere along that line, “The Cube” was lost to the far reaches of space. OK. So—where is that movie? I can only hope that that was what the cartoon was about, because it sounds far more exciting than the poorly constructed human rom-com the film version turns into directly following this exposition.
Anyways, the remaining robots scattered themselves throughout the universe in search of the almighty cube, eventually leading them “…to an unknown planet called Earth.” Well, pretty much unknown. I mean, they did somehow know we call it Earth, so that’s a start right? And with that Prime’s voice leaves us, only to return after the audience performs an HOUR LONG endurance test of watching two of the most painstakingly boring and vapid human characters ever written, as they clumsily search for chemistry amongst a sea of blatant corporate product placements, unfunny comic relief and unnecessarily complex camera movements. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have to sit though Bay’s vision of the war in Iraq…
QATAR – THE MIDDLE EAST (IN CASE YOU COULDN’T GUESS)
An ethnic rainbow of American soldiers ride in a helicopter, talking about the good ol’ U.S. of A.: Mama’s home cooking, baseball and the prom queen, etc.—before arriving on base to continue spreading liberty, justice and the American way to the evil freedom-hating desert dwellers, through the barrel of a gun. “O’er the laaa-hand of the freeee, and the home of the braaaaaaave!”
Shortly after American Hero/Heartthrob/New Dad/Captain Lennox and his crew arrive at an army base, it is attacked by a giant robot disguised as a big black assault helicopter. But not before we get to see a young native boy bring his best buddy and liberator Captain Lennox some water, to refresh him before a touching moment in front of a computer screen with his family. Where, Lennox’s wife tells him how his daughter had her first laugh, to which he replies…
Brought to you by Hewlett-Packard.
This is the first of many, MANY, un-funny, unnecessary jokes that for some god forsaken reason fill this movie to the brim with shit, like the mouth of a clogged toilet. It’s almost as though they had a second script supervisor on hand to make sure that at least once every thirty seconds any possible drama or seriousness be interrupted for a lousy attempt at humor. I’ll tell you what folks, when you have a story that revolves around anthropomorphic vehicles from outer space that fight each other over the difference of bumperstickers on their arms, you don’t need comic relief. Taking that shit seriously is funny enough. But, michael bay has a bunch of crap to hawk to young impressionable teens and trying to do that with a serious face would require subtlety and talent, two attributes mb sorely lacks.
Anyways, the touching moment and fart jokes come to an abrupt end, however, as the aforementioned giant helicopter-robot attacks and showers the few soldiers that fight back with its spark bullets. And after failing to download some military files, it vaporizes everything. The excitement is cut short though, as it’s time to meet the film’s true hero. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).
Sam’s your average, awkward, lovable American 16 year old dufus. Of course, Witwicky’s an outcast like the guys from AMERICAN PIE were ‘outcasts’. You know the type: really good looking, awkwardly charming and funny. Just like us real nerds. So, even though this guy would have been insanely popular in any school based in reality, he just can’t seem to get laid in a world created by ‘The Cube’. And just like Peter Parker in SPIDER-MAN, he must search out alternative means to attract puddle-deep hoes. Figuring a car will set him on the fast-track to Pussy Town, Witwicky pulls a michael bay and peppers his show and tell project to his high school class, of his grandfather’s old archeological equipment with advertisements to better fund his endeavors. It’s like crap imitating crap, within a pile of crap.
After school and a slew of sophomoric attempts at humor, Sam eventually buys a beat up old yellow Camaro from Bernie Mack and his bird-flipping Mother, whom he calls a bitch. Hardy-Har-Har… and it turns out that his new whip is a robot in disguise! But he doesn’t know that yet, as it stays in disguise for the next half an hour while Witwicky awkwardly hits on future trophy wife and current stuck-up cooze, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox). Oh how the fanboys love Megan Fox. And how could you not? She’s hot and…
With uber good looks and the personality of a plastic Walmart Bag filled with wet dog-shit, it should come to no surprise that Mikaela is dating a young michael bayesque football enthusiast named Trent. I guess we can attribute her attraction to douche-bags to her troubled past (explained in a weird and unnecessary backstory moment from much later on), but in an attempt to prove to the audience that she is more than just a walking wet-dream, her character knows about cars and after realizing that Witwicky is the star of this film, she falls for him. Though you won’t be able to outright tell this, as she has no acting ability outside of what she would normally be doing. Namely, standing there and looking pretty. Personally, I can’t stand her.
Look, if I want to look at a hot chick doing some disposable acting in a do-nothing, no-purpose role, I’ll watch porn. Hell, Sasha Grey looks mighty similar to Megan Fox in my opinion, and Megan Fox isn’t about to blow-bang 8 guys in a row for 45 minutes. Which may not be as “classy” as simply arching one’s back in a half-shirt, but I assure you as a seasoned veteran, it’s far more fun to fap to. My point simply being, if I want pointless sexy, I know where to find it.
On a side note, I found out from a car-nut acquaintance of mine, that the engine which she is describing ISN’T the one in the car. Which means, if my source is correct, that Mikaela is not only a soulless, mindless pair of tits and ass, but also–a fucking liar. And I think it’s funny that bay couldn’t bother to give a single solitary fuck. Because he knows, his fans will only praise him further for it.
Anyways, can we just get to the giant robots fighting one-another!? No such luck. We have to meet a whole bunch of terrible characters before we can get to that. And seeing as they are as pointless as tits on a Transformer and literally have NO REAL EFFECT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE PLOT, let’s get them out of the way right now.
Actor / Character: Josh Buhamel is Captain Lennox
Plot Significance: Represents the heart and soul of the American Dream. Helps shoot bullets at the Evil Robots in the climax.
Ultimate Effect On The Story: Though he shows up periodically in the film, (for the most part in QATAR) Lennox doesn’t affect the plot at all until right around the 2 hour mark. During the final, (though it’s pretty much the FIRST) action sequence, he shoots some of the robots and deputizes(?) Sam into a soldier so that he can climb up a building and set off a flare—which does nothing, but segues into another helicopter explosion.
So—Was His Role Necessary?: On a very small degree. His role is presented as a lead, but he isn’t, so by cutting him out they could have shaved off a good 30+ minutes.
Actor / Character: Tyrese Gibson is Sergeant Epps
Plot Significance: Lennox’s magical African American side-kick.
Ultimate Effect On The Story: Says such quotable lines as “RIGHT! BRING IT!” and “What’s that? Freddy Krueger been up in here or something?” But I can’t think of a single thing he did that couldn’t have simply been done by Lennox, but I guess bay had a few extra mill lying around, so why not hire on another underwear model-turned thespian to spice up this masterpiece.
So—Was His Role Necessary?: HA-HA-HA!
Actor / Character: Kevin Dunn and Julie White are Sam’s Parents
Plot Significance: Mr. Witwicky is a prick that treats his son like a chore and Mrs. Witwicky is a moron that treats her son like a fellow moron.
Ultimate Effect On The Story: Since Sam is only 16, he lives with them. Dad helps him buy Camaro and Mom embarrasses him by talking about masturbation with Megan Fox eavesdropping. Teeheehee.
So—Were Their Roles Necessary?: Only because they needed Sam to come from somewhere, but their roles tore open a comedic black hole in the film, sucking with it well over 30 minutes of time that would have been better spent watching robots maim and kill one another.
Actor / Character: A Chihuahua is Mojo The Dog
Plot Significance: Has a Broken Leg, is a “Crackhead”, has self esteem issues from being dressed in girl-dog jewelry (“That’s His Bling!”) and pees on one of the robots feet.
Ultimate Effect On The Story: ~Sigh~ What else? Comic Relief.
So—Was His Role Necessary?: Are root canals fun?
Actor / Character: Popeye the Mini Bad Robot (forgive me if it actually had a real name)
Plot Significance: Appears on Air Force One to have sex with the plane’s computer, make Popeye sound effects, find Witwicky and set up product placement ads for Ding Dongs and Panasonic Stereo Equipment. He seems to be the evil robot’s reconnaissance-bot. And he’s good at his job, as for some unexplained reason, he is all but invisible to the human eye. On multiple occasions, this shiny 4 foot tall robot stands next to, and in some cases—directly in front of, secret service agents and presidential staff members AND NEVER GETS SEEN. I’ll assume that this was done to be ‘funny’, but I just found it retarded.
Ultimate Effect On The Story: He informs the Evil Robots to Witwicky’s whereabouts and eventually brings them face-to-face with the Good Robots.
So—Was His Role Necessary?: Regrettably, yeah. It’s pretty much the only necessary supporting “character” in the film. Though I think with a little bit of effort, it could have been written out of the story all together, or at least been altered to be one of the named robots from the franchise. Unless he is one, in which case I guess I’m an asshole.
The Next Four, Kinda Come As A Group…
Actor / Character: Jon Voight is Defense Secretary John Keller
Plot Significance: He shuffles around the pentagon looking befuddled and repeating every line of dialogue spoken to him. And I know for certain he’s at the pentagon, because after showing us a clear helicopter shot of the building, they also added subtitles. Thanks michael, for clearing up that the giant building in the shape of a pentagon–is the fucking pentagon.
Also, Keller assembles a team of good-looking 20-something computer wizzes to find out why the army base in Qatar was attacked. Let’s meet one of them next!
Actor / Character: Rachel Taylor is Maggie the Blonde Aussie Computer Geek/Supermodel
Plot Significance: Alerts Keller and crew to Popeye the Mini Bad Robot’s shenanigans on AF1 with her funny accent. Oh, and she honors us by bringing Anthony Anderson into the film to fill the void left by 20 minutes without Mojo the Dog’s comedy gold.
Actor / Character: Anthony Anderson is Glen the Fat Loud Computer Geek
Plot Significance: Sought out by Maggie to decipher the Transformers sound, which he never gets around to doing. He eats some donuts, yells all of his dialogue, furthers terrible black stereotypes and provides more un-funny comic relief.
Actor / Character: John Turturro is Sector Seven Agent Simmons
Plot Significance: Showing up at around the 01:20:00 mark, Simmons becomes the stand-in villain as Megatron entering the scenario at this point would mean having to end the film in a reasonable timeframe. Simmons brings Sam, Megan Fox and Camaro to the Hoover Dam where ‘The Cube’ is, gets a golden shower from Camaro and ruins Turturro’s credibility as a serious actor.
Old Fart – Aussie Chick – Fat Guy and Piss-Boy’s Ultimate Effect On The Story: They radio in the airforce to protect and escort ‘The Cube’. Which turns out to be pointless as the jets they assembled are taken out in about 20 seconds by one of the evil robots and we never hear from any of them again.
So—Were Their Roles Necessary?: Fuck No. At best, all four of them could have been wrapped up into one character, that instead of tacking-on an hour to the film, would have only needed 10 minutes of screen time and gotten us to the exact same plot conclusions.
I can’t help but feel just the tiny bit raped of my time as all 4 of these painfully pointless and one-dimensional ass-hats amounted to jack-shit importance in the story. If the screenwriters had had any semblance of talent, they would have taken out these terrible, unnecessary characters and saved the film from bloating into the gigantic cesspool of piss-poor character arcs it became.
Alright, back to Indiana Witwicky and the Pursuit of Poon. It turns out that aside from finding ‘The Cube’ and saving the universe from evil robots, the Transformer’s objectives include helping socially awkward teenagers get laid, as this is what Camaro does instead of something cool, like fighting other robots or furthering the “plot”. The next 40 minutes or so that follows Sam and the Walking Exposed Mid-Riff is excruciatingly painful as for some reason the good robots decided it would be best to send the one member of their team with a speech impediment, to inform Witwicky of his role in finding ‘The Cube’. Camaro can only talk by switching between radio stations for sentence fragments, which, I can only assume, is done for laughs, or to further draw out the plot to fit in more corporate tie-ins. I’m guessing it was a combination of both.
Finally, at about 53 minutes into the film, we get to see the first Robot vs. Robot battle. And in an attempt to be positive, for the most part I was able to tell which one was Camaro and which one was Pigmobile. Those of you who read my reviews know that I can’t stand shaky-cam and quick cuts, and if michael bay didn’t invent that shit, he perfected it.
I swear, I paused the DVD for this picture at random and this is what was on screen.
Eat your heart out, Greengrass! The fight lasts about a minute and a half (no joke, it seems longer because of all the cut-away jokes with Popeye the Mini-Bad Robot ripping off Sam’s pants and trying to rape him). As an added insult, it’s almost all incomprehensible and they don’t let you see how it turns out. We just get Camaro strutting up to Witwicky acting like he’s hot shit. So, I guess Camaro won. It’s really a shame too, because it’s clear that a LOT of work went into making the robots look realistic and cool. In fact, I’d say too much work went into it. The things are just so damn complex. I read somewhere that each robot is composed of an average of 10,000 pieces. Q. Why?—Does this not seem just a little bit unnecessary? The designs for the cartoon looked good enough didn’t they? So, why add millions of dollars worth of minuscule bullshit that can only be noticed by freeze-framing the DVD!? And even then, look at the picture above to see what happens when you do!
Just after breaching the FIRST hour, (two minutes after to be exact) something occurs that should have happened within the first 10 minutes: Optimus Prime makes his appearance. And since NONE, repeat, NONE! Of the plot has been laid-out before now, it really is the perfect place to start watching the movie. Even all the small little hints about what was going on before, are all gone over and explained in detail by Optimus, thus rendering the entire first hour FUCKING POINTLESS.
Time to meet the Autobots!
We all know Optimus and Camaro, but they are now joined by an ambulance named Ratchet (Top, Right), a psychopathic gun-nut truck named Ironside or Ironhide (Bottom, Left), and a break dancing Porsche Thing I’m going to call, Black Stereotypebot (Bottom, Right). With introductions out of the way, Peter Cullen’s voice informs us that the good guys need to get some old spectacles from Sam’s Grandad’s left over shit box, which will help the Autobots find ‘The Cube’ before the evil robots do. There you have it. And speaking of Peter Cullen’s voice, they must have liked it alot, as I’m pretty sure that he voices almost all the other robots as well. As, aside from Black Stereotypebot, I couldn’t tell the difference.
But, if you thought this meant that we would be getting to some action, you are sorely mistaken. There’s still almost 50 minutes (FIFTY FUCKING MORE MINUTES!) before you get to see a robot punch another robot. So, it’s back to Sam’s pad to find his Grandpa’s glasses, which hold the key to finding the Hoover Dam or some such boring bullshit. And wouldn’t ya know it? Getting those glasses out of Sam’s backpack is going to be quite the ordeal as his parents want some explanation as to Sam’s tardiness and general odd (well, odd-er) behavior.
Neurotically motor mouthing dozens of awkward ramblings, including a discussion about masturbation with his mother (hardy-har-har), Sam manages to annoy the ever-living piss outta me. And adding to the zaniness of the situation are the Autobots. As apparently, even though these guys have mastered intergalactic travel, they just haven’t figured out standing still and watching where they are walking yet, as for over 10 minutes (seriously, I timed it) the film turns into a episode of the THREE STOOGES, with the robots smashing and stumbling around Sam’s backyard, yelling at one another. Nyuk-Nyuk-Nyuk. Again, this is WAY better than watching them battle one-another…
Skip Ahead 30 minutes. All the characters, excluding Mojo and Sam’s parents (thank Christ), end up at the Hoover Dam, where the government has been keeping Megatron (he’s the villain of this movie that they introduce 30 minutes before the end) and the all-mighty Cube, (which is now called the All-Spark, ‘cuz calling it ‘The Cube’ wasn’t stupid enough) which were found by Sam’s grand-pappy decades ago. So, I guess the big question is: “What does the cube do?” Well, from what I gather, it has the power to turn cellphones into mini-mini popeye robots and the ability to shrink itself into a much smaller cube. Totally worth the wait.
Also at the Hoover Dam, the government has successfully kept one of the universe’s most dangerous entities locked away. It’s the film’s main villain, Megatron. And apparently the best way to keep a giant robot immobile and under raps is to have a round-the-clock team of men in haz-mat suits spray him down with fire-extinguishers. How could this plan EVER possibly fail!?
Popeye the Mini Bad Robot finds a way and ends up setting Megatron free, who then rallies his evil team of heavy machinery (that appear instantly from around the globe, instantly) and this leads to the final/first confrontation–well, after we watch a chevy car commercial featuring the robots in vehicle form, cruising down the highway to mediocre Top-40 rock music… Then it’s finally, FINALLY! Time for some action.
I guess the question now is, does the action sequence deliver? My answer? Yes. But not in the way that most people like to think it does. The final battle is entertaining, kinda like 2 Girls 1 Cup is entertaining. It’s over-hyped, awesome in its awfulness and hard to watch without turning slightly away.
The fighting seems to switch between two speeds, ludicrous and super slow-mo. And in neither can I completely tell what it is I am seeing. The robots are so complex and similar looking and the camera is so spastic and unpredictable, I think if they were to have taken a bunch of tinfoil balls and rolled them down an alley in close up, it would have produced indistinguishable results. Seriously, watching two children play Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em is more entertaining to me than this nonsense. Though it isn’t nearly as loud, so the movie has that going for it.
And like 2 Girls 1 Cup, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone that isn’t interested in a bunch of grotesquely comical shit-eating garbage. Like I said, it’s awesome in its awfulness, but I’d still rather watch 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS or TORQUE—Hell, in the time it takes to watch TRANSFORMERS, I could probably watch both of the others and still have time to crank one out to Sasha Grey.
In the end, a bunch of concrete and rubble fly at the screen, some explosions occur and Black Stereotypebot gets torn in half like an old beer can. Man, even when they are cartoon robots, the black guy gets the shaft. This scene is, however, one of the only actually funny ones in the film. I laughed pretty hard when Optimus holds up the chunks of his comrade’s remains in separate hands and says, “Oh–Jazz.” like he just dropped and broke his expensive cell phone. “Oh, Jazz… his warranty ran out a month ago, god damn-it anyways.” Sorry, for not being sorry, but I find it kind of hard to mourn over the Black robot’s death, as he only had about two lines of dialogue and was incredibly offensive and stupid. And you know, the same can be said for the film as a whole.
You said it, Whore. At best transformers is three things: Loud, Shiny and Long. The perfect shit-storm of mediocrity. I would like to think that even the average 12 year/old American would still have been wise enough to see through the travesty of modern cinema that is ‘michael bay’s transformers’, but alas, I am but a foolhardy optimistic film-goer in a land dominated by the lowest common denominator of entertainment.
Now, I understand that there are FAR more movies out there that are harder to watch and FAR more movies out there that pale in comparison to the splendor and hard work put into this one. BUT—few movies have a large pre-existing fanbase, 150 million dollars for production costs and Steven Spielberg in their corner. So, when I say it’s ‘THE WORST MOVIE EVER’, I mean that based entirely on what went in to the project and what came out. With all the perks this flick had going for it, I think they produced just about as shitty of a result as they could have. I honestly can’t picture it being any worse, without subsequently making it slightly better in some twisted cult-ish way.
This Film Was Brought To You By:
iPOD, Hewlett-Packard, eBay, Ding Dongs, Macintosh, Pay Pal, Nokia, Visa, Panasonic, Burger King, eBay, Camaro, Cadillac, Hummer, GMC, Pontiac, Chevrolet, My Little Pony, Pepto Bismol, XBOX 360, Furby, Mountain Dew and eBay. And a bunch more soulless corporate fucks that children wait in line to bow before, with a $9 admit-one ticket grasped in one hand and a giant $12 Coke in the other.
This Picture Of Sasha Grey Brought To You By Me:
Now, Who’s Yer Buddy?