We get it Michael Bay, you do ‘splosions.

24 Jun

I went and saw Transformers 2 last night, and I can say that I’ve never seen a more crowded midnight premiere, ever. Not even Twilight.

I must say that I was pretty excited. I’m not gonna lie. And my excitement was met quite pleasantly for the first half of the movie. I was completely happy with the first half of the movie. The story moved at an acceptable pace, new characters were introduced and there was just the right amount of epic robot battles. But at about 1:30 am, it went down from there.

Director Michael Bay gets a lot of shit for his special effects-heavy, plot-light movies. That is true. Most of his movies can be quite self-indulgent in the SFX department. However, the extent of his talent in CGI pays the bills. I was glad that he added new Autobots to the mix, twins Skids and Mudflap, as well as Jetfire, an old-timer former Decepticon. He was my favorite – as he was perceived as an old rickety British man from way back when. He added history to the Transformers, which is the one thing missing from the last movie. And there were still our old favorites Bumblebee, who was even more endearing in this film, Ironhide, and Optimus Prime, of course. This is where Bay went right – adding more personality to the robots. Mudflap and Skids’ annoying banter almost made it seem like they weren’t robots. In this film, it helped that the robots were more than just robots because it made the audience more connected with them when the U.S. military decided to scrap their operation, Nest. For once, the aliens were the good guys.

Although the robots were given more personal stories, the time left for Sam, Mikayla, Sam’s family, and the new tagalong Leo was far too short. If I could have counted how long their characters were developing compared to the length of time they were running, it would have been grossly unbalanced. We see Sam in college all of one day, and the short time we get to spend with Leo before shit hits the fan makes him seem so trivial and expendable throughout the rest of the movie. And I did like that they brought back Jon Turturro’s character. He was the one who always seemed to be the voice of wisdom.

I’m a little confused about Rainn Wilson’s role though. It was such a short and almost waste of the cameo that when he came on screen, people’s reactions to his presence in the film were just as short. What a useless presence of a good actor.

From what I did see of Sam and Mikayla’s developing relationship, the chemistry is there. It had all the right elements – but there just wasn’t enough of it in comparison to the length of the film.

That was the main problem I had with the movie. Transformers is one of the only action franchises that I truly enjoy because of the complexity of the Autobots visual construction as well as the fact that they are based on Hasbro children’s toys. It’s a guilty pleasure. But Transformers 2 was way too long. Like, WAY too long. The movie started at midnight and we didn’t get home until about 3 am. And the theater is 10 minutes away from our house. Count the 10-15 minutes of previews, and you got a 2.5 hour movie. Granted it isn’t nearly as long as any of the Lord of the Rings movies or a few of the Harry Potter movies, but Michael Bay could have easily cut out 20 minutes at least of robots fighting and explosions. Dude, we understand that you are good at SFX. But seriously, there was so much rendering of CGI that even some of the hardware exploded during post-production. I was actually constantly looking at my watch for the last 45 minutes wondering when we were gonna get to the final bits of the movie. Specifically, the sequence where Sam and Mikayla were running about 2 miles to get to Optimus was the most grating. They run, things explode, they run some more, robots fight, Josh Duhamel shoots things, they run, more things explode, and still – they run.

In all actuality – Transformers had all the right elements. More background for the Autobots, humor, new characters, Shia Labeouf’s fine self, and Megan Fox’s fine self for the guys, and pretty cool special effects – but Michael Bay needs to get his priorities straight. Calm down with the huge explosions. I know you were using the IMAX to your advantage, but giant battling robots and epic warfare gets a little old. More plot, less eye-candy.

It’s almost like porn, but instead of titties and blowjobs, you have giant transforming alien robots battling it out in the middle of the Egyptian desert.

❤ Abby

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