Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen/ dir. Michael Bay/ 2009
As a huge fan of the Transformers franchise, especially of the original Generation 1, all I really expect from the 2nd live-action Transformers movie is some great Autobots vs. Decepticons fighting complete with guns, explosions, battle damage combined with a bunch of transforming action, and give a nod to the fans, especially those of Generation 1. If you do that, I can pretty much forgive the shortcomings of the film. For example:
Weak Story/ Confusing Plot: That’s fine! Let’s be real, Transformers has never been about story, its been about huge robots that transform and fight each other. And as a veteran of countless animes, I can deal with a confusing plot.
GM/ Military tie-ins: OK… I’m not a big fan of the GM/ “Join the Army” commercial that is the live-action Transformers films, but hey, if that’s what it takes to get you the money to make a believable live-action Transformers that seem real, then so be it.
Way too long: I agree, maybe 2 hours 30 minutes is too long for an action flick and yes there were parts that dragged on. A little too much Indiana Jones rip-off going on, but you could always press the fast forward button, or maybe there will be a shorter cut in the future. So it’s cool.
Megan Fox mailing it in: Look, she knows what she was there for. Fan service! So I can forgive the fact that she had the same look on her face the whole movie, or the fact that she tried to plump up her lips ala Angelina Jolie but it didn’t work. At least all the Megan Fox fanboys have some wallpaper they could put on their computers now. Looking back Tyrese and Josh Duhamel mailed it in too!
Look, the point is, just give me some Transformers action! And Revenge of the Fallen has some of the best animation work I have seen in a live-action movie ever. I have to give credit to the animators at Industrial Light & Magic, the fight sequences were much clearer on this movie than the first one. All the Transformers looked spectacular. There were more transformations, there were more explosions, more fight scenes, basically a lot more good CG stuff! Just what I was looking for!
HOWEVER… even though this movie gave me what I wanted, there is one HUGE problem. Actually there was two, these two:
Skids and Mudflap, the most racist depiction of black people in modern movies. Yes they were Transformers, but we all know we were led to believe they were black robots. They spoke in horrible stereotyped “hip hop” accents, they were constantly fighting each other, and one had a gold tooth! These two played the modern day sambo, the Amos & Andy, in this movie. One of their lines in a pivotal moment of the movie was “We don’t do too much reading.” WHAT THE FUCK! Look, I tolerated the racist depiction of Jazz in the first movie since he wasn’t featured all that much, but Skids and Mudflap went too far. Because of these two characters the movie industry takes two huge steps back…no, NO, actually, the movie industry goes back to the starting line!
For all those folks thumping on the original G1 animated series saying that Jazz and Master Blaster were obviously black and stereotyped too. Yes I agree to a certain point, but go look back at those G1 cartoons. Jazz and Blaster, even though they had that jive talk going on were still respectable and vital members of the Autobots, (Blaster was the communications guy for goodness sake!) not bumbling sambo idiots like Skids and Mudflap. How the hell do we elect a black president but still take such huge steps back in society? WHAT THE FUCK!
I enjoyed the CG action, I love the idea of live-action Transformers, but I can not recommend Revenge of the Fallen.