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Notes On A Film: Transformers 2

I’m not even going to dignify this film with its full title. This movie is over-long, full of overly loud explosions, vacant characters following the ‘story’ from one pretty location to the next, racist stereotype robots, Transformer testicles (something I never thought I would see), terrible attempts at humour, far too many Transformers and a disregard for narrative structure. It’s not as bad as people made it out to be – it’s far too easy to slag off Michael Bay – but it’s not very good either.

The gruelling thing is that this film just keeps going and going, with a interminable plot that doesn’t care if it makes sense or not, but at the same time trying to be over-complicated to justify the concept that a sequel must outdo the first film. The original movie was enjoyable even though it had a silly plot, with stupid turns and only a passing relationship with story mechanics, but the sequel makes it look like a work of art in comparison. It’s two and a half hours long, including time for a ‘wacky’ section at college as Sam (Shia LeBoeuf) moves into his dorm room, ’emotional moments’ between Sam and Mikaela (Megan Fox), and more travelogues than a James Bond film. You just want it all to end. I mean, how hard is it to have an exciting film with transforming robots? The first sequence has its moments, with giant metallic machines beating the crap out of each other, but this is just a momentary blip. When the film does have action, it tries to outdo the first film by having so many robots in the scene that you can’t tell what’s going on.

When your bum is getting numb, waiting for something decent to happen, you latch on to anything that seems halfway interesting: John Turturro is always good value, even in nonsense like this; an ancient robot, disguised in the Smithsonian, has an English accent and acts cranky, saying things like ‘bugger’ and ‘arse’; and … that’s about it. The robots and transformation still look good, but Bay can’t keep his camera still for long enough to enjoy these moments. I wonder if he wakes up from his dreams because he’s vomiting from dizziness as his mental camera flies around like fly on drugs?

The other thing Bay should stop doing is humour: he has the sensibility of a particularly juvenile and sex-obsessed teenage boy, and it’s painful when he puts jokes in (such as the dangling metal balls between a Transformer’s legs). It’s embarrassing, and he should have a comedy editor with the power to say ‘No’ on all future films.

In summary: I really don’t know why I saw this film, I’m sorry I added to its box office, and you should avoid this film.

Rating: DA

[See here for my film rating system]

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