Critics Consensus: Transformers 2 Is Less Than Meets The Eye

Summary

This week at the movies, we've got robots in disguise (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, starring Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf) and a family in disrepair (My Sister's Keeper, starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin). What do the critics have to say? Most folks like their blockbusters big, loud, and loaded with spectacle. However, the masses also tend to enjoy good characters and some semblance of a plot, two things the pundits say are sorely missing from Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. A lot of movies walk a fine line between being emotionally involving and seeming merely manipulative, and critics are essentially split on which side My Sister's Keeper falls. Back to Article

Comments

mjprogue

Mike PArker

I get so much joy coming to these sites and watching folks pretend to be sophisticated and elite...

I'm the first to agree that most people are morons...but moron or not a fun movie is a fun movie. 90% of the bashers out there will still pay money to watch this movie (or steal it, but they'd also steal "good" movies)...

Bashing a director like Michael Bay, who gives the movie going public EXACTLY what they want is just childish. Save your bashing for directors who consistantly put out garbage that nobody wants to see...but who elitists feel the need to defend so they can appear better than the masses.

Public Enemies? Seriously? Great premise...but Johnny Depp is single handedly responsible for ruining every movie he appears in...so why bother?

Oh and FYI...going on and on about how "popcorn" movies suck and low budget movies are amazing isn't going to get you either a position voting on the Oscars or a gig as a movie critic...they already have enough tasteless elitists to fill both positions.

Jun 26 - 11:43 AM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

gm1200: How does Johnny Depp ruin every film he's in? I gave my issues with Transformers 2 (a few, but I'll give more if you want them) so how about you give your reasons for bashing Depp!

Jun 26 - 02:46 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

I have to apologize, I gave a spoiler away in one of my previous posts without even thinking of it being a spoiler till now. To all of you who have read that post and haven't seen the movie yet, I apologize.

Jun 26 - 03:01 PM

Bob S.

Bob Saccomano

@ColinTheCimmerian:
Well, the only issue I have with the Allspark explanation (and I'm going by purely what we see on film) is that in and of itself, when Sam is carrying it around, and it drops momentarily, it turns steering wheels into chomping machines, a Mountain Dew vending machine into an aggressive robot, and so on. My interpretation, reinforced by what was shown, is that it turns technology evil, which is in contradistinction to the earlier stated purpose. I never looked at it the way you discussed about making feral creatures, and thanks for the insight. Still, it takes ONE line of dialogue for Optimus Prime to just say that outright and no further questions asked. Looking at it from a meta-perspective (I know that some here will get their panties in a twist about over-analysis, but I hope that you as a film lover will understand where I'm coming from), what Bay is trying to do here is reinforce WHY it is imperative that Megatron not get the Allspark. The problem is that doesn't jive with the ultimate storyline and Prime's motivations, so that cognitive dissonance is an annoyance. When I posted my issues with the plot of the first film earlier, I did also mention that it was conveniently used as a way to destroy Megatron instead of its stated benevolent purpose of giving life 2 hours before. The overall structure was just silly: the motivations are never well explained, the central MacGuffin is never convincing, and central plot points are juggled around with dismissive laxity only to be used when convenient.

Here's the beauty of what I'm suggesting: Apologists can't say I'm wrong. I'm not arguing for a great plot, but a simple one. One that doesn't trip all over itself. One that can stem from a 30 minute TV show or whatever other ridiculous arguments have been posited by some. And before anyone tells me that Bay had budget limitations and could only have the robots on-screen for X amount of time, I'd point out that because of the designs Bay pushed for (read: moving mechanical vomit), the render times made it too expensive to have the robots on screen for the majority of the movie. I'd design the Transformers like so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5175Y06_Lk

Not only would people be able to tell them apart and understand what they were looking at, but it would have the added advantage of being cheaper to animate and put the focus firmly on Autobots and Decepticons. What makes me sad is that people that love the first movie don't understand that it could have been so, so, so much better if Bay had any concept of the old maxim, "Sometimes, less is more." With Bay, more is more and is still not enough. In some cases, it can yield satisfying results in the realm of action films, but a little less cocaine snorted off a hooker's *** in this case would have made for a better movie.

Jun 26 - 12:21 PM

NTROST

Anthony W.

@Bob S.
You showed how you would have done the robots in Transformers through youtube video. See the type of model (the blocky type models) you want was already tried during the developement stage of "Transformers".

According to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, during the designing of the Transformers, as a test Optimus Prime was first designed in CGI in his classic boxy look from "Transformers" (1984), but he looked fake and boring. So the robots were designed in a more intricate, three-dimensional image to be more realistic and to reflect their alien origins. The major influences in these designs were real-world physics (each robot matches the size of its chosen disguise), the Rubik's Cube (numerous pieces moving to convert one thing to another) and samurai armour (going back to the toyline's Japanese origins).

Personally, I agree with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura that the boxy look does look artificial, boring let alone just outright cheesy.

Also, just to let you know CGI effect shots are cheaper then live-action action shots. So, don't make the budget your source of reasoning becasue it's a faulty excuse. While render times where long depending on the robot itself such as Optimus Prime who is composed of 10,108 pieces, Megatron is composed of 2,411 pieces, Bumblebee is composed out of 7433 pieces, Ironhide is the bulkiest Transformer in the film, with both his guns composed of 10,000 pieces each as all of these characters take 32 hours to render just one frame & one in particular known as Devastator is made out of 52,632 pieces & took 72 hours to render a single frame. The cost of CGI is priced by frames not rendering time.

@gm1200
While you try to prove a point it comes off really impolitic & even just lunatic at points.

Jun 26 - 01:25 PM

ColinTheCimmerian

Colin Hay

Yeah I hear ya about the Allspark thing lacking clarity. The things it brought to life certainly acted pretty nasty, and it absolutely could have been cleared up with just a bit of explanantion from Optimus. I suspect my theory is probably what the writers originally had in mind, or something like it, but Bay obviously did not feel the need to express it clearly to the audience and probably only served to convolute it further by making the pop machine transformer and the other 'newborns' seem so mean. But I don't think his primary concern was storytelling.

Jun 26 - 01:36 PM

javyb1980

Javier Botta

I havent been this disapointed in a summer sequel since.....well I can't really remember but the second Jurrasic Park comes to mind. This is not surprising to me though because we have seen this before but not to the extent we saw it in Transformers 2. Average sequals have been made to great money maker movies like The Matrix, Pirates, and even Spiderman, but to say this movie is average is to sell your soul to Satin. The only thing that prevents you from walking out of the theater and into on-coming traffic is the amazing special effects the movie has, but what a price to pay for minutes of enjoyment. Micheal Bay has to make sure Transformers doesn't walk down the path Spiderman did which completlly sold out to cheap pukie kiddy humor and forgot the story and the whole fact people go see a movie like that.

Jun 26 - 12:30 PM

JAKEofMIDWORLD

Jake Almond

But was it ever any more than this very thing? Honestly, I know a lot of you liked the first movie and that's fine, but be honest about what it is.

Jun 26 - 01:13 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

I don't understand How everyone thinks that CGI cartoons count as "crazy special effects". CGI makes movies look extra fake. Roger Rabbit looked better...

Jun 26 - 01:03 PM

JAKEofMIDWORLD

Jake Almond

But was it ever any more than this very thing? Honestly, I know a lot of you liked the first movie and that's fine, but be honest about what it is.

Jun 26 - 01:13 PM

colin t.

colin troy

i went into transformers with very lowered expectations but i thought the first one was fun. i was shocked to find out how stunningly bad this movie was. the characters were ridiculously dumb (shia's parents, his roommate- why was he in this movie?!) and the plot was...m.i.a. seriously the most disapointing and depressing film experience of the year, miles below wolverine and terminator salvation.

Jun 26 - 01:15 PM

steveo3387

Stephen Carnagua

That's why I saw the first one, and I was really disappointed. The ONLY good thing about that movie was the giant robot battles, and those weren't even that good. How hard is it to make giant robot battles interesting???

Jun 26 - 01:15 PM

NTROST

Anthony W.

@Bob S.
You showed how you would have done the robots in Transformers through youtube video. See the type of model (the blocky type models) you want was already tried during the developement stage of "Transformers".

According to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, during the designing of the Transformers, as a test Optimus Prime was first designed in CGI in his classic boxy look from "Transformers" (1984), but he looked fake and boring. So the robots were designed in a more intricate, three-dimensional image to be more realistic and to reflect their alien origins. The major influences in these designs were real-world physics (each robot matches the size of its chosen disguise), the Rubik's Cube (numerous pieces moving to convert one thing to another) and samurai armour (going back to the toyline's Japanese origins).

Personally, I agree with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura that the boxy look does look artificial, boring let alone just outright cheesy.

Also, just to let you know CGI effect shots are cheaper then live-action action shots. So, don't make the budget your source of reasoning becasue it's a faulty excuse. While render times where long depending on the robot itself such as Optimus Prime who is composed of 10,108 pieces, Megatron is composed of 2,411 pieces, Bumblebee is composed out of 7433 pieces, Ironhide is the bulkiest Transformer in the film, with both his guns composed of 10,000 pieces each as all of these characters take 32 hours to render just one frame & one in particular known as Devastator is made out of 52,632 pieces & took 72 hours to render a single frame. The cost of CGI is priced by frames not rendering time.

@gm1200
While you try to prove a point it comes off really impolitic & even just lunatic at points.

Jun 26 - 01:25 PM

NTROST

Anthony W.

@jaysix

"I don't understand How everyone thinks that CGI cartoons count as "crazy special effects". CGI makes movies look extra fake. Roger Rabbit looked better..."

What are you talking about? Are you saying the robots look fake?

"CGI makes movies look extra fake?"

Now, that's just an ill-advise comment or you have horrid judgement. So, your telling me the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" looked fake? Your telling me that Davy Jones in "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" looked fake? If CGI is used properly then it makes a film even better. I'm sorry dude but you are clearly out of your element if are stating what I think your stating?

Jun 26 - 01:35 PM

ColinTheCimmerian

Colin Hay

Yeah I hear ya about the Allspark thing lacking clarity. The things it brought to life certainly acted pretty nasty, and it absolutely could have been cleared up with just a bit of explanantion from Optimus. I suspect my theory is probably what the writers originally had in mind, or something like it, but Bay obviously did not feel the need to express it clearly to the audience and probably only served to convolute it further by making the pop machine transformer and the other 'newborns' seem so mean. But I don't think his primary concern was storytelling.

Jun 26 - 01:36 PM

NTROST

Anthony W.

correction "I'm sorry dude but you are clearly out of your element if *you* are stating what I think your stating?

Jun 26 - 01:36 PM

Patrick M.

Patrick McManus

Terminator 2 is funnny, rediculous confusing (especially the geography. It bounces all over the place while claiming to be in the same place.) The humans are (at best) supporting characters

Jun 26 - 01:49 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Paints hz shirt red: "Does every Transformer have to talk like a white man?" So what you're saying is that every black man talks like the twins?! I think this is the first time I've ever taken something resembling offense to something someone said on RT! Good job, Paints!

Jun 26 - 01:50 PM

Paints Hz Shirt Red

krookedlegs Eagle Tail

i didnt say every black man talks or acts like the twins. gohead and act offended whitey. its probly the only time you will b able to act offened for anything. ill let u have your moment. if critics are gonna blast the twins then why hasnt megan foxs transformer that talked italian on blast? or jazz from the first one? to me theres no difference.

Jun 26 - 03:31 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Paints Hz Shirt Red: I wasn't actually offended, I was just joking (even when a guy stood staring me in the face and called me the n word once I wasn't offended, I was only offended when my dad did it). And I made mention of the Italian robot on another post, as well as the bucktoothed Jew, and a lot of people had already talked about Jazz. I wasn't offended by the twins, but I can see how people would be. Growing up milatto in Florida I hate anything dealing with stereotypes. Do you know what it's like to not fit a stereotype as a kid? People asking me why I didn't listen to rap, talk in slang, or dressed in baggy clothes and all that wasn't fun growing up and I wouldn't want any kid to go through that at a time when they're trying to find out who they are as a human when they shouldn't have to worry about race. Between movies like this, the media, and the rap community it's hard to escape when you don't fit the stereotype.

Jun 26 - 04:54 PM

Paints Hz Shirt Red

krookedlegs Eagle Tail

ok my bad. yes i personally dealt with racism before. im native american, grew up on a reservation and lived there all my life, till about 3 years ago. the closest town never was very friendly to us ndnz. but my point is alot of people never had to deal with racism on a personal level and im sure alot of these critics that bashed this film for it never has either. thats why i think its very stupid that people look at it that way. actually its kind of sickening.

Jun 26 - 07:41 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Patt B.: He is still a chameleon, you're just too busy thinking of him as Johnny Depp the actor. He keeps doing Pirates movies because he loves playing that character, and why not work with Burton over and over again, after all, they are best friends and "get" each other. Not to mention Burton's the director that directed him to stardom (remember Edward Scissorhands). A lot of people would disagree with you on Sweeney Todd, and Ed Wood is probably the best movie Depp or Burton as ever done. Also, don't forget that Public Enemies is being directed by Michael Mann: Heat, 'nuff said.

Jun 26 - 02:13 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Michael S: You aren't really reading the comments on here are you? There's a lot of people who have stated their issues with the movie. I went to the movie half in the bag, without the intention of picking the movie apart, but I couldn't help myself when it started. There are so many things in that movie that are started up and we never see them again. How many things seem to have no real purpose in the movie? I'll give you one big one: the fembot that was hitting on Sam. Now we know that it was trying to get info from Shia or whatever, but it was also set up to make Mikaela jealous. Mikaela has an issue with Sam's tryst for five minutes and we never hear about it again, nor did that robot ever come up again. That whole subplot made no sense because it doesn't lead to anything and takes up 15-30 minutes of the movies run time. There was also no purpose to Sam's roommate or the twins. They served absolutely no purpose to the plot except for supposed comic relief, but in reality they were just flat out annoying. These are legitimate problems with the movie.

Jun 26 - 02:41 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

gm1200: How does Johnny Depp ruin every film he's in? I gave my issues with Transformers 2 (a few, but I'll give more if you want them) so how about you give your reasons for bashing Depp!

Jun 26 - 02:46 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

I have to apologize, I gave a spoiler away in one of my previous posts without even thinking of it being a spoiler till now. To all of you who have read that post and haven't seen the movie yet, I apologize.

Jun 26 - 03:01 PM

moviechick1010

Crystal Adjani

The eunning time on T2 should've been cut by 20 minutes. Other than that it's the amusement ride I was expecting when I paid for my ticket. Shakespeare - or even "The Matrix" - it ain't...nor was it supposed to be. Was it worse than T1 one? Yeah. But it was still fun ride. And seriously, how many people are NOT going to at least check out this flick unless they're over 60 or under age 12?

Jun 26 - 03:15 PM

moviechick1010

Crystal Adjani

CORRECTION: I meant RUNNING time by the way.

Jun 26 - 03:18 PM

JAKEofMIDWORLD

Jake Almond

Please stop calling this **** T2. That belongs to Terminator 2 and it confuses most people as that has been the films nickname for a long time before fu**ing Transformers.

Jun 27 - 01:42 AM

moviechick1010

Crystal Adjani

CORRECTION: I meant RUNNING time by the way.

Jun 26 - 03:18 PM

Paints Hz Shirt Red

krookedlegs Eagle Tail

i didnt say every black man talks or acts like the twins. gohead and act offended whitey. its probly the only time you will b able to act offened for anything. ill let u have your moment. if critics are gonna blast the twins then why hasnt megan foxs transformer that talked italian on blast? or jazz from the first one? to me theres no difference.

Jun 26 - 03:31 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Paints Hz Shirt Red: I wasn't actually offended, I was just joking (even when a guy stood staring me in the face and called me the n word once I wasn't offended, I was only offended when my dad did it). And I made mention of the Italian robot on another post, as well as the bucktoothed Jew, and a lot of people had already talked about Jazz. I wasn't offended by the twins, but I can see how people would be. Growing up milatto in Florida I hate anything dealing with stereotypes. Do you know what it's like to not fit a stereotype as a kid? People asking me why I didn't listen to rap, talk in slang, or dressed in baggy clothes and all that wasn't fun growing up and I wouldn't want any kid to go through that at a time when they're trying to find out who they are as a human when they shouldn't have to worry about race. Between movies like this, the media, and the rap community it's hard to escape when you don't fit the stereotype.

Jun 26 - 04:54 PM

Paints Hz Shirt Red

krookedlegs Eagle Tail

ok my bad. yes i personally dealt with racism before. im native american, grew up on a reservation and lived there all my life, till about 3 years ago. the closest town never was very friendly to us ndnz. but my point is alot of people never had to deal with racism on a personal level and im sure alot of these critics that bashed this film for it never has either. thats why i think its very stupid that people look at it that way. actually its kind of sickening.

Jun 26 - 07:41 PM

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