Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

The Autobots explore the Ark, finding Sentinel Prime and some artifacts called the pillars. Well, that was fun! Let's see as Sam and Carly eat dinner- wha? No, we're in Africa instead. We see a giant rugged truck transform into a robot... wearing a desert cloak. Do you know how BIG that thing would have to be? Where did he get that? Did he knit it?

Whoa, that's Megatron! We see he's living in a little shanty town with the rest of his cohorts. WHY is Megatron still staying on Earth when he has that massive Deception base back on Saturn where they were growing the Fetus Farms? Did it just magically blow up when the Fallen was killed? Where did Megatron get a cloak that big?!?

Soundwave stops by to be awesome, and they're still going with Frank Welker's Dr. Claw voice instead of the animated Soundwave one. Not complaining though, just pointing it out. Soundwave and Laserbeak report their scheme was a success, the Autobots took the bait and have returned to Earth with the cargo from the Ark. Megatron is pleased, ordering Laserbeak to kill the rest of their human collaborators.


We then get a WTF transition of a bunch of crime scene photos and newspaper clippings of dead people that were in on the Decepticons scheme, which is SO out of place in a movie like this it makes my head spin. Bay IMMEDIATELY tops this in the next scene, where Laserbeak goes to a house out in the suburbs and changes into his robot form.

He finds a little girl playing in her yard, asking if her daddy's home in the most demonic voice possible as the movie shifts HARD into creepy as fuck territory. The screen cuts to black. The scene comes back on with the girl reading a book to Laserbeak as her mom walks in. Laserbeak shifts into his bird form. The screen cuts to black. The scene comes back with Laserbeak chasing the mom through the house as she screams. The screen cuts to black. The scene comes back with the father sitting in the couch, demanding to know why Laserbeak is there. The Deception replies “Just visiting” as the screen cuts to black AGAIN.

The scene comes back for the last time as we see the mantle of the house, containing a picture of the father and several other men standing in front of the Accuretta building. One of the men is noticeably Ken Jeong, the renowned actor who will say yes to starring in anything.  I nearly forgot: WHAT THE FUCK WAS WITH THAT SCENE WE JUST SAW?!  This movie has gone on WAY too long without Sam, so we watch as he goes about a day at work in the mail room. Carly comes to see him, and FOR ONCE Bay's idiotic “upwards shot of a character getting out of a car or a plane” makes sense because it gives him a chance to shove his camera between Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's legs. I'm not even sure she was wearing underwear in this scene.

I can safely say I owe Megan Fox the biggest apology ever- no wait, I don't. She was horrible. But Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is HORRIBLER. We are talking “You know, after watching this I realized Sofia Copolla in the Godfather 3 wasn't REALLY that bad!” HORRIBLER here. Hell, Sam and Carly are the new Sam's parents, which is literally the WORST thing I can say about any characters ever.

She leaves, but not before Bruce and everyone in the office can take the time to stare at her ass. This is embarrassing to watch John, I truly hope that paycheck you got was epic. Ken Jeong, who has been stalking Sam the entire time, finally confronts him in an elevator and says he knows all about Sam and the Transformers. And yes, Jeong is being total “wacky wild Kool-Aid style!” in case you were wondering, but I have no idea why you'd question that. What? No, he doesn't completely destroy any serious tone the movie ever had going for it with his goofy antics, why would you even assume that?

Ken grabs Sam jacket and takes off, Sam cornering him in a bathroom stall. Ken tells him his name is... do I REALLY have to say it? Hey, real quick I want to share with you fine folks an interview Bay did about this movie:

What we did with this movie is I think we have a much better script, and we got back to basics. I think there’s some really cool action on this movie, there’s some very cool conspiracy, there’s great robot stuff in this that people were missing in the second one, you’ve got great robot conflict. So I’m excited about this movie. It’s more serious. I got rid of the dorky comedy, I mean we’ve got two little characters, that’s it, but the dorkiness is not there. Dork-free Transformers. It’s much more serious. It’s still entertaining, it’s big looking.”

Just keep that all in mind for this scene, and the rest of the movie. Ken reveals his name is DEEP WANG, a hi-lar-ious parody of the fabled “Deep Throat”. Deep Wang. That's his name. He starts ranting about the moon and... why? WHY?! WHY?!? Wang pulls down his pants, where he takes some papers out of a holster wrapped around his leg. He gives them to Sam, telling him the Decepticons are killing everyone who knows about the moon and the Autobots are next.

Bruce enters the bathroom, and you know EXACTLY where this is going. Sam and Wang exit the stall after a scuffle, Wang's pants still around his ankles. More serious. No more dorky comedy. Dork-free Transformers. Michael Bay is a man people throw billions of dollars at.  Sam goes back to his desk to look over the papers, realizing Wang is onto something. However, he never gets a chance to talk to Wang because Laserbeak throws the nutjob out a window to his death. Sam is next on the hitlist as I realize Laserbeak is now officially more badass than Optimus Prime based off his kill count.

Laserbeak starts shooting up the office indiscriminately, killing anyone in his way because if he kills another fifty people he'll get enough experience points to upgrade his ammo capability. Sam escapes, picking up Carly, Wheelie, and Brains and heading to the NEST undercover base. The guards won't let him in, denying they know anything about the Transformers. Optimus or Bumblebee never even gave Sam a way to CONTACT them, just in case of something like this? I know Sam is annoying as all fuck, but seriously, at least give him a magic cell phone just in case. Or what about Wheelie or Brains, they don't even have a way to contact their fellow Autobots?

Sam manages to wrestle a walkie away from one of the guards, screaming for Bumblebee who immediately shows up to rescue him from a beatdown. But, just like the last movie, Sam starts YELLING AT HIM for saving the day. Sam rips into him for never hanging out with him and forcing him to drive his piece of shit Datsun, and this is our HERO? I can't believe I actually felt a bit sorry for him before. He's a selfish and whiny asshole that I now hope gets stepped on by Shockwave. The next five minutes are basically Sam just WHINING because he should be treated like God for saving the world twice.

Charlotte tells an assembly of officials they've locked the five pillars sound with Sentinel into a giant vault until they know exactly what they're dealing with, because Optimus apparently never bothered to tell them. That's a REALLY good idea to keep them all in one place, because that NEVER backfires in these kind of movies.  She cuts her presentation short when she sees Sam and Carly enter, establishing herself as the “no-nonsense bitch you don't want to mess with” as she asserts SHE'S the one in charge and not the Autobots. Frances McDormand is SO FAR out of the league of every other actor in the movie that it is just STUNNING. Her character is the most cliché, one note moron I've ever seen, but she's playing her like it's actually a serious script. That is what we call professionalism, ladies and gentlemen.

Enough of all that though, because it's FINALLY time to get some Transformers in this thing. We see Optimus using the Matrix of Leadership on Sentinel, which brings him back to life. Sentinel is voiced by the... I can't even think of a word awesome enough to describe him, so I'll just say Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy, as you should know, is actually a veteran of the franchise as he voiced the GREATEST Deception in all of history: Galvatron.

Just like Tony Todd in the last movie, I'm glad to see such well respected actor of mine get a huge payday over someone like Malkovich who regularly gets cast in large movies. But enough of that, the Matrix isn't just a key anymore, huh? I like how all Autobot artifacts can ALSO transform into other things.  Sentinel asks about the pillars, learning the Autobots only found five, one of which is the “control pillar”. He is upset about this because he left with hundreds, which prompts Charlotte to ask what kind of technology they are talking about. We get this:

It is the ability to reshape the universe. Together the pillars form a space bridge. I designed, and I alone, can control it. It defies your laws of physics to transport matter through time and space.”
You're talking about a teleportation device, aren't you?”
Yes, for resources, for refugees.”

Teleportation was the technology that was going to win the Autobots the war? They were going to take the pillars to somewhere else and transport all the other Autobots off Cybertron to what I can only assume was regroup and relaunch a counter-offensive? Nevermind all of the time they were off the planet, that would give the Decepticons plenty of time to prepare their own defenses. Not to mention Transformers can ALREADY FREAKING TELEPORT, as we saw in the last movie.

This is the shit that baffles me about action movies, it REALLY shouldn't be that hard to write this stuff so it actually makes sense. What's wrong with “the pillars can destroy only Decepticons, but now the Decepticons have learned to reprogram them to kill Autobots”? WHY does everything in these movies have to be so goddamned convoluted and confusing as possible? It's not like the target audience of these movies are known for their deductive reasoning skills.

Charlotte starts doing her “blah blah blah I'm a stupid government official and you can't have the pillars” routine, as I have NO idea how McDormand was able to say her idiotic lines without bursting into laughter. She sends Sam and Carly home under Bumblebee's protection, but Sam isn't letting his chance to be the hero for a third time go. He says they need to figure out why the Decepticons are killing humans, and the only way to do that is to “go to the expert”.

We cut to Simmons on The O'Reilly Factor talk show, because this movie DESPERATELY needed to go from merely stupid to huffing paint stupid. Simmons is saying humans need to side with the Autobots while Bill O'Reilly says they need to leave Earth because they're not white American males who believe in God. At least I think that's what he said, I really stopped paying attention the second this scene started. Sam calls Simmons and the team-up is on! The Team Up ABSOLUTELY NO ONE DEMANDED!

Bruce shows up at Sam's place with Wang's file, agreeing to help on the condition he gets to see Bumblebee. He describes the Autobot to be “fucking awesome”, which makes the second use of the fuck in the movie which means this should be rated R. I'm not even going to bother ranting about a movie for kids having such language, this is NOT a kid's movie and if you let your young children watch this you are a TERRIBLE parent.

We learn Wang designed a sate little for NASA to map the moon in 2009, but sabotaged it so it wouldn't detect the Ark. 2009, the same year the Decepticons tried to pull off their goofy Sun Harvester scheme. At some point I can only assume is AFTER the movie, the Decepticons started contacting humans and making deals to set up this massive conspiracy to hide the Ark's existence from the rest of the world. How did they do this with no one noticing? Did they force the humans to help them? Or did the humans go along with it? If so, what did they promise the humans in exchange for their help? These are things that might have been nice to see, instead of thirty scenes of Sam whining that the human race doesn't kiss his ass.

Bruce tries to... fist fight Bumblebee, who then knocks him on his back and starts tickling him. MARY MOTHER OF GOD THERE IS STILL NINTETY MINUTES LEFT! You know the absolute WORST part about this, and I mean besides I'll never be able to take John Malkovich seriously ever again? Is this entire scene had to be carefully written and designed since it contained a massive CGI Bayformer. They probably spent HUNDREDS of hours animating this scene, and all for something that is wretchedly stupid.

Brains tries to actually get the fucking movie rolling by announcing he's found the location of two Russian cosmonauts that might be involved in this whole thing, but Carly shows up to put the kibosh on any of that “story” nonsense. See, she's pissed because Sam is with Simmons trying to save the world instead of getting ready to go with her to the dinner party of the guy trying to bang her. MEN! AMIRITE, ladies?!  They also try to throw in some kind of subplot how she hates the military because her brother was a soldier who died in the line of duty but HA HA HA, swing and a miss Dark Of The Moon!

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley makes JANUARY JONES look like a stellar actress. She is so laughably bad I'm somewhat in awe by all of this, especially when she tries to make Sam choose between saving the world or her. She drives off and boy, can I not wait for the scene where Sam fights to get her back. I really hope it comes at the very end of the movie, so it feels like an epic love reunion. I also hope they kiss in slow motion with majestic music playing.

Sam, Simmons, and Simmons's bodyguard Dutch... I was really hoping I'd be able to go the entire review without acknowledging Dutch but he's getting too much screen time now to make that dream a reality. The joke about Dutch is he's a flamboyantly gay stereotype and before you get on me for assuming he's gay by the cliché way he talks, Simmons was very sure to reference his homosexuality earlier. Michael Bay, what an auteur!

The three track the Russians to an underground bar where they are shown pictures Russian probes took of the dark side of the moon in 1963. They are of hundreds of the pillars, Sam figuring out the Decepticons must have left Sentinel behind so the Autobots could revive him. HOW THE FUCK WOULD THE DECEPTICONS KNOW THE AUTOBOTS WOULD EVER REVIVE HIM? They didn't even know the Autobots would EVER find the moon, let along the freaking Milky Way galaxy. But let's just say the Decepticons assumed the Autobots WOULD track them to Earth someday, how were they planning on the Autobots reviving their ally?

Duh Ghoul, are you a fucking moron? The Matrix of Leadership obviously! Oh wait, HOW THE FUCK WERE THE AUTOBOTS SUPPOSED TO FIND THE MATRIX?!? Remember the whole plot of the last movie where the Matrix was super hidden and no one could find it, not to mention the Autobots didn't even KNOW it was ON EARTH?!

Do you see? When you actually write this shit down how none of it makes a lick of sense whatsoever? Who was coordinating this whole pillars plan anyway? Megatron was frozen on Earth since at least the late 1800s, so that means the Fallen would have been running the show. BUT, as the last movie kept telling us, the Fallen can ONLY be killed by a Prime so why would he want to revive another Prime? I could keep going, I really could, but this is the ULTIMATE example of how no one gave the slightest sliver of a fuck about the storyline and continuity of this trilogy.

Sam calls Charlotte to warn her for some stupid reason, but to my surprise she listens instead of hanging up on him. Three Decepticons called the Dreads, who DON'T have horribly stereotypical Jamaican accents to my absolute shock, attack Sam and the Autobots as we get an EXTREMELY well done chase scene. Everything's clear and easy to follow, especially an amazing shot where we witness a first person view of Bumblebee transforming into his car form around Sam. Ironhide aaaaand... maybe Sideswipe? I can't tell because with Bumblebee gone EVERYONE is identical monochrome now- stay behind to deal with the Dreads. The Transformers end up in a standoff, with every aiming at someone else and- hmm. You know what this scene reminds me of?

You remember the 2007 cinematic classic Hitman, don't you? Oh you don't because you forget it the moment you saw it? Not that Hitman invented that scene because gun standoffs are as old as time itself, I just had a flashback to that. One of the Autobots says to the Dreads “Weapons down, and we'll let you escape with your dignity.”. Uhh... just- just like what Agent 47 said in Hitman.

Sure enough, EXACT-FUCKING-LY LIKE HITMAN, everyone drops their guns and break out blades they had concealed in their backs. At least here it makes sense, unlike Hitman where they just produced blades from their magic Weapons Inventory. Ironhide and his ally take out the Decepticons in a battle that I could safely say would have been AWESOME had I been able to tell who was who, but even so this was probably one of the most visually solid Bayformers fights yet.

I am QUITE mystified by what we just saw. Near as I can tell, Michael Bay just ripped off Hitman, a movie that didn't even make $100 million dollars. Hitman is barely even remembered by anyone besides cynical pricks like myself, WHY of all things to rip off why would he choose this one? Unless Hitman itself stole that scene from a more famous movie I'm not familiar with, if this is the case PLEASE let me know so I can sleep at night.  Sam and Bumblebee make it outside the base, where Sentinel and Lennox are waiting for them. Sentinel takes this moment to reveal he's in cahoots with Megatron as he MURDERS IRONHIDE! Oh no, that actually might have meant something if we'd gotten even remotely close to knowing Ironhide the past three movies.

Sentinel proceeds to blast the base apart, takes the pillars, and splits. Optimus arrives too late, taking in the scene of destruction and displaying more emotion than any single human in the entire movie. Man, that was so dark and violent. I sure hope Bay doesn't follow this up with- GODDAMNIT! I hate you so much Bay.

More Sam's parents, and they're as funny as ever! Sam goes to check with them if they've seen Carly, which leads Sam's mom to start lecturing him on his love life. She says he can't keep going through beautiful women and he'll NEVER get a third girlfriend that beautiful unless he has a big dick. Hold on hold on, it gets better. She THEN goes on to say he's probably lousy in bed so pulls out the book She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide To Pleasuring A Woman by Ian Kerner. Seriously.  Fuck all of this. Sentinel starts setting up the pillars around Washington while Megatron and Starscream meet in the Lincoln Memorial. I'm just going to transcribe this because... well, you'll see.

My master! Such a brilliant scheme! So when Sentinel left Cybertron, it was to defect?”
He was meant to rendezvous with me here on Earth before fate waylaid us both. The only way to revive him, we needed Prime and his Matrix.”

Stop talking! Just stop talking, for the love of God. SHUT UP! It makes it borderline impossible to review this movie when every single fucking line of dialogue sends me into another rant. Cybertron World War I was 19,000 years ago. At this point the All Spark was STILL on Cybertron, so WHY would Megatron and Sentinel make plans to meet on Earth? They wouldn't have even KNOWN Earth EXISTED at this point, let alone that's where the All Spark would somehow end up! And again with the Matrix, they had NO WAY OF KNOWING Prime would ever get the Matrix! This is just balls-to-the wall insanity right here.

Megatron then blows up the Lincoln Memorial because... uh... explosions? Optimus arrives, oddly without with Trailer of Badassery, but he's too late. Sentinel activates the Space Bridge, which starts drawing Decepticons to the Earth. Sentinel beats the crap out of Optimus as we learn his motivation was to save the Transformers by allying with Megatron, but whatever, he's just a one note “I NEED MORE POWER!” cliché now. The humans should treat them as gods and serve them, or all be killed. You've seen this one before.

Sentinel doesn't kill Optimus though, because who will kill him at the end of the movie? Bumblebee? I DON'T THINK SO. Sentinel then just walks away and Optimus just casually watches him leave, because he knows there's still an hour to kill in this thing. BRING ON THE FILLER!  Hey Dylan's party, that's perfect! Sam shows up to talk to Carly, but before he can Dylan reveals he's ALSO in cahoots with Megatron. Good God, is there anyone in this movie who ISN'T in league with Megatron at this point?