Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

The film also sets up ANOTHER subplot about the Decepticons trying to grow one of the Fetus Farms from the Matrix on their base, but don't have enough energy supplies to feed the hatchlings so they keep dying. They're... they're GROWING robots? Metal can actually grow and mature now?

Back on Earth, Sam attends an astronomy class which is presided over by Rainn Wilson in a horribly distracting cameo. He spends most of his screen time flirting with his attractive female students, because THAT'S totally appropriate. But I guess it's okay, because the women are all very turned on by him. Michael Bay!

Sam goes into another trance, reading his entire book in seconds and going up to the front of the class to write spout off tons of bullshit techtalk. Professor Dwight tells Sam he will NOT be upstaged in front of the Dean of the school- hold on. The fucking Dean has been there the whole time while he was hitting on his students?! I thought Sam was going to college somewhere in Philadelphia, not Duke University.

Sam gets kicked out of class, immediately calling Mikaela to catch her up to speed about how he's seeing symbols as a result of touching the fragment. She says it's safe and sound in her safe, which Wheelie overhears. And by the way, Wheelie talks like the worst Italian stereotype you can possibly think of.

Wheelie starts making his way towards the safe, stepping on a mousetrap with his tire-for-a-foot that... HURTS HIM? You know, something I didn't give the first movie any credit for was how it was actually pretty grounded in reality for a story about giant robots who change into vehicles. In Revenge Of The Fallen, all that is going out the window as EVERYTHING is starting to feel like a zany cartoon.

His buffoonery attracts the attention of Mikaela, who starts torturing him with a soldering iron and burns his eye out because Bay must have just got done watching Hostel before he filmed this scene. Wheelie calls her a crazy bitch because Bay must have just got done being Michael Bay before he filmed this scene. She locks Wheelie and a trunk and goes to see Sam.
 
Keeping in with the cartoon feel of the movie, we see Mikaela go through airport security with her talking trunk with NO HASSLES WHATSOEVER which I am calling complete and total bullshit on. I've had to completely unpack my luggage full of clothes at security checkpoints before, there is NO WAY you're getting a metal trunk that is LOUDLY TALKING through the airport without someone checking it. Hell, they didn't even do the “hot girl distracts guard with her hotness” cliché, Mikaela just strolled right on through. This movie is falling apart and it is doing it HARD.

Returning to his dorm room, Sam has another fit and starts painting more symbols on his wall. On a poster. On a poster of Bad Boys II, directed by Michael Bay. Ha hah, that's- that's just great. I'm actually REALLY excited to see the third Bayformers movie now, just to see which one of his works of classic art he pimps out next.

The film briefly cuts to Optimus and his crew as they've detected multiple Decepticons headed towards New York City and Philadelphia (where Sam's college is), but who gives a FUCK about that? I'd much rather see Leo try to hit on the hot blonde by showing her a pizza and telling her he's got “18 inches of meat”! Again, Transformers Apologists, PLEASE hit me up on this one and tell me why it's THE MOSTEST AWESOMEST MOVIE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. Blondie is only interested in Sam, so Leo takes her to see him. There we find Sam has turned their room into the Room Full Of Crazy, having painted the symbols EVERYWHERE. And somehow found a way to repaint the symbols on the Bad Boys II poster, because they're totally different now.

Blondie, now identified as Alice, looks aroused by this and kicks Leo out of the room. She starts trying to seduce Sam as we see Mikaela arrive outside and WHAT THE HELL? How freaking close was Mikaela to Philadelphia? Like a few blocks away? I know she said she'd fly down “the same afternoon” but the way this scene is edited it seems like a few minutes tops. Anyway, I don't even are because it's time for a “girlfriend walks in on what she thinks is her boyfriend trying to cheat on her” scene! I haven't seen one of those since the last three million times I've seen it in hack movies!

All is not as it seems though, as Bay VERY RELUCTANTLY pans away from Alice's ass to show us a metallic tentacle growing out of her back. HOLY SHIT SHE'S A CYLON! Oops, I mean Decepticon. I'll be fully honest, I was legit surprised by this. The movie kept going out of its way to shove her down our throats and show how attracted she was to Sam, but I thought that was just Bay defining females by their sexuality like he always does.

That does raise a key question though, if the Decepticons are able to perfectly impersonate humans why do they bother with half the shit they do? This entire film's script is being held together by scotch tape and rubber bands, and they're both starting to give...

Mikaela walks in, Alice retracting her tentacle just in time so she doesn't see it. Mikaela starts walking away, Sam going after her when Alice starts choking him with her metallic tongue. She begins slamming Sam into the walls, the noise bringing back Mikaela who finally witnesses what's REALLY going on. Sam and Mikaela start running as Alice turns into her true form, Leo tagging along because we REALLY need him involved in the movie more. They hide in the library, Mecha Alice arriving and blowing everything up in true Bay fashion. They run some more, the next shot Mecha Alice fast walking out of the library after them... only she's back in her human form now. The fuck? I guess Bay's NOT AT ALL PLAYED OUT shot of someone walking towards the camera in slow motion wouldn't have looked as cool with some CGI robot.

They jack a car, Mikaela hot wiring it because she's a car genius, remember? Alice approached and changes back into Mecha Alice, trying to smash their windshield to get to them. Mikaela takes off, ramming the car into a nearby pole and apparently killing the robot. She starts driving away, only for a helicopter to swoop over them and pick up their stolen car with a giant claw.

The chopper flies them high over a building and drops them to their deaths, but thankfully all three had their Main Character Forcefield turned on so they survive. Wait, even Leo? Fuck my life. Megatron or Starscream is there waiting for them, I still honestly can't tell which is which. The Decepticon grabs Sam and brutally hurls him across the room onto the concrete at full strength, but that doesn't even DENT Sam's forcefield. Good thing too, if he'd just been a supporting character his bones would be JELLY from an impact like that!

Megatron (I had to check) orders a small robot he calls the Doctor to examine Sam, who I turn summons some even smaller robots to assist him. Hugo Weaving, the voice of Megatron, was also in the Matrix trilogy and he must have taken some souvenirs with him because one of the robots is the bug the Agents put in Neo's stomach.

The bug crawls down Neo's- sorry, Sam's mouth and comes out a few seconds later, uploading the information he gathered to the Doctor. He begins projecting holograms of the symbols, Megatron declaring they'll lead them to the “Energon Source”. Jesus there's a lot going on in this movie: the Fallen, the Primes, two different All Spark fragments, Decepticon fetus farms, Shia going crazy, the government wanting the Autobots gone, and now Energon.

The Doctor is about to cut Sam's brain out of his head when Optimus and Bumblebee or Ratchet arrive to save the day! They blast the Decepticons away and escape, Sam getting into Optimus while Mikaela and... sigh, Leo get into Bumblebee and take off. Optimus and Sam don't make it very far however, as Megatron, Starscream, and Grindor (the helicopter that captured the humans) cut them off and start beating the shit out of Optimus while Sam goes off to hide.

Optimus tries his best to fight off the three while keeping the battle as visually comprehensible as possible, but fails miserably at both attempts. Could you imagine if these robots were covered by different coloured plate armour instead of BILLIONS of exposed wires and tubes how incredible these movies would probably look? Optimus does RIP GRINDOR'S FACE IN TWO which is nice and horrifically violent but this attack leads him open to a sneak attack from Megatron, who fatally stabs him through the back in true cowardly villain fashion.

As Optimus falls we cut back to the Decepticon base, where the Fallen instantly knows the last Prime is dead. Optimus sees Sam watching him from nearby, the Autobot's last words are for him to run. Even though the battle was a confusing blur of CGI and quick cuts, you really couldn't ask for a more heroic way to go out even though I don't believe for a second Optimus is going to stay dead. It's amazing how when you give the real Transformers center stage in their own movie how they constantly deliver time after time.

The Autobots show up way too late, Sam making it to Bumblebee while the others drive off the Decepticons. Megatron declares it's time for the Decepticons to announce their presence to the world, Soundwave summoning every robot he can to Earth.

Damn, the epic and heartbreaking death of Optimus Prime, the enemies about to launch a full scale assault with the Big Bad waiting in the wings... shit just got real! This now feels like an actual movie with the stakes at an all time high where I'm fully invested in- OH FUCK THERE'S SAM'S PARENTS AGAIN. Thank you for TOTALLY DESTROYING the awesome tone you just built up Michael Bay, you're the man as always!

Yep, we catch up with Sam's parents on their vacation in Paris to watch them be grossed out by French cuisine and talk to a mime. The actors that play the couple must have some SERIOUS dirt on Michael Bay to keep getting so much screen time, either that or Bay thinks comparing escargot to “goose poop” is fucking hilarious. Actually it probably IS the latter now that I think about it... Anyway, there actually is a point to this scene as a Decepticon captures Sam's parents so they can be in this movie even more!

Decepticons start raining down all over the Earth, the group containing the Fallen sinking a United States aircraft carrier in what is a PHENOMENAL shot. I should also note the Fallen is the best looking Transformer because his design is the least tech based and doesn't look like a set of walking blueprints for the Large Hadron Collider.  Megatron or Starscream hack an antenna somewhere (God this movie sucks at establishing anything), which allows the Fallen to do the “broadcast his message to the entire world” cliché. He says his army will destroy everything unless Sam is handed over to him.

New York City is our next stop, as Sam watches the news horrified. Leo gets some more lines until he's interrupted by Skids and Mudflap and oh Lord, we finally see them in their robot forms. The film has gone out of its way not show these and I can immediately see why as they have huge exaggerated teeth. One even has a gold tooth.

SO. Skids and Mudflap, are they racist? They've been crucified as being offensive caricatures of black people, in both looks and dialogue. But then others have said assuming that stereotype makes THE PEOPLE calling them out racist themselves, and it just turns into this gigantic circular clusterfuck of arguing that's never ending.

Do I think they're racist? No. To me racism is an absolute HATED of people of a different race that leads to discrimination or worse, violence. I don't believe for a single second that Michael Bay hates black people. Or Italians, or women, or any other kind of human that he often gets accused of hating. Now do I think he's lazy and ignorant? OH HELL FUCKING YES.

Relying on age old stereotypes isn't the insidious work of some Neo-Nazi hatemonger, they're the crutch of a hack artist that can't be bothered to put any kind of original thought or personality into their work so they just copy-paste something we've all seen a million times over and BOOM! Lunch time. Insert your own Adam Sandler and/or Kevin James joke here.

Michael Bay KNOWS his audience, probably better than any film maker out there which is why he CONSISTENTLY owns the box office. He knows they don't want any of that silly thinky smartypants nonsense, they just want to see the same lowest common denominator shit they've already seen only louder and flashier. Make the black people cooler, make the women hotter with larger breasteses, make the Indians sound more like Apu from the Simpsons, whatever it takes so we can get to the next explosion and/or fight scene.

THAT is why his films make billions and everyone is scrambling to dumb down their movies to emulate his style. That is why expectations for movies are crashing faster than any machine can record and that's why all of your favourite films are getting stupider by the release. THAT, my friends, is why Michael Bay's name is dropped the hardest whenever the Death of Cinema is discussed.  Although, the gold tooth on Skids? That was REALLY FUCKING SHITTY of you Michael Bay.

Leo, who has very quickly gotten over having his mind blown that he was completely right about the existence of alien robots, argues with them because like the rest of us he is INSTANTLY sick of them too. Leo, I think I owe you an apology. I was way too harsh on your continued role in this film. Skids calls him a “bitch ass” and tells him to “go whine to his boyfriend” as I check ages of the creators of this thing out of idle curiosity.

Michael Bay – 44 years old
Alex Kurtzman – 34 years old
Roberto Orci – 35 years old
Ehren Kruger – 34 years old

Optimus's body is delivered to NEST headquarters when suddenly armed Humvees show up and surround the Autobots there to take the body of their fallen leader. Lennox demands to know what the hell is going on when Director Galloway shows up and declares NEST is disbanded in the “Asshole government official shuts down the only team capable of saving the world” cliché.

Sam talks with Mikaela and Bumblebee, deciding to turn himself in as he feels responsible for the death of Optimus. Shia LaBeouf is acting his ass off here, I can actually feel his guilt and the weight of his decision. Naturally this excellent scene has to go right out the window, as Bumblebee plays a recording from the 1952 film High Noon (and yes, I did NOT know the quote so I had to Google it) of a character saying “Everything we worked for will be wiped out in one day”.

This sparks something in Sam's brain for the next cliché, “Character instantly cooks up a master plan to save the day based off a throwaway line someone else says”. Sam asks the Twins if they can read the symbols, which prompts this CLASSIC line:

“Read? No. We don't really do much reading. Not so much.”

Woof, they attempt to mitigate this later on my establishing none of the other Transformers can read the symbols either but still... yikes. Leo has an idea though, they go consult... Robo-Warrior! Hot damn, MORE CHARACTERS! Transformers has a freaking fetish for that! They drive downtown to find him, and it's... God... Seymour Simmons from the first movie. After Robo-Warrior was built up to be a computer genius I was really expecting Anthony Anderson, but I guess he was too busy with Law And Order to reprise his oh so memorable role as... uh, whoever the hell he was in the first movie.

Simmons takes them to his secret office, where he reveals when Sector Seven was closed down he looted them blind. From the files he stole, he's learned Transformers have been on the Earth for thousands of years, hiding in secret the entire time. He wishes they had a Decepticon to talk to about the whole thing, so this is the perfect chance for Mikaela to break out Wheelie.

Apparently Mikaela's been training him like one would train a dog, although I'm not really sure when she would have had the time since acquiring him she's been on the run pretty much nonstop. Wheelie knows the symbols are the language of the Primes but can't read them either, but he knows someone who does. HOLY FUCK, is this a video game now? Every quest just points our heroes to someone else for a new quest. This is literally what we call padding, I will never be able to show you a better example.

Wheelie leads them to the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum in Washington DC, which in any other review I would bitch about how the heroes are able to instantly teleport to wherever they need to do in a matter of minutes (and I guess I did to an extent with Mikaela's flight), but a wise zombie once said you need to pick your battles when it comes to a Michael Bay movie.

Before we get to the next scene, I want to say I've NEVER seen this movie before today. I've never seen any of its trailers or previews, the only thing I knew about it before watching it were how offensive Mudflap and Skips were to some people. Keeping that in mind, Simmons strips out of his clothes and unlike the last movie THIS TIME HE IS WEARING A HILARIOUS THONG! Lord I have watched WAY too many Michael Bay movies, please have mercy upon me. This is so he can dress up like a repairman for whatever plan they've cooked up to break into the museum, which phase one is having Leo walk around with his pants around his ankles and ask the guards for toilet paper because he has to take a “thumper dumper”. Michael Bay!

This somehow all works and they're able to get inside to an off limits airplane exhibit or whatever the hell they were trying to accomplish. At least one good thing came out of this embarrassment to film and that's famed character actor David Bowe got cast as one of the Smithsonian guards. You hopefully know him from one of the greatest comedies of all time, UHF. 

Wheelie points them in the direction of a Blackbird bomber, Sam touching it with his fragment of the All Spark. Mikaela notices far too late the Decepticon symbol etched into the side of the machine as it begins transforming into... an old robot with a beard and a cane? Oh right... this is a cartoon, I forgot. Things only get worse as he speaks in a terrible British accent and reveals his name as Jetfire. NO! Not THE Jetfire?! One of the most iconic robot designs of all time reduced to a “hilarious” old man robot with a cane. Lovely.

Obviously quite crazy and/or senile he punches his way outside, picking bits of metal out of his ass as he walks because Michael Bay! The humans chase him down and talk to him, learning he changed sides to the Autobots because he was tired of a life filled with hate.  This inspires Wheelie, who tells Mikaela he's ALSO going to change sides even though he pretty much already has at this point. To celebrate, he starts... HUMPING HER LEG and yelling out “Say my name!” over and over again.  Ladies and gentlemen, the bottom of the barrel in Michael Bay's world.  I hope he's fucking proud.

Everyone stops to focus on this as I pause to reflect this was actually a movie like twenty minutes ago. The end of the human race is on the way, but yeah, let's all pause to laugh at some robot-on-woman sex jokes. Alright, back to the movie.

Jetfire starts ranting about his mommy issues as every fan that demanded to see him in this movie suddenly wishes they now had a time machine. Scratch that because Jetfire then goes on to... fart out a parachute and I am now wishing I had a time machine to go back in time and prevent Hasbro from ever being created. This is AMAZINGLY, AWESOMELY bad. Like this is literally the hardest Bay has ever worked in a movie right here, to fuck it up THIS hard.

Trying to get the horrible excuse at comedy relief back under control, Sam catches him up with what's going on. Seeing the symbols triggers something in the old Transformer, as he LITERALLY teleports everyone to Egypt. Huh, how about that... this is a parody right now, correct? I accidentally put in whatever the latest Parody Movie is out right now in the blu-ray player, right? This is the kind of shit you do when you're MAKING FUN of a movie. “Yeah, and then the Transformers just warp to where they need to go because MAGIC!”.

The process scatters everyone around the desert mostly so we can get an ultra creative visual of Mikaela with her head on Leo's crotch. He says this would be a perfect moment except for the fact she landed on his testicles, which he starts rubbing. You're not going to win this battle Bay, I'm in this for the long haul. Try all you want, you're NOT breaking me.