Friday, 10 July 2009

Transformers 2...

It's been a while since I saw this flick in the cinema, but fortunately I was able to see it the weekend before my first ever operation (which I'll blog about separately) - as such, I've been busy recovering of late, so I've not yet really put my thoughts forward on Transformers 2.

In the simplest terms, Transformers 1 was better - the structure of the script was tighter and more organised, and indeed the writing itself was better (with better dialogue). Transformers 2 suffers most from wobbly pacing (it really grinds to a halt at the beginning of the second half of the movie), and a generally wonky structure.

It feels more like a bunch of scenes and "stuff" cobbled together in a vague order, but it doesn't have the clear through-line that the first movie did, a line which helped keep the plot moving forward and the action within suitable confines.

Transformers 2 however frequently ends up all over the place - misjudged/misplaced/mis-whatever moments of comedy are littered throughout the movie, and while I did laugh, I was always thinking at the same time - "this feels a bit out of place" or "this feels a bit too adult". Indeed the audience was filled with kids far younger than the 12 rating ... well, 12A technically (which means adults can bring their noisy, question-filled kiddy-winks along who have NO idea what's going on).

Yes, half of me enjoys seeing Megan Fox's arse draped over a motorbike, or the exposed arse of that other chick in Sam's college dorm room ... but the other half thinks - "isn't this a smidge inappropriate for some of the target audience, and isn't this just a little bit adult for an 'all ages welcome' blockbuster". I do wonder what Steven Spielberg thought of those moments, I have to say.

Such moments also, like the bizarrely OTT 'comedy' stylings of the 'retarded black robots' (with buck teeth and skewed eyes to boot) ... I snorted a few giggles at their exploits, but they were guilty giggles and ones that came with a dose of discomfort. In the last flick the only 'black robot' (i.e. Jazz, the one that 'talks like a black guy' - i.e. "a rapper" *rolls eyes*) got bumped off (a bit cliche), and now in this new flick the two 'black bots' are perverted morons. Like I said ... a bit uncomfortable.

Then there's the 'old bot', who just happens to have a Transformer walking stick and Transformer 'old man beard' ... ... what's up with that? Plus, why does he have to be British? Is this just an excuse to say "bugger" and "bollocks" a lot? So evidently all British people are Cockneys who say only those two words, and all black people are either cannon fodder or perverse retards ... ... uncomfortable.

Plot wise - how come Megatron is back when they said the pressure of the 'deepest ocean' would destroy him? Don't know about that ... but then there are many moments in the movie where I did think "eh?", and indeed "where the hell did [insert character] go?"

Numerous characters come and go as they please, and that's one of the biggest problem by-products of the wonky script structure. There's too many characters, too many robots, too many locations, and too much rumbling and tumbling to be done. As such, despite being two-and-a-half-hours long (20 minutes less would have been nice), it feels pretty skimpy a lot of the time when it comes to the storytelling.

Transformers 2 feels too soon and too rushed ... I'd thought this would be a possibility when I heard they were rushing into the sequel straight after the first movie did so well. Still, at least they didn't decide to do two movies back to back with the script philosophy of this sequel (if you do two movies with the same iffy formula/style/etc, then you're stuffed - like The Matrix 2 & 3's smugly over-done philosiphising and complexities, or Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3's over-stuffed general nonsense).

I certainly had fun watching it (even if some of the fun was a bit uncomfortable), but ultimately it just wasn't as good as the first movie - which wasn't award winning, but for what it was (balls-out blockbuster about robots kicking the shit out of each other, that looks generally cool, clean and crisp) it was good. I do think Michael Bay gets a rougher time than he deserves (it does seem annoyingly 'popular' to rag on Bay) - but he does what he does well, and not many people could command such large action set pieces, it truly is a skill in itself. He makes good looking movies with large explosions - and sometimes that's exactly what you want.

Other times you don't want that, but why be exclusive to one way or the other? That would either be snobbish or closed-minded. There's a time and a place for all sorts of movies, and what's wrong with that?

Transformers 3? I'd certainly watch it, and no doubt enjoy it, but please - take more time with it than Transformers 2.

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