I’m going to start this off by saying I love Transformers. Who doesn’t? Large, shape-changing robots locked in an epic battle of good and evil, shooting at each other, blowing people to smitherings. It’s awesome and my excitement when the first movie hit theaters could hardly be contained. Sure, it had its fair share of problems, like all movies do, but it was a good movie. Then, the second movie came out, and I squealed like a fangirl when I heard they were making it. Then, I saw the second movie. And by God if it didn’t just have a plot for the sake of having a plot.
Now, I’m not a particularly sensitive person, so it took me a couple times watching the second movie to finally be like, “Hey, isn’t this a little racist?” Yes, I am very thick when it comes to racism, unless it’s bashing me in the face with a sledge hammer, but I swear that movie has a stereotype for everything in it.
I was a little excited for the chickbots, though—who then died after one line. Just a random question, since we know there are different-gendered robots: how do they reproduce exactly? I know this has nothing to do with anything, but those chickbots were way too small to hook up with any of the other robots without being ripped in half. Not only that, but they’re robots. Why do they even need different genders?
Sorry. Let’s move away from the second movie for a bit.
Now, like Revenge of the Fallen, I did like Dark of the Moon… to an extent. They’re guilty pleasures. I’ll admit that, but neither one is really worth seeing in theaters more than once. Dark of the Moon is fun, action-packed, filled with cheesy lines that we all love hearing alien robots say, but nothing more, not really. There’s no harm in liking this movie, but there’s no harm in hating it, either. On the contrary, it’s just as easy to hate it as it is to love it, if not more.
A lot more, actually.
Like I said, action-packed, humorous—well, humorous if your brain possibly died before entering the theater—it has everything one expects from a Transformers movie, but for the length it runs and the amount of time it spends showing LeBeouf staring at Whiteley, that relationship could have been better developed. Granted, no one goes to see Transformers for romance, but without it, the purpose of her character is completely defeated, considering Michael Bay didn’t hire her for furthering that pesky plot.
Some quick history regarding Whiteley’s casting and Megan Fox’s leaving.
Now, as we all know, there’s just a bit of controversy surrounding this whole issue with Megan Fox on the Transformer’s set. She compared Michael Bay to Hitler, which probably wasn’t in her career’s best interest, considering that Spielberg told Bay to fire her immediately. The crew didn’t like her, and some of them came out with an article bashing the young actress and calling her some pretty awful things. I don’t remember the details, and I don’t feel the need to look it up again, but I’m sure “bitch” came up a couple of Way-Too-Frigging-Many times. Now I get that she could have been more personable, but I never understood why if a girl doesn’t smile at you on her way to work, she’s a complete bitch. What was the problem? If a guy doesn’t smile at me when I pass him by, is he a dick? Or are women just not allowed to have bad days? It also seems as though the only people who had any sort of problems with her were Michael Bay and his crew, because from what I hear, everyone else she’s worked with on different movies liked her and got along great.
It’s no secret that Michael Bay is just a bit of a misogynist, and there’s only so much some people can take. My theory is that Megan Fox reached her limit. Sure, she could have handled the situation better; there’s no denying that, but making her out to be a complete bitch who’s the only one at fault is never going to be the full story.
“Megan developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment [stuff] that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael, who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women. Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality. It’s summer. It’s Michael’s style. And I think [Fox] never got comfortable with it. This is a girl who was taken from complete obscurity and placed in a sex-driven role in front of the whole world and told she was the sexiest woman in America. And she had a hard time accepting it. When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. We’re on the run. And the one thing Mike lacks is tact. There’s no time for”—LaBeouf assumes a gentle voice—“‘I would like you to just arch your back 70 degrees.’”
Wow, not only is Sam an asshole in the movie, he’s played by an asshole, too. No wonder his character seemed believable. First of all, “woman-empowerment [Stuff].” Really though? Does anyone else think “stuff” was originally “shit” or something just as strong? Well, I guess we should thank him for separating the true feminists from the wannabes. Ask yourself a question. Do you like Spice Girls? If the answer is no, you’re not a woman empowered. Awesome. I’m glad that’s all cleared up. As for it being summer and Bay’s style, I guess that makes everything better. It’s just Bay’s style that he’s a misogynistic jerk, and summer completely excuses his making Fox audition by washing his car in a bikini while he filmed her. Because that’s not unsettling in the slightest.
Oh, and by the way, LeBeouf, we don’t think he’s a lascivious filmmaker because of how he films women, we know. Just take a look at the first shot of Megan Fox in Revenge of the Fallen.
Then there’s the matter of whether or not Fox left or was fired. She claims she left on her own, but Bay and everyone else feel the need to imply otherwise in their wording of the situation, and the bashing of this young actress just doesn’t seem to cease. But you’re going to have to come up with your own opinion on this. Personally, I think she left, but from what I know, it could be either.
Fox’s replacement, Whiteley, is not an actress. She’s a Victoria’s Secret model—and Bay even filmed a commercial she’s in, once more proving that Victoria’s Secret is marketed at heterosexual males. Surprising, considering the products it sells. I’m going to let everyone in on a spoiler right now. She plays the exact same person in the movie as she does in the commercial.
I really didn’t want to make most of this review about sexism, because there are so many other things to talk about, but if this movie succeeded in being less racist than the last one, then by God, it certainly failed at being less sexist. At least Fox actually did something on occasion. This new girl added nothing. She existed to get more penises into the theater. The very first shot is of her ass. Everyone eyes her, even the robots. And for the first half of the movie, I was surprised her head even appeared on screen at all since every other shot of her lingered on her body that was always clothed in some revealing, normally white dress (her nickname is Angel, so maybe that’s why they chose white). I wouldn’t even say she’s that good of a plot device. Yeah, Sam goes to Chicago to rescue her, but the Autobots would have ended up there anyway for the battle. Not to mention, that while Sam angsts throughout the whole movie, and even snaps at her on occasion, she doesn’t forgive him for it because his being a douchebag never upsets her enough in order to forgive him. Even after the supposed break-up, the next scene Whiteley and LeBeouf are together like nothing’s happened. This relationship exists for the sake of existing. Why do they even like each other? What’s something interesting about her? At least Fox’s character had that whole backstory with her dad and stealing cars. I know my roommate particularly loved how during the battle that never ended Whiteley’s shoes kept changing from flats to heels and back again.
You know what? Never mind. She does do something in the movie. She gives Megatron the worst pep talk in existence. Apparently, he needed to be called a bitch to realize just what a bitch he is. In fact, he’s been someone’s bitch since the second movie. This is really out of character for him. In the original shows—or at least in Transformers: Beast Wars, since that’s the one I watched—he is a narcissistic little bastard. He doesn’t take shit from anyone because he thinks he’s the man. And he thinks he’s the most powerful thing out there. And should someone more powerful come along and try to take over, he finds a way to kill that son of bitch. But in the new movies he’s like, “No, that’s okay. Hold on while I bend over.” So the incredibly short-lived speech Whiteley gives him is just as pointless as the rest of her character because Megatron wouldn’t need it. And I think they were trying to develop him more this movie, but it’s so bland no one cares. The most I felt interested in him was the first time he appears and he’s feeding little robots and telling them not to be greedy. Were they supposed to his babies or something? I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look at anything with such affection, outside of himself, of course. And that particular part of the movie goes nowhere, so it’s useless, too. Though I did like his emo cloak, albeit confused to why he needed it.
Now, this movie was made in association with Hasbro. In association with a company known for making toys for children. Yeah, so how about showing people incinerated by robots who bleed when they’re ripped apart? Hell, the Decepticons don’t even wait to be killed in order to bleed. They just cough blood up while talking. Maybe they all just suffer from the mechanical equivalent of TB. This movie scared me. Did no one else get creeped out when the evil bird thing befriends that little girl, or when the building falls over and everyone is plummeting to their deaths? How about ripping apart robots limb by limb while they gush oily blood? And it’s the heroes doing that last one. Optimus pulls off Megatron’s head—successfully removing his spine, too, I might add—before shooting his old mentor point-blank in the face. One would think the leader of the good guys would have heard of mercy before. Holy shit, Optimus. Really? Anyone else you would like to brutally murder? You know, since you’re based off a toy designed for kids. I understand they’re at war, but was all that necessary? And of course, as he kills Sentinel, he has to have a trademark cheesy line, “No, you betrayed yourself.”
Besides all that, the movie is just long. The final battle has some pretty cool stuff in it, like that giant sandworm Decepticon, but I was sitting there the whole time thinking, “I would like to go use the bathroom sometime this month. Please end already.” Though, I think I was most shocked by seeing Alan Tudyk in this movie. And I really do have to ask why he would do this to himself. Though his character is possibly one of the few things I liked, that just might be the Firefly fangirl inside me speaking.
As a whole, this movie is pretty spectacular… visually. It’s also pretty spectacular in the sense of why anyone thought it was a good idea, though it’s definitely better than the last one. I’d definitely buy it when it hits stores, so that way if I ever hate myself enough in the near future, I can just watch it again to make me hate myself more.