You know those bands who are insanely talented, but once they get popular, they feed off the popularity so much that you can tell they feel like putting their name on a song is good enough? The best example I can think of is the recent Green Day song: "Know Your Enemy." The song has a whopping two chords throughout and the lyrical diversity is as sparse as the chords. All I could think of when I heard it was: "Green Day's not even trying anymore." This past weekend, I watched Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and, summed up, it is "Know Your Enemy" but in film form and stretched into a painful two and a half hours. However, to me, this film is far more sinister than anything Green Day could conjure. Not only did it feel like Michael Bay wasn't even trying to make a good film, I felt like he was taunting me for its entirety.
If you are planning on seeing the movie, let me give you some things to look out for:
One: The movie is a shameless two and a half hour commercial. There are numerous products advertised, ranging from General Motors to LG phones to Dyson Vacuums. However, if you saw the first movie, this is nothing new to you. Remember when the Mountain Dew machine turned into a Decepticon? You remember...
Two: The producers are really hoping you think that Megan Fox is hot, because she's sure not there for her acting.
Three: Neither are the rest of the actors.
Four: Here is what aspiring filmmakers should take away from this movie- Never let something as petty as a storyline get in the way of some good action.
Five: Noise, noise, noise, and more NOISE!!!!!!
The UK version of FHM had one of the best reviews of the movie I've seen:
"It's like watching a blender for two hours while someone shouts at you. And then the last half an hour is the same, except it’s more like having your head strapped to a washing machine while you watch a blender and someone shouts at you."
To me, the film is a bit of an enigma. Somehow, it manages to be a vast exhibition of excess and a pitiful display of minimalism all in one. Granted, the special effects in the movie are amazing. However, with all of those people working hard to make those work, you would think someone would have put in some effort to make the script work.
Here's my theory about the film: Not only was Michael Bay not even trying to make a good film, he was banking on people (like me) seeing the film even after nearly every review told them not to. He knew the reviews were going to be brutal. How could he not? But Bay banked on two things going into this movie. One was the carrying over of the fan base from the first movie. The second was that he seems to think that the American public is mindless enough to be entertained by senseless action and dialogue that could have been penned by fourth graders. The thing that scares me isn't so much that he thinks that way; it's that he might be right.
So maybe it's fitting that when the film finally ends, the Green Day song "21 Guns" comes on for the (not kidding) 4th time. It's the final "F-You" from Michael Bay as you exit the theater in disbelief. Well you won't fool me again, Michael Bay. I'm sick of being conned. Now excuse me while I go buy a Dyson.