Things I Hate About Michael Bay's Transformers

Posted by Garth on Monday, September 28, 2009

As my friends and readers know, I'm an avid Transformers fan.  But I'm talking G1.  After the original Transformers movie I pretty much lost interest.  But I'm still a huge fan of those original Autobots and Decepticons.  And mom, if you're reading this, I'm still waiting for the pictures of my long lost and newly found Transformers toys.

Also as my friends (and my readers to a lesser extent - though I'm really not sure I have any regular readers that I don't know personally) know, I hated the first Transformers movie.  Hmm... I just realized I'm going to use the word "hate" a lot in this post.  Oh well, I'm not really a hateful person.  But some things (or people... ahem... Michael Bay...) bring it out in me.  Also, I realize that I'm a fanboy, and will be saying things here that normal people may read and think that I live in a basement and never see the light of day.  And that's partially true (well, ok, not literally, but figuratively at times anyway).  So take these emotional outbursts with a grain of salt.

Anyway, let's be clear.  There were multiple hatreds in the first movie.  I'm going by memory here since I haven't seen it for a long time and never plan on watching it again, but I'll try to be as chronological as possible.

  1. The first Transformer we saw (helicopter named Blackout) wasn't even an original Transformer (by "original" I mean part of the G1 crew).
  2. GM Sponsorship.  Oops, I accidentally (for real) typed "Sponsorshit" there, which may be more appropriate.  I understand that it's Hollywood and money is money, but there are some things that shouldn't change - like Bumblebee.  At most he could have been updated to the New Beetle, but I was very disappointed in turning him into a Camaro.
  3. Bumblee's first appearance.  Sure, Bay pays a slight homage to the original Bumblebee by having the new Bumblebee park beside an old yellow Beetle.  But then, what does he do to it?  Slams it with his door and generally fucks it up.  Dude!  That's just not cool.  At all.  Not how you pay homage to your ancestor.
  4. Transformations.  They sucked.  There were a million flying bits which eventually assembled into something that vaguely resembled a robot, or at the very least some sort of bipedal creature.  It was like watching Pig-Pen.  I just timed Ironhide's transformation in the sequel, and it's horrendous (more on that later).  You'd get blasted before your bumper transformed into your ass.  The original animated series was so much smoother and the robo-bits made sense (i.e. you could recognize components of the vehicle in the robot).
  5. Stupidity.  When the Autobots are clomping around on Sam's (Spike's) lawn, they're imbeciles.  Knocking shit over, unaware of their size, stepping on shit, and generally being clumsy.  This scene pains me to think about to this day.
  6. Highway fight between Optimus and Bonecrusher.  Now, correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm obviously not), but in G1 Bonecrusher was a member of the Constructicons - 6 Decepticons who together formed Devastator.  Now, a fight between Optimus and Devastator - SURE!  Bring it on!  But a fight between Optimus and 1/6 of Devastator?  That's way beneath Optimus.  He doesn't have the time for that crap.  Send Bumblebee and be done with it.
  7. Jazz's death.  Big.  Fat.  BOO!  Jazz is by far the coolest Autobot, and killing him off when there's a mute-ass Bumblebee just waiting to get picked off is not cool at all.  Jazz should not have died.  Period.
There's more I'm sure, but those are the major sticking points that I still remember after 2 years.  The only positive thing I have to say about the first movie is that it was visually stunning.  And I mean that.  STUNNING.  I first watched a DVD copy on my projector, and it was ok.  Then I watched a 720p version and my jaw dropped.  Definite eye candy.  Too bad trying to digest it makes you sick :)

Now, on to the hell of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.  I just sat down to watch it, and at 4 minutes, 36 seconds into it I've already decided that I need to blog about its retardedness because there's no one in the room watching it with me to whom I can yell and hurl obscenities.  So, let's start at the beginning.
  1. The sound effects before the movie even starts, during the Dreamworks and Paramount intros.  Horrible.  I realize they're the same sound effects used in the original movie (and will likely plague this one too), but what ever happened to the original transformation sounds from G1?  I'm not saying they need to be identical, but they don't need to sound like metallic fingernails scraping a chalkboard.
  2. Shanghai China - 22:14.  Yet it's bright and sunny out.  Ok, nitpicky I'm sure (maybe he meant GMT or EST) but I'm still gonna write it cuz it annoys me.
  3. Ironhide's first transformation.  I shit you not, it takes 15 seconds.  Do you know what would happen to a transformer in G1 if it took them 15 seconds to transform?  Well, I'd say they'd be shot to death, but no one ever died in G1, so probably there'd just be a lot of stray fire shooting around him and then he'd retreat or something.  At any rate, 15 seconds is way too long.  Also, he was grunting while transforming.  Grunting!  I didn't realize Autobots had a respiratory system.
  4. Ironhide - "He's here. I smell him."  Uhhh... since when did robots smell?  I guess if Bay can give Optimus lips he can give Ironhide olfactory senses.
  5. The first Decepticon is some sort of construction vehicle with treads.  Yet he transforms into a contraption with 2 HUGE wheels.  Where did they come from?  And why is each individual wheel bigger than he was in his vehicular mode?
  6. Sideswipe is a red Lamborghini.  Fine, so there's the GM sponsorship issue to contend with, but he's supposed to be RED!  Not silver.
  7. Why would Sam find a piece of the All Spark and give it to his girlfriend instead of the Autobot sitting in his garage, who just happened to save his ass from all the little Decepticons that magically appeared in his house (because of the All Spark).  Why does no one ask where these little Decepticons came from?  WHY?!
  8. Bumblebee STILL has no voice.  2 years later.  And reinforcements from Cybertron have arrived.  Couldn't they have brought some spare parts?  WTF?
  9. Sam to Bumblebee - "Freshmen aren't allowed to have cars" - Um, in what school in what country?  Lame writing.  He's a fucking Autobot.  He can park anywhere he wants and still give Sam (god I hate typing that... it's SPIKE dammit!) door-to-door service.
  10. PRO: Soundwave is a spy satellite.  Since he was always a spy, and tape decks are obviously obsolete, a satellite is a good choice.  Kudos.  Also, his voice, though not the original Soundwave synthesis, is well done.
  11. Optimus' transformation when falling from a plane: 6 seconds.  Optimus' transformation when sitting in a hangar: 15 seconds.  WTF?
  12. PRO: Soundwave still has Ravage.  Interesting "eject" mechanism, but still happy about Ravage.
  13. Human-looking Decepticon chick (Alice apparently) with extra long mechanical tongue and tail.  Again, WTF?!  This isn't Species.  Goddammit Bay, get your shit together.
  14. After getting his ass kicked by Megatron, Starscream and Helicopter Decepticon (Grindor apparently), Optimus spits out... WHAAAT??  Bloody bone-colored teeth?  He's a FUCKING ROBOT!

  15. PRO: I like the Autobot Twins, Mudflap and Skids.  They have personality like G1 Transformers did.  They've adopted Earth's mannerisms like G1 Autobots did.  I realize they're intended to be comic relief and, though they're not really very funny, I like them nonetheless.  Hell, they have more personality than most of the human actors.
  16. Jetfire.  Hmm... Sure, somewhat true to the original storyline.  Came to Earth long before the other Transformers.  Switched sides from Decepticons to Autobots.  But why does he have to be an old man comic relief?  Not so sure about this one.
  17. Devastator transformation time: 38 seconds.  It was a somewhat impressive transformation, but the end result still looked like a pile of junk.
  18. Bumblebee is too much of a badass, and the rest of the Autobots are just fodder.  Hell, they don't even introduce half of the Autobots.  Along those lines, none of them have personalities, beyond the Twins.  They really are just fodder.  Weak.
  19. Devastator has testicles?  COME ON!!!
  20. Matrix of Leadership resurrects Sam?  *sigh*
  21. Optimus - "Let's roll".  Would have been much better if it was "Autobots, ROLL OUT!".  Oh ya, and then he flies.
The End

Overall, same assessment as the first movie.  Visually stunning with no substance.  Actually, I'll hazard to say that since the first movie was SUCH a disappointment and set my expectations SO low, I probably preferred the second.  At least Jazz wasn't around to get killed again.

Also I just had to add this picture since it came up when I googled "Matrix of Leadership".  Heh.


Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)