Editor’s Note: Spoilers have been CGI’d into this article. Please be warned.
There are two types of people in the world: those that were eagerly awaiting Michael Bay’s third film in the Transformers franchise and those that were eagerly awaiting being able to shit on another one of his movies. There are few directors who have such a divisive line between love and hate among audiences. Uwe Boll is probably 95% hated, Spielberg probably 95% loved, and guys like Tarantino somewhere around 70% loved. Bay seems to be 50/50. Half the people absolutely embrace his sexy, patriotic slow-motion explosion escapades while the other half think he couldn’t craft a story on how to get out of a brown paper bag that wasn’t tedious, over-long, and poorly written.
Luckily for everyone, Film School Rejects has two Roberts, each from different Bay camps. So below find 10 Things from Transformers: Dark of the Moon that Robert Fure liked and 10 Things Rob Hunter didn’t.
10 Things Fure Liked
10. John Malkovich & Ken Jeong
New additions to the franchise, each with only a few moments of comedic screen time, both Jeong and Malkovich own every second they’re coming at you in hilarious 3D. While I feel the humor doesn’t always fit the franchise, these two were funny enough that I don’t give a damn.
I’m not the biggest fan of the animal inspired Transformers, but Lazorbeak was pretty awesome – even more so when he turned into a child-sized robot assassin. I’d pay to see an entire movie just about that.
8. It’s a War
Some people who have seen the film are shocked at the amount of deaths in the film – from people being vaporized to big name Transformers heading to the great dump in the sky. But don’t be too sad, because I’m pretty sure with enough energon, spark, and scrap metal, just about anyone can be brought back. But anyway, the deaths show the ‘realities’ of a giant robot space war.
7. Rosie Huntington-Whitely
After re-watching Megan Fox in Transformers 2, I come to the realization (or confirmation) that she is an utterly horrible actress. I’m glad to see her go and equally glad to see that her replacement was not only hotter, but actually a better actress than her predecessor. She’s not going to win any acting awards, but she fits the role just fine.
6. Alan Tudyk as Dutch.
Not enough good things could ever be said about Alan Tudyk, and his turn as the secret-assassin-super-bad-ass Dutch is both comedic (is he gay, is he not? Michael Bay is not subtle) and awesome. I’d like to see this character again.
5. Human Ass Kicking
Throughout much of the movie, humans are on their own against the evil Decepticons and surprisingly they hold their own. It’s always good to know little old humans can shoot just about anything to death.
4. Squirrel Suit Action
The commandos jumping out of airplanes in those insane glider-suits was really when the film put the pedal down to the ground and held it there. The actual suit sequence was breath-taking and thrilling and all kinds of awesome.
3. Shockwave Design
Shockwave is probably the best designed Transformer in the whole series. He looked imposing and badass and perfect.
2. Bad Ass Action
Even the people who hate this movie admit that the action is over-the-top exciting. It’s awesome and epic and violent and oh so good.
1. Seamless Merging of CGI & Practical Effects
No matter what your personal feelings on Michael Bay or the franchise, you’ve got to admit these are Oscar worthy effects. The robots and everything look amazing, but the most impressive bit is how the CGI and Practical Effects meld so seamlessly. A giant CGI robot swings his fist and a real car flips over and explodes. It’s a tremendous achievement.
So there you go, 10 things Fure liked which could really be boiled down to: bad-ass robots embroiled in excellently rendered explosive non-stop action.
10 Things Hunter Didn’t Like
10. Sam Witwicky Is Still Here
It’s the robots that audiences want to see, not Sam, and he isn’t even needed for the film’s “story” to work. Scantily clad hotties? Okay. Kick ass soldiers? Sure. But Sam Witwicky whining, complaining, bitching, moaning, and screaming? No thanks.
9. Absence Of Megan Fox Kills the Love Story
No matter what you think about Megan Fox, her character in the first two films is a hell of a lot more interesting than Whitely’s. Mikaela was rough and tumble and legitimately sexy, but more than that she was an active participant in the action. The relationship occasionally teased unbelievability (who’s going to forget a phone sex date with Megan Fox?), but as it spanned across the two films you came to accept and believe the two of them together. This new blow-up doll has no history of any kind, she’s worthless as a character, she’s playing games with Sam by accepting $200k cars from another man who clearly has a McChubby for her, she traipses around in heels for all of the action scenes… we just don’t care about her and therefore aren’t moved by Sam’s determination to enter war torn Chicago to search for her.
8. Ken Jeong Thinks He’s Filming A Different Movie, And Other Unnecessary Comic Relief Characters
I like Ken Jeong’s shtick on Community, and don’t mind him in general, but what the hell is he doing here? Besides the same thing he does in every role I mean. I understand a world with giant robots isn’t worried about realism, but his behavior is played purely for broad laughs and it doesn’t fit (and it’s not funny either). Then there’s John Turturro who plays crazy and offers nothing to the story, John Malkovich and Alan Tudyk who don “comedic” accents in lieu of plot relevance, and those annoying little shits Wheelie and Brains. All of these bastards could have been cut from the excessive running time for a better, tighter action movie.
7. Hard To Care For ‘Carly’ When Bay Only Shows Her As An Object
Rosey Huntington-Whitely’s Carly is introduced with a shot of her ass and thighs as she ascends the stairs. (I’m not complaining.) She’s then shown in direct comparison to the sensual and fragile curves of a collectible car. Later she’s shown in a profile shot sitting across from a well-groomed, long-haired dog of superior breeding. Mikaela was a character… Carly is a personality-less sex doll.
6. ‘Optimus Prime’ Is a Boring, Pansy-Ass, Asshole Robot
God this guy is a tool. He’s an asshole who thinks it’s okay to teach humanity a lesson by letting thousands of people in Chicago die just to prove a point that could have been made a hundred different ways. He’s a whiny bitch who spends thirty minutes of screen time hanging from tangled cables and later pleads for his life when getting his metallic ass handed to him by Sentinel Prime. And when he’s not whining or being a dick he’s spitting out generic platitudes. Douche.
5. Great Question Tyrese, Why Do the Decepticons Get All the Coolest Shit?
Seriously. They can fly, they can burrow underground, they can take human form (in part two). And why are there a seemingly endless number of the evil bastards but only like eight Autobots?
4. How Many Times Can ‘Bumblebee’ Show Up Out Of Nowhere To Catch A Falling Human?
He’s done it previously in parts one and two, but he repeats the feat two or three times here. Main characters falling? Bumblebee enters from stage left in slow motion to catch them safely before disappearing again.
3. Of All the Buildings In Chicago They Choose the One That’s Been Split In Half?
The NEST team needs a clear shot at one of four space pillars, a pillar they see clearly from the ground and elsewhere multiple times, so they decide to ascend the ONE building in Chicago that’s already cracked in half and leaning heavily to the side. Not surprisingly it then becomes a death trap as further explosions and gravity proceed to tip the top half over. There’s absolutely no reason for them to have been in that building in the first place other than to set up a thirty minute action set piece. A point proven definitively when the pillar is eventually shot by Optimus… from down on the ground.
2. A Competent Script Remains the Biggest Challenge And Results In a Myriad Of Questions
Why can’t Sam find a job when everyone else involved in saving the world previously has been well taken care of? How does that giant snake-like Decepticon move around undetected beneath the surface without leaving a trail of messed up water pipes, electrical/phone cables, building foundations, etc? Why does the robot who loses the eye react like it actually hurts and proceed to stumble around like an idiot? Why exactly are animals giving enough of a shit about robots to actually bow down to one? If that spy-watch is a Decepticon why isn’t it detected by anyone? Why Chicago (aside from the tax breaks given to the Decepticons by the human conspirators)? Why the hell would Megatron stop Sentinel Prime from killing Optimus? And one more from Jack Giroux… why is Megatron wearing a cape for most of the film? Does he think it hides the fact he’s a gigantic robot or is it to just keep the sun out of his eyes?
1. Bay Thinks Longer Is Better, But Everyone Knows Girth Trumps Length
Two hours and thirty seven minutes. That’s how long this goddamn movie is, and while a good seven minutes of that is credits there’s still roughly a half hour or so that could have been saved for the special edition DVD/Blu-ray.
So that’s what FSR’s two Roberts think… what about you?