City Paper is not for tourists
Michael Bay, as a filmmaker, is a fucking tool. His latest and most egregious piece of cinematic sadism, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is nearly unwatchable, a 140-minute video game that will insult your intelligence, hurt your eyes, and offend your sense of decency until you worry that your skull might explode while your brain trickles right out of your ears. Unfathomably, it’s miles worse than its predecessor, 2007’s Transformers, suggesting that perhaps the words “in association with Hasbro” should have never graced a screen to begin with. There’s an alleged story to accompany this visual assault—by a trio of scripters that, also unfathomably, include Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman—involving a kid named Sam (Shia LaBeouf), his hot gearhead girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox), and warring alien robots that can morph from everyday objects into ’droids. The Autobots are good and the Decepticons are bad. Sam heads off to his first year of college at the beginning of the film and gives Mikaela some vaguely important shard for safekeeping. Then he starts having epilepsy-like fits and seeing weird symbols, and soon shit goes bananas. For two more hours! Even if you initially admire the bluster of Bay’s action and note that these ’bots could have nicely energized Terminator Salvation, the endless loop of battle-destruction-explosion-repeat gets tedious fast. And when things aren’t blowing up, the scenes are often embarrassing: John Turturro appears in a thong; two “urban”-sounding robots say they don’t do much reading; another robot has balls that hang like Christmas ornaments. (You wouldn’t know what they were if Turturro’s character didn’t mention being under a “scrotum.”) And the humor runs along the lines of Sam’s cartoonish mother eating pot brownies and knocking herself out on a hanging plant. The real tragedy, though, is that the film is sure to break the box office and will have those who aren’t cringing instead whooping with delight. Weep for America.