Okay, Michael Bay. You asked for it. I know you didn’t actually call me up and ask me to criticize your movie, but you made such an awful movie, it amounts to the same thing. Because you didn’t just make an awful movie. No. You made an awful movie out of Transformers. And Mr. Bay, I was a huge Transformers fan as a kid. I still have my collection. And yes, this is your third Transformers film, so it begs the question of why I waited until now to speak up. I hoped ignoring you would make you go away. Clearly I was wrong. So the time has come. I gave you two hours and forty minutes of my life yesterday.
I want it back, with interest.
Now I know a lot of you are reading this and wondering why I’m being so critical. From what I’ve heard, the third movie is tons better than the second (which I refused to see). That’s what I’d heard. That’s why I convinced myself to go see it in the theater. You know what this is? This is the equivalent of setting the bar so low, that any improvement gets you better reviews, which then tricks people into forking over their money to you. It’s true: no Transformers urinated on things in this film. But you know what, if my rubric for evaluating a film ever devolves into “It must be good, since nobody peed on screen”, then would someone please find a baseball bat and put me out of my misery?
So what was so wrong about this film? Let me break it down:
- The characters stunk. Bay has managed to take a series and toyline that was all about TRANSFORMERS, and turned it into crappy movies that are all about stupid HUMANS doing stupid things. The Autobots sit back and let the humans tell them what to do. They’re governed by US law. The main character is a human, and the Transformers are relegated to silly support roles.
- On that same track, Bay didn’t even get the design of the Transformers down right. In his insistence to “make them realistic,” he abandoned all the cool designs of all the robots. They all look the same in robot mode–it’s hard to tell who’s doing what. Sure, they look different as cars, but so what? When you’ve got Megatron and Optimus fighting, you have no real clue who’s doing what other than by the bits of paint you can make out. Mr. Bay: Megatron looks like this:
- The human characters are all imbeciles. Shia LeCrap somehow attracts supermodels (since his skills of doing nothing and being an idiot are so desirable, I suppose. Maybe they all just really want the Witwicky name. Mrs. Witwicky. Who wouldn’t want to be called that?). Then you have a series of big name actors slumming it for a pay check.
- The movie is two hours and forty minutes long. 160 minutes! Mr. Bay–this ain’t Ben Hur. This is a movie about fighting robots. It should be about 90 minutes long, tops. What’s even more upsetting is that even with the extra running time, I still didn’t care about any of the characters by the end.
- The funny parts aren’t funny. There were clearly characters in the film that were supposed to be comic relief, but they didn’t do or say anything remotely amusing.
- It’s predictable. Flat out. Not that I usually care with a movie like this, but at least make a few efforts at being somewhat spontaneous. The script was written by committee, with dialogue that sounds like something my three year old daughter could top.