With Michael Bay you don’t expect Oscar quality acting, writing or directing, and how this film delivers. It’s a sexist, mysoginistic, jingoistic, overlong pile of threadbare junk. Can I just say again HOW LONG IS THIS FILM?!!! I feel like I’m still recovering from two and a half wasted hours, which at least were more consistent than Terminator Salvation, but that’s hardly saying much. It at least was aware that it was bubblegum nonsense with no plot and aimed only to cocktease early male teens (cf. Megan Fox). It was at least aware that it had truly outstanding FX. But two and a half hours to get from LaBoeuf goes to college, Optimus Prime falls, Decepticons’ real plans revealed, to Optimus Prime reborn?! Shocking. I’m not sure how much further I can take the synopsis because that’s really all there is, barely acted and indulgently directed.
The constant breast shots grate. The constant self-referencing by Bay irritates. The absence of a plot bores. But Bay has made more watchable films before, and with less material. I liked The Island, despite its self-indulgences, and there are admittedly comparisons to be made. Both have two wildly conflicting subplots which are difficult to reconcile (and in RotF aren’t adequately reconciled), both have actors struggling to hit the A-list who don’t quite make it. But The Island seemed to have a hint of a heart, which Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen does not. It’s not because the main characters are CGI (which as I said really is outstanding and indeed the Optimus Prime character does have a heart), it’s down to a serious failing in the acting and directing. Fox is ridiculous from beginning to end, and although LaBoeuf is still being bigged up as The Next Big Thing he really doesn’t wear it well. But Bay also indulges in Terminator’s biggest failing – concentrating on getting the set pieces working well at the cost of character and story. Lots of bombs, repeated shots of military hardware and crumbling pyramids pad out over half an hour, when all the Decepticons want to do is destroy the sun. A cartoon could have got that in half an hour.
I’m not saying it’s not entertaining – it is, but for diehards or big kids (and not in a good way if the audience I was in is any indication) with money to spare only.