Impressions of Transformers 2
I went and saw this yesterday, and I really enjoyed it! This post will include small spoilers that will only pain those of you who plan to go into the movie theater without any knowledge whatsoever of the film…
The first slew of reviews are coming out in the press and online. The biggest criticism seems to be that Michael Bay went for too much in this movie. In order to please the fans, upwards of 60 robots show up to do battle. Most spectators, critics say, will be confused and overwhelmed. Not to mention the film clocks at 2 hours 30 minutes, and there’s no real break in the story either, it’s all epic all the way. Too much so.
I think there are definitely many confusing scenes in the movie. I myself didn’t mind this at all, because to me it felt as if I was seeing the battle full on and I loved the experience (war is supposed to be confusing!). Also, I know that I’ll rewatch it at some point with better knowledge of who’s who… But I can see how this could turn off some people. My wife didn’t enjoy the first half of the movie because she couldn’t even understand all the fighting and the plot seemed to be lacking. Once the story got more focused in the second half she really liked it.
In fact, this movie could easily have been split into two movies, with a very big scene which I won’t spoil for you as the cutoff point between them. But here again, I’d rather pay for one ticket and watch enough action for two, so I don’t mind at all. As far as the action goes, there’s plenty of it. I was particularly impressed by how the movie didn’t show any qualms in destroying pyramids and the ruins of Petra. Coming into the theater I was dreading that they’d find some cheesy way to keep our ancient cultural heritage sites intact (with 60 big robots running around, what’s the chance of that?)
I haven’t really heard this criticism yet, but let me pre-emptively address it because I’m sure it will come up: the fanservice. I mean fanservice of the female kind. It’s blatant. Megan Fox is constantly shown in the most exuberant poses. The only other actress that gets any decent screentime, Isabel Lucas, is (if this is possible, and yes, it is possible OMG) even more sensually employed.
In the case of Lucas’ character, the role demands it. So the issue becomes: was this role superfluous? I guess each viewer will be the judge of that. I myself thought that it fit very well with the story (and with the Transformers franchise as whole) and I also didn’t mind because this Lucas is hawt.
NON-PREJUDICED DIGRESSION INTO ISABEL LUCAS’ ORIGINS
Wikipedia says she is Australian of Swiss descent. For the first time in my life I actually doubted Wikipedia (I’m sorry Wiki!!). Anyway, it was only for a moment…I came back to my senses. In any case, this woman seems to have captured the essence of the Brazilian supermodel so well that she had me totally fooled. On top of which, even her name smacks of Brazil. Then again, many of Brazil’s models are at least partially ethnically German so that might have something to do with my confusion. Anyway, she is 20 times hawter than Fox, and that’s a fact. Still, my wife disagrees. Wikipedia and my wife, my two pillars, conspiring against me…
END OF DIGRESSION
When it comes to Fox, I thought the fanservice was fine because it didn’t mess with the script. The script probably said: “She cleans the bike” and “She works on her laptop” and we see her do just that, except in a super skimpy outfit and ever so languidly. I think people that aren’t into fanservice can take note of her actions without caring about how she does them. I have no problem doing the same when the fanservice is for the ladies: for example in the TV series Prison Break, where the muscular guys kept getting shirtlesser and shirtlesser as the seasons go on. Hey, it’s hot in Panama, right?
And actually this will segue into my last point. Amaury Nolasco, the Puerto Rican actor who played shirtless Sucre in Prison Break and one of the soldiers in the first Transformers film, couldn’t make it for the second one, but in his place we get yet another Puerto Rican actor, Ramón Rodríguez, in a very funny role. It’s cool to see Puerto Ricans in these movies. God knows the Transformers cartoons and toys were all the rage back in the day over there. My wife found Rodríguez’s character Leo absolutely hilarious, but then again she’s used to laughing at Puerto Ricans…
This movie almost makes me want to go watch Transformers G1 again!