Did you guys see Transformers 2? Because it was awful. Like, HORRIBLE. It stopped making sense around 43 seconds into the film, and got worse from there. I tried to walk out of the theater less than an hour into that mess, but was forced to stay by my movie companions. I'm still traumatized by the memories of how angry I got sitting through it. I related to a recent tweet by a someone who said "I can't remember if I saw Transformers 2 or just had really bad diarrhea for 2 hours in 2009."
So when I saw Transformers 3 this past weekend, many would say that I had no one to blame but myself. But screw that, I'm ready to point some fingers.
I guess I'd been given hope by not only the slick trailers for the movie, but also the fact that the director himself had reportedly said he wanted to make a film that made up for the nonsense that was the last installment of the series. I was optimistic. I mean, I grew up loving the 80's cartoon of Transformers, and I actually thought the first movie was more than watchable. Enjoyable, even, in a mindless entertainment sort of way.
The thing is, there's a difference between "mindless entertainment" and "shit that is really just insulting to someone of even average intelligence". The most common argument that defenders of this pile of steaming excrement bring to the table is "you just don't think about it and enjoy robots fighting." Well, despite the admittedly brilliant special effects, the fact is that half the time I couldn't even tell which robots were fighting. Isn't that kind of fundamental? And really, if you're going to spend well over $100 million on making a film, surely it isn't that hard to shell out for someone who can write a script with a semi-coherent plot line and lines for the "actors" that aren't absolutely cringe-worthy? Notice I'm not even asking for good actors here, gorgeous people who can walk, talk and maintain respiratory function at the same time are totally acceptable. (Which is a good thing, if you've seen what passes for 'talent' in this 'film'.) Just maybe someone working on the film who is smart enough to realize how stupid it looks for a girl to fall out of a building, crawl through burning rubble, and still not have a single smudge on her white outfit, while she still has perfect makeup and manages to keep her heels on.
The thing I harp on the most about, though, is that the plot point driving most of the movie is completely ludicrous. (SPOILER ALERT, by the way, not that anyone reading this should actually want to see the film by the time they're done here.) I mean, why the hell would any Transformer want to teleport their world into Earth's atmosphere? They can teleport anything they need from Earth over there, right? Including themselves? And most importantly, wouldn't bringing a massive planet to that location completely screw up the orbit of Earth and everything else in our solar system, thereby destroying whatever it was they wanted from here in the first place?!?! The whole thing reminds me of X-Men: First Class a few weeks ago (more spoilers!) where the goal of the main villain is to start a nuclear war so that mutants can rule the world, completely ignoring the fact that such a conflict would proportionally kill just as many mutants as humans.
Please note that I am not some science geek who expects everything in every sci-fi movie to make sense. I mean, I can watch Star Trek without sitting around wondering how Einstein's theories could possibly make it possible to travel at warp speed. All I'm asking for is for someone to at least PRETEND that they've spent more than three and a half minutes thinking about the plot of a movie they are making for hundreds of millions of dollars, and will be subjected to even more people, not to mention the scrutiny of critics. I don't think that's too much to expect from people who are supposedly experts and professionals in the field of entertainment.
But whatever. Latest reports are that this movie is breaking all kinds of revenue records, despite being panned by most critics, because what we don't want to admit is that the success of such films is a pretty strong indicator of the pervasive stupidity and low standards of the average moviegoer. All I am left to wonder is why, given the resources at their disposal, the creators of this thing didn't think it was worth being remembered for making a good movie rather than just a profitable one.
(For a far better takedown of Transformers 3, you'll want to read this.)