Wednesday, June 24, 2009

REVIEW Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

First off as a fan of the original series, I really loved most of this movie. It is bigger, louder, and more over the top than the first one. The writers do a great job of weaving the series' mythology into this film. The interaction between the main Transformers from the original series is excellent. On the technical end the movie is much better this time around because unlike the first film there are actually wide shots of the robots in action. There is a battle scene in the middle of the film between Prime and three Decepticons which is damn near worth the price of admission on it's own. It does clock in at almost two and half hours but there are never really any lulls in the action. The violence & profanity was also really ramped up which in my eyes is a good thing because explosions and curse words make things more exciting, but take that into consideration if you are going to take little kids with you.

Now that that is out of the way I have to address the over the top racial stereotypes in the film. I know it is a Michael Bay film and I should not be thinking so hard but it was almost a theme in the movie. The writers seemed to have a problem giving many of the characters both robot and human, personality without turning them into racial/ethnic stereotypes. I have to give the witters credit they found a way to get in racial jabs on Italians, Germans, Chinese, Jewish and the Scottish people. Also, in their world the entire middle east is stuck in the year 1388 and none of the women weigh more than 115 pounds. The flat out worst was the depiction of the Autobot twins Skids and Mudflap or as I referred to them after I left the movie Step And Fetch It. It was like Tyler Perry took of his dress and dressed up as two robots. If the broken English and all of the verb splitting were not enough, one of the robots has a gold tooth and neither of them can read. I hated both of these characters so much I got excited when I thought they were going to get killed. These two clowns get more screen time combined than series favorites Sideswipe and Arcee and Soundwave. What is really sad is that these two characters will put a bad light what is a top notch summer popcorn flick, and instead of talking about Optimus Prime vs Megatron, it is going to be Mudflap & Skids vs. The NAACP.

What is really puzzling about the writers getting this so wrong is that the source material for this film is a cartoon from the early 80's when America still had more insensitivity about it's racial baggage. Sure in the original show Jazz & Blaster were clearly both black, Percepter was English, Wheeljack was Jewish and Sunstreaker was a homosexual (OK the last couple may be a stretch but bare with me). That said if you look back at the old show none of it comes close to being offensive.

As a fan of the original cartoon & comics I enjoyed the movie and would love to give it an A-, but as a thinking person who understands how irresponsible some of this imagery is I have to knock it down to a C+. The next time I see this movie it will be on DVD when I can use my remote control to leave these two mistakes on the ctting room floor. Jar Jar Binks you may go home now Skids and Mudflap are here to relieve you of your duty.


  1. damn. I haven't seen it yet and i'm already pissed. i thought it couldn't get any worse after the autobot that got killed in the first transformers.

  2. Well said J