Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Directed by Michael Bay
Written by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and John Turturro

I have always been some what of a defender of Michael Bay. The man has always demonstrated a great talent for the technical side of film making, as well as a defined style and clear vision for his films. He knows exactly who his audience is and he knows exactly what to give them. Michael Bay caters to the popcorn movie going crowd, which is mostly composed of fifteen year old boys.  To be perfectly honest I kind of respect him for it. 

A Michael Bay film always includes the following elements; people running in slow motion, many explosions, very tan women with heavy make up and great hair, quick cuts, action scenes that are hard to follow, the use of exaggerated orange and blue lighting, a huge respect for the American military along with scenes to show why, and the implied deaths of many innocent civilians during a car chase. 

Long story short,  I knew what I was getting into when I went to this film. I knew that I would be indulging the fifteen year old inside of me and for awhile I was able too. The story is a little haphazard, but it really takes back seat to the action and special effects anyway. The characters don't really do anything but run from place to place but that's fine. It is a popcorn movie and I was entertained.

Then, the movie started taking these odd turns into some pretty offensive areas. There are inappropriate sexual reference here and there and initially I was able to shrug them off. I was in a theater with a bunch of kids and I rationed and hoped that it was over the heads of the younger ones. However, they kept on coming and eventually I couldn't ignore it anymore. Between the beginning and end of this film I saw two dogs humping one another, a robot hump the leg of Megan Fox, somebody commenting about Megan Fox's head in their lap, an upshot under a skirt, (Megan Fox was not involved) and somebody talking about a "cherry being popped." Let me just say that I don't think that any film should have a robot call somebody a p---y, if a toy of said robot is being sold to kids.

I'm a 27 year old man and I'm pretty liberal. I'm not a big fan of the rating system because I think it's arbitrary.  However, this was the first time I wished they actually enforced the PG-13 rating at the door. I don't think anybody under the age of 13 should be able to see this film because of the sexual humor and sexual language. In a perfect world nobody under the age of 13 should be able to understand the sexual humor anyway, but we don't live in a perfect world. 

That being said the sexual humor and language was not the most offensive thing about this film. I'm not sure if Michael Bay is a racist but if I only had this film to go on he would certainly meet the criteria. There are two robots in this film who are known as The Twins and they are meant to be comic relief. The problem is that they have African American voices, gold teeth, and are portrayed as ignorant. The voice is one thing but coupling that with an African American stereotype and making it clear that they can't read is something else all together. It was simply offensive, to say the least.

That's not to say that I wasn't impressed with the special effects and some of the action scenes. There is a fight in the forest between Optimus Prime and the Decepticons that is pretty fun. But, I can't recommend the film solely based on that scene. There were times in which I really enjoyed the film but at the end of the day I didn't feel comfortable with it at all. The little kid in me was excited to see one of his childhood heroes on the big screen but the adult was too offended by the film to enjoy it at all.

Michael Bay might be a talented film maker who knows exactly what to give his audience but that doesn't mean he is excused from being responsible. I have no problem with him making a fun but shallow popcorn film, that what I wanted. I do have a problem with him being irresponsible.

No comments:

Post a Comment