Movie Review: Transformers 2

Movie Review: Transformers 2

It has been a long time since I got so pissed off at a movie. But let me begin the review by highlighting the positive things about it: All the bots still look terrifcly awesome and the explosions are, well, quite a blast so to speak.

Alright, with all that out of the way, let’s see why this movie totally sucked.

First of all, the story. Sure, these kinds of films don’t really need a strong story anyway. It isn’t actually that the story is necessarily bad, but rather how it comes together with the other negative aspects of the film, things really become ridiculous. The film picks up a couple of years after the first one. The Autobots (good guys) are allied secretly with the human race (ie USA only) to hunt down the Deceptions (bad guys). Things go awry of course when the hunter becomes the hunted when Sam (the main teenage hero) is in possession of some shard of the AllSpark, apparently something terribly important to the Deceptions. So everything goes afuss and big explosions happen.

Transformers 2

Snoring yet?

Like I said, the story is sufficient to provide some action, which is what the film should be about. Unfortunately, lots of time is wasted in vain to flesh out the story or give background on certain Autobots/Deceptions that you really wouldn’t care about unless you’ve been avidly watching the cartoons and have memorized each and every bot’s background. Lots of time is also wasted in actual combat scenes. Though they serve the highlight of the flick, lots of the mech fights could have been made shorter, or skipped altogether. It seemed to escape the producers (both of which are good, which comes as a shocker) that most mortals can only handle so much action. It’s even worse when the battles make little sense, as you never know what really is going on until some crucial storyline event triggers in the middle of the fight to wake you up.

How long is the movie? It’s almost 3 hours long. That’s an overdose of long action no one needs.

Bad things don’t end there either. There are many gaps in logic. I completely understand that one should enter such a movie with suspended sense of belief, but there are matters you simply cannot overlook.

First is Orion’s Belt. When our heroes are in the Egyptian deserts, they seek Orion’s Belt to find the location of the artifact. As I recall, Orion’s Belt is somewhat horizontal, yet in the movie they refer to other three stars. I took the liberty to put an infrared filter to make the major stars more pronounced; the three stars encircled in white comprise the Belt, the three stars in green are what the movie tells you is the belt (click for bigger view):

orion_3008_huge

it looks like a man with a penis

The next part is what drove me insane, which is that, according to the movie, the stars point to Petra. It’s as if by magic that they point to Petra, though it could be really any city within that line of sight. I will also overlook the fact that they were probably facing east or west (I don’t recall if it was dusk or dawn), so technically speaking Petra isn’t even an option.

The maddening part is that Petra is in Egypt.

There is no indication that the heroes went to Jordan. In fact, it is told in the story that the artifact is buried here in the deserts of Egypt (which looked a lot like Wadi Rum) and that the stars shall point at the location. Suddenly Petra is in Egypt. The next thing you know, a battle ensues around the Pyramids, and the heroes travel from Petra to Egypt within minutes of course to join in the battle.

Transformers 2

Another odd aspect is that during the course of the battle, the Americans ask the Jordanians for help (the battle is in Egypt). Jordan sends in two choppers which instantly get blown up. The Americans then show power by sending their entire well-equipped fighter jets. There is also no sign of any Egyptian forces.

Speaking of which, why is Egypt depicted in the “traditional Middle Eastern stereotype”? What’s shown of Egypt, other than the ever-present athan, is some run-down ghettos. Sure, it’s the desert part of Giza, but seriously? Now I also have never been to Egypt, but I do know Egyptians do not look like Mexicans (nothing wrong with Mexicans) and that they do speak Arabic, not some jibberish which was actually subtitled to Arabic! And then when an actor says “we are from New York!” the security chief of the borders say “Ah! New York!” and lets them in. There is also a scene with all these posh-car-transformers driving alongside camels. And the slutty heroine suddenly sports a veil while she is running away from a bot (how she magically got the veil is never revealed).

Combine all of that with THE MOST ANNOYING SUPPORTING CAST (both robots and humans) ever seen in a film and you have a major recipe for disaster.

As a final note, for all movie directors, please when you make a battle scene, keep the time of the day consistent. I would understand if a battle begins by noon and ends in the afternoon. But you can’t have one scene at zenith and the other at sunset (for dramatic effect), and go back and forth between them.

I can go on with other issues of course but I guess you don’t need any more convincing that this is a sucky movie.

  • http://personalmoneystore.com/ Terminator 2 review

    People who think that just because a movie’s existence means quality sure won’t want to read the Transformers 2 review in most outlets. Critics have not been giving a favorable Transformers 2 review. The film has been pilloried in the press as having a labyrinthine plot that is ultimately lacking depth, and it received a 20% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, the film review site, and it appears a fast payday loan isn’t going to reverse the tide. Director Michael Bay is frequently lambasted by critics as a hack that relies on effects rather than plot, and the Transformers 2 review stream seems to reflect this view, but it likely won’t stop people from getting fast cash to watch it.

  • http://personalmoneystore.com/ Terminator 2 review

    People who think that just because a movie’s existence means quality sure won’t want to read the Transformers 2 review in most outlets. Critics have not been giving a favorable Transformers 2 review. The film has been pilloried in the press as having a labyrinthine plot that is ultimately lacking depth, and it received a 20% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, the film review site, and it appears a fast payday loan isn’t going to reverse the tide. Director Michael Bay is frequently lambasted by critics as a hack that relies on effects rather than plot, and the Transformers 2 review stream seems to reflect this view, but it likely won’t stop people from getting fast cash to watch it.

  • http://www.yameen-shmal.com/ Shmal said, not

    Bullshit movie, I slept 12 to 13 times during it. The only cool part was the Coke I bought that had the Megatron action figure on it. No wait, that sucks too! I loved the twins though with the Ice-cream car at the start, they were the best thing in that movie.
    Megan Fox, period.
    And that funny little robot that hides and isn’t killed by bumblebee at the beginning, the funny one who gets his eye torched by Megan, haha! He was hilarious :D! :p

  • http://www.yameen-shmal.com Shmal said, not

    Bullshit movie, I slept 12 to 13 times during it. The only cool part was the Coke I bought that had the Megatron action figure on it. No wait, that sucks too! I loved the twins though with the Ice-cream car at the start, they were the best thing in that movie.
    Megan Fox, period.
    And that funny little robot that hides and isn’t killed by bumblebee at the beginning, the funny one who gets his eye torched by Megan, haha! He was hilarious :D! :p

  • Roby

    Great movie! It is just a damn fantasy get over it!

  • Roby

    Great movie! It is just a damn fantasy get over it!

  • Mohamed

    I thought the movie was good. Not as good as the first one though. I was very puzzled with the Petra-Pyramids part; I know there are flying robots, still they can’t shift between two different places 0_0
    Also, why does the director feel that it’s necessary to use the “sex sells” method with Megan Fox and the other blond girl that turn to a Decepticon??

  • Mohamed

    I thought the movie was good. Not as good as the first one though. I was very puzzled with the Petra-Pyramids part; I know there are flying robots, still they can’t shift between two different places 0_0
    Also, why does the director feel that it’s necessary to use the “sex sells” method with Megan Fox and the other blond girl that turn to a Decepticon??

  • Ali H.

    Its not the time of day that needs to be consistent its the geography. The whole Giza-Petra thing was a mind boggler for me. My friend who saw it with me didn’t realize that geographical differences, I had to point it out to him. Which made me realize something, I think Michael Bay was counting on the idea that since mostly non-Middle-Easterners would be watching this movie they wouldn’t notice that huge plot hole.

    Also, if it was in Egypt, what was the Jordanian Military doing there trying to help. It should’ve been the Egyptian military, I think they would be the ones more concerened about the destruction of one of their greatest monuments.

    Other than that, I actuall thought the movie was pretty good. Not as good as the first, but it was good. Had a good plot, the characters where alright, and some nice action scenes. They just needed to cut off some unnecessary scenes and keep track of their geography… also they needed to show more of Megan Fox.

  • Ali H.

    Its not the time of day that needs to be consistent its the geography. The whole Giza-Petra thing was a mind boggler for me. My friend who saw it with me didn’t realize that geographical differences, I had to point it out to him. Which made me realize something, I think Michael Bay was counting on the idea that since mostly non-Middle-Easterners would be watching this movie they wouldn’t notice that huge plot hole.

    Also, if it was in Egypt, what was the Jordanian Military doing there trying to help. It should’ve been the Egyptian military, I think they would be the ones more concerened about the destruction of one of their greatest monuments.

    Other than that, I actuall thought the movie was pretty good. Not as good as the first, but it was good. Had a good plot, the characters where alright, and some nice action scenes. They just needed to cut off some unnecessary scenes and keep track of their geography… also they needed to show more of Megan Fox.

  • matt

    Hi all,thought the movie was great and cannot wait for it to be released on blu-ray.Although I’m from the U.K,have just returned from Egypt and must agree their Geography was terrible.I visited Petra,Cairo and Luxor,so know all three places.As mentioned above,switching from Petra(Jordan)to Cairo(Egypt)in a few minutes was insane.Also I’m pretty sure in the final battle background was used from Luxor(Karnak temple) which is about 8hrs south driving.If you take these geographical errors away,I still thought it was a great movie.

  • matt

    Hi all,thought the movie was great and cannot wait for it to be released on blu-ray.Although I’m from the U.K,have just returned from Egypt and must agree their Geography was terrible.I visited Petra,Cairo and Luxor,so know all three places.As mentioned above,switching from Petra(Jordan)to Cairo(Egypt)in a few minutes was insane.Also I’m pretty sure in the final battle background was used from Luxor(Karnak temple) which is about 8hrs south driving.If you take these geographical errors away,I still thought it was a great movie.

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com/ hamza

    I can understand your annoyance and frustration at the movie. But from reading this review, I guess you were thinking too much about the inconsistency in logic. But movies are meant for you to relaaaaax man.

    Chill, who cares if petra is in jordan or not..you know the truth. Just sit back and enjoy

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com hamza

    I can understand your annoyance and frustration at the movie. But from reading this review, I guess you were thinking too much about the inconsistency in logic. But movies are meant for you to relaaaaax man.

    Chill, who cares if petra is in jordan or not..you know the truth. Just sit back and enjoy

  • Blaine

    I would like to point out that in the scene where all of the fighter planes are taking off to take part in the airstrike its f-18’s taking off from aircraft carriers, yet in the actual airstrike scene its f-16’s that drop bombs….whered the f-18’s go?

  • Blaine

    I would like to point out that in the scene where all of the fighter planes are taking off to take part in the airstrike its f-18’s taking off from aircraft carriers, yet in the actual airstrike scene its f-16’s that drop bombs….whered the f-18’s go?

  • Muhammad Hassaan

    Great review.. I was planing on seeing the movie, just for the “Giza” battle -obviously cause I’m an Egyptian- but WTF?!!

    I mean we do have an army (One of the Largest in the world – ranked 11th – according to Wikipedia), we ARE normal people, and guess what? A LOT of us do understand English if not speak it!

    And what did the Jordanians have to do with Egypt?!!!! (No offense to our brothers there, but you know what I mean.)

    I seriously don’t understand how a movie could offend a country so much and that country wouldn’t left a finger about it…

    To the movie story, What I get from the review is the movie’s story and plot weren’t that good. Well, I’ve seen the first one, and I thought the same too, perhaps cause I’m not a real fan of Transformers..!

    The Direction flaws of the movies overall not just this one do drive me crazy, it’s like XXX Million dollar movie, and they couldn’t see that!!

    However, Great review, by a man who is not taken by the movie’s special effects, and speaks of it “Rationally”.

  • Muhammad Hassaan

    Great review.. I was planing on seeing the movie, just for the “Giza” battle -obviously cause I’m an Egyptian- but WTF?!!

    I mean we do have an army (One of the Largest in the world – ranked 11th – according to Wikipedia), we ARE normal people, and guess what? A LOT of us do understand English if not speak it!

    And what did the Jordanians have to do with Egypt?!!!! (No offense to our brothers there, but you know what I mean.)

    I seriously don’t understand how a movie could offend a country so much and that country wouldn’t left a finger about it…

    To the movie story, What I get from the review is the movie’s story and plot weren’t that good. Well, I’ve seen the first one, and I thought the same too, perhaps cause I’m not a real fan of Transformers..!

    The Direction flaws of the movies overall not just this one do drive me crazy, it’s like XXX Million dollar movie, and they couldn’t see that!!

    However, Great review, by a man who is not taken by the movie’s special effects, and speaks of it “Rationally”.

  • disco

    this is a great movie, a saw a transformer in Poland, look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48C_EvKDVEw

  • holder

    such a great tuning from Poland, it's amazing!

  • dariosr

    Great movie. I hope to see this car in Poland! I'm going here for holidays:)

  • Written in water

    Just watched this movie and have to say it did my head in from the moment the characters entered Jordan and suddenly arrived at Giza. Seriously?!? You think your audience is that stupid, that they don't know what country the pyramids are in?

    I then spent the next – well what seemed like 5 hours – ranting at my boyfriend everytime there was a slip in time and space, so am pretty sure he didn't end up getting too much enjoyment out of the film either.

    Somehow I don't think they would have gotten away with plonking The Grand Canyon in the middle of Canada and having the characters flitting about from their to Niagara Falls. Hey-ho. It's a film about giant robots. Though I am slightly worried that there is now a generation of kids who think that there are three pyramids in Aqaba, a mere stones throw from Petra.

  • jarofjuice

    I worry about those kids too. I saw once a facebook comment on a photo
    of Petra's Treasury – one of the most photographed tourist attractions
    - and the comment was “hey this is in Jordan right?”

  • http://www.easymagicjack.org The Magic Jack

    Is there going to be a transformers 3?

  • air climber

    I love megan fox in transformers

  • Zedeco2010

    the f-18 run out of gas

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FPSYFLVN6NWQ5JKLCDARXMVHSE/ Kat

    Amen! when i saw how they potrayed Orion’s belt, it pissed me off like a crazy person!

    Yeah yeah movies should be a no-brainer entertainment but you can’t shut your brain dude.. You will notice these things, these inconsistencies.

    To look at it on a different note, if movies want to be fiction, then go all through out like the Mission City. But Petra and the Orion’s belt exist. So… there you go.

  • Bob

    Petra is in Jordan you dipshit. Learn your geography before you bitch about it. Hahahaha what a fag.

  • Anonymous

    I know where Petra is, Bob, I was pointing out that in the movie Petra was located in Egypt which is what drive me insane. Not to mention the defence force was Jordanian (violating air space!).

    Watch your language. I’m assuming you’re a teen or a WoW generation so I will let it slide.

  • Betu4ever

    Man thank for all that… I respect the fact that you love movie and you look at every detail. Dude I live Transformers like you said I did grown up watching it. Any case it is al ready mission impossible to screen play some one imagination of course something will miss.

  • http://cybertron-transformers.blogspot.com/2011/06/last-post-superbowl-transformers.html Transformers_guy23

    What a great and appropriate response to a fool.  I enjoyed reading that.  it shows uncharacteristic restraint on the internet.

  • Loayj

    i just watch it , and while im watching i found big mistakes about petra , they showing it near cairo , and u can googel it and see how far it is  !!!!