Note: This is the script for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - A Popcorn Lobotomy Scathing Review. It contains stuff that didn't make it into the original review, and may have differences due to editing. I hope you enjoy seeing where an episode starts and how it sometimes drifts away from some of the original ideas.
PS: This one has a bunch of bonus "New Rules" that didn't make the cut!
PCL – Transformers II
Int. Cinema. Dark.
(watching end credits, turns to camera)
I just watched Transformers II
(Harv raises his hand and it convolutedly transforms until he’s flipping the bird)
Shots of movie with V.O.
(silence over black for a while, then sounds of a microphone adjusting. Harv speaks in a voice that sounds vaguely like Ron Bugandy from Anchorman.)
Unique New York. Unique New York. The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.
(sighs, speaks conversationally)
What a comlete clusterfuck of a movie, eh? Who’s responsible for this one again? Oh Michael Bay is? Really, how do you know!?
(scene where the Bad Boys II poster is visible)
Ah, right yeah, makes sense. OK, I’m ready, let’s trash this fucking masterpiece, eh?
(more sounds of microphone adjusting and throat clearing)
Do you know what makes Transformers cool?
It's not explosions or action or cool voices or hot girls. I know this because I collected hundreds of the toys when I was a kid and the toys had NONE of those things.
In fact, the toys only had ONE thing: they could transform from robot to vehicle and back again. THAT is the essence of what made Tranformers cool, and when I was a kid that sparked my imagination like nothing else that had come before it.
Well, except "Machine Men" (or "GoBots" if you spring from the US), who actually pioneered the concept long before Hasbro stole it for Transformers.
Anyone remember "Cy-Kill", "Scooter", "Cop-tur", "Tank"... No? How about "Dumper" and "Pumper"? Yah, I collected all of those ones, too! And yes, there was one called "Dumper"... [pause]
For fucks sake, he was a dump truck, ok, they were Japanese, they didn't know. There was one called "Tail Pipe", too. OK. I'll give you some time to stop giggling, you fucking children...
Anyway, point is, they were cool because they *transformed*. No one even knew they could make a toy like that until they did, and it created a totally new form of superhero that kids of my generation could feel were made just for us.
So it was my childhood at stake when they fucked up the first Transformers. Somehow that first movie managed to reach back across the years and become the abusive pedo baby sitter I never had.
It manipulated me, lied to me, and made me feel dirty and ashamed.
But, just when I thought Bay was done stealing my innocence, Tranformers II came along and tickled my retrospective pre-pubescent balls as well.
Of course I knew there was little hope going into Tranformers II.
I knew the action scenes were going to be blurry, badly edited and poorly framed, that the robots would probably be little more than colourful flashes of metal. All part of Bay’s much praise chaotic shooting style!
I knew there would be a pretty basic plots and lots of loud bangs and clanks to cover up the lack of story.
And of course, worst of all, I knew they had established the ridiculous notion that Transformers were created from some exotic pseudo-biological morphing material, so they could become any shape and their transformations no longer needed to make sense.
And yet Tranformers II managed to find NEW depths to sink to.
I actually laughed my fucking tits off when they grandly introduced the first transformation. A truck rolls up and proceeds to transform into fan favourite robot Ironhide over a period of roughly 45 seconds.
I suppose that was ILM showing off their new high poly-count models, more realistic lighting and revamped algorithmic transformation illusion.
But it was just fucking silly to look at. I reckon that truck had to make about a dozen major moves to transform into it’s robot equivalent. Fuck me, his entire upper body is just the front of the SUV he transforms from.
But Bay makes sure things keep moving for an excruciating length of time. Joints move, then move back, panels slide open then close again, things bend, twist and spin randomly. And all the while, the camera spins around him in a dizzying display of grandeur gone wrong.
I’m sure Bay thought he was creating spectacle, but he was really just making a spectacle of himself.
Then the bloody thing talks with a bland British accent for some reason. They all have fucked up accents. Some of them talk like, I dunno, I guess cliched Detroit gangstas or something? Others seem to be doing a pretty convincing impression of Ruby Rhod from Fifth Element.
I guess this was Bay’s attempt to make them reconizable and give them distinct personalities? Which I guess makes sense, since Michael Bay has a certain reputation for treating people as pawns to fulfill his auter vision.
So why the hell not make one an ice cream truck that splits in two and becomes two robots? I mean it doesn’t really matter any more at a certain point, right?
(00:55:38:00 - They are dropped in a car from about a kilometer in the sky and survive completely unharmed because of the good ole "the roof broke my fall" movie trope)
Abandon physics, abandon logic, just move people around randomly with lazy plot devices that are never set up or justified.
Likewise, not only can you ignore character motivation, but go ahead and make it as bizarre as possible. Like when Optimus is relentlessly resisting the Deceptacons as they chase Sam Wikipedia and they make the completely valid point “Is the future of our race not worth a single human life?”
Optimus replies “You’ll never stop at one!” and fights on viciously. Wait, what, I’m assuming you got this wisdom from the Lays marketing team, Optimus
(Lay’s chips commercial “I bet you can’t eat just one)
Otherwise, why wouldn’t they stop? How many other kids have the history of their planet from the allspark downloaded into their brains?
And wait, are you ALSO saying, yes it WOULD BE worth letting Sam die if it was just that one death? Fuck me dead, you’re the worst sworn protector ever!
In fact, Tansformers II made up so much bullshit as it went along, it kinda felt watching an episode of Bill Maher’s Real Time show. You know, the bit where he does the New Rules?
(Realtime theme song)
New Rule: Robots are sassy. If they transform into an ice cream truck, they’ll paint “suck my popsicle” on the side, and they’ll say cool things like “Punk ass deceptacon” and “Damn I’m good” after cutting another tranformer in half.
New Rule: It’s now perfectly reasonable for Transformers to act exactly like Gremlines. You don’t need to keep ‘em dry or avoid feeding them after midnight, but try feeding them a piece of allspark and the shit’ll really hit the fan.
New Rule: Unlike the T1000, Transformers aren’t limited to forming knives and stabbing weapons. They can form fully operational machine guns and the chemicals required to fire them with ease. It makes you wonder why they have such a complex plan to destroy Earth when they could just transform into a nuke and spend the rest of their time sipping on cocktail glasses full of molten lead and mercury.
New Rule: Every young adult-male’s dream is to have his girlfriend slip into a white dress and hold a bunch of purple flowers like a desperate clingy stalker. Look how delighted Shia is! It’s guaranteed to make him say “I love you” and possibly even propose.
New Rule: Only a prime can kill a prime, unless that prime is optimus and you need him to die to create drama and drive the story forward.
New Rule: Being a genius visual director excuses you for needing to hide camera shadows or film action that an audience can follow. What’s important is that you get 25 set-ups done in a day, even if you have no idea where the camera is pointing or what you’re supposed to be shooting. Don’t worry, just throw bags of money at it and they’ll fix it all in post.
New Rule: If a tree is The Fallen in a forest and Soundwave is around to hear it, is it a Prime?
New Rule: Tranformers rust and take damage eventhough they are made from a magical metal that can change shape and molecular structure. When they get too beaten up, they can just go to the shop for “upgrade time” and change into a completely different vehicle and robot. Unfortunately they’ll still keep the same annoying stereotypical voice they have before.
New Rule: If the allspark is destroyed, the information stored within it will be randomly absorbed by the main human character of the film for “reasons” and make him act batshit crazy for dramatic effect.
Sigh. If only Megan Fox’s character had absorbed some robot intelligence too, she might have avoided mysogenistic comments like this:
(scene where robot says “you’re hot but you ain’t too bright!”)
New Rule: If your transformer car doesn’t like your new girlfriend, he can slam her head into the dashboard and expel coolant into her face from the steering wheel like Ron Jeremy ejaculating on a greens-only juicing diet. This will become a new category of porn called “Autoerotica”.
New Rule: If a Transformer dies, the only way to bring him back to life is by stabbing him in the chest with a shard of the all spark. Unless of course you don’t have a shard of allspark handy and the dead robot is the main hero Optimus Prime, in which case you can use the Matrix key to revive him. Even if it’s ripped back out of his chest a moment later, he’ll still be fine, and of course the Matrix key is such a handy mcguffin, you can also use it to fire up a giant weapon that destroys suns.
New Rule: Transformers are robots that turn into machines, but if the casting director finds a hot Aussie actress desperate enough to make it in Hollywood that she’ll flash her panties at your whim, it’s perfectly fine to write in a Transformer who can pass as a flesh and blood woman. If you’re going to do it, the siren robot must act ultra slutty and of course have a robot tail for the sole purpose of lifting her dress to expose her hot ass when required.
At least I THINK that’s the only purpose. We better check...
(panty flash scene rewinds and plays several times, with some reaction sounds from Harv -- then cut to girl with her robot tongue out and the sample “get over here” from Mortal Kombat)
And finally New Rule: if Michael Bay wants to blow up some fucking pyramids because he’s a crazy elite with a hard-on for Illuminati symbolism, just make one of the transformers able to teleport! However, from now on the movie should be known as “Transformers: Rise of the Transporter” and must star Jason Stratham in a lead role.
(smarmy Bill Maher sneer. Camera lowers and pushes in to mid-shot)
Look, I feel bad, I really do. I know a lot of talented people put a lot of work into this movie. I appreciate all the reflections and textures and bump maps and complex polygons, I really do.
But it just doesn’t excuse the shitty direction, one dimensional characters and seemingly random plotline Michael Bay tried to pass off as entertainment. And it definitely doesn’t excuse that one dumbass decision to fake out the tranformations instead of modelling them properly.
Michael Bay? Fuck you for ruining my childhood.
Transformers II: 1 star for panty flashes, even if they are from a fucking robot.
Is Josh Duhamel a discount Timothy Olephant or is Timothy Olephant discount Josh Duchamel? I can never keep it straight in my mind...