Note: this review was published on the original Popcorn Lobotomy Blog (yep, before it was a YouTube channel) sometime in July 2011. This was actually the first ever article we published on the old blog, so it brings back some fond memories! It is reprinted here for nostalgia and comedic purposes.
I loved transformers when I was a kid. LOVED them. Collected them all, even saved up for two months to buy my own Optimus Prime toy. I still remember the day I picked it up from the store after having it reserved on lay-by for so many weeks. It was probably the best day of my life up till that point.
What was NOT the best day of my life, was the day I rocked up to go see Transformers II. I didn't need to save up for it or anything, not like I did for Optimus Prime all those years ago. I saw it in Indonesia, so it was cheap as hell. Almost free. But even at this bargain basement rate, I still felt cheated and betrayed. I think I actually glimpsed a particular brand of intense rage that is usually reserved for unstable individuals who feel driven towards terrorist acts.
I saw it alone the first time and then had to see it with a girlfriend almost immediately after, so I feel qualified to hate it doubly.
Where do I start? I'd start at the beginning, but the disjointed storytelling in this shithouse waste of celluloid makes it hard to determine where the start was.
Well I saw it twice and I still don't know what happened. I think Shia LaBeouf's character goes to college at some point; I got that. Megan Fox's character is a slut but she loves him. I think. At some point she wiggles into a white dress and holds some flowers for him, because, you know, that what all guys really want deep down.
They find a conveniently leftover piece of that stupid box that made no sense in the first film and all hell brakes loose. Somehow the bad robots find out about the magic shard of shit even though Shia himself never knew it was in his clothes.
Then somehow they end up in Egypt because Michael Bay thought it would be cool to blow up some pyramids.
Umm... there are some robots that talk like black people. There's another one that seems to create black holes somehow. Neither are common things for a robot to do, but there you go.
Then its just chase after chase after chase, each one of which was a blurry mess of bad effects, choppy editing and inane one-liners. Half the scenes are too dark to see, the other half are so banal you wish it was darker.
I can't think of any part of it I didn't hate, except maybe the bit where you could see Megan Fox's ass cheeks poking out the bottom of her shorts as she sat on a motorbike. Oh yeah, and when she ran in slow motion with a low cut top. But to be honest it could have included full on Megan Fox XXX porn and it wouldn't have saved the film.
The special effects, despite the director's claim that it took like 7 years to render a single frame, are abysmal. They are blurry, badly framed, and rarely look even remotely integrated into the live action. Most of the time, the robots are moving too fast and too close to camera to be anything but colourful flashes of metal. I still don't understand why the robots need to move their mouths to talk, or blink and move eyebrows they don't really have.
And as for the transformations, which had potential to be cool to the Optimus-Prime-buying child inside me, we even worse in this film than the last. I actually laughed out loud when they grandly introduce the first transformation. A truck rolls up and proceeds to transform into Ironhide the robot over a period of roughly 45 seconds. Joints move, then move back, panels slide open then close again, things bend and twist randomly, while, all the while, the camera spins around him in a dizzying display of grandeur gone wrong. I reckon that truck had to make about a dozen major moves to transform into the robot with half a truck as his upper body, but Bay makes sure things keep moving for an excruciating length of time, all in the name of spectacle. Then the bloody thing talks with a British accent for some reason only Michael Bay's evidently-alzheimer's-ridden brain could conceive.
Oh Michael Bay, you retarded hack! It could have been so easy. A few cool transformations that actually looked slightly realistic. A few cool action scenes that weren't more akin to repeatedly beating the audience over the head with a metal mallet. A simple story that makes sense and was more than just a poor excuse to transport the characters from one random locale to another. It could have been popcorn blockbuster gold.
If I had to see it again, I would pluck my eyeballs out with fish hooks, soak them in a vat of acid, feed them to a wild pirhana, and then eat the piranha in case it didn't fully digest my eyeball properly.
I'm deducting one star from Michael Bay's next movie as a penalty for the travesty that is Transformers II.