July 9, 2007
Well, it broke all records for the week, racking up $152.6 million for the week, and $67.6 million for the weekend. It even managed to get a somewhat decent Tomatometer review over at Rotten Tomatoes, a feat I find hard to believe in retrospect, considering a)it's a Michael Bay movie and b)the movie really sucked.
Why did it suck? Well, first of all, Michael Bay needs to be strung up by his testicles on a clothesline for coming up with such shitty character models for all of the Transformers. No, I'm not some sort of old geek who wanted everything to look like the cartoon I grew up with when I was a kid. I just wanted the freaking machines to be recognizable. Apart from Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, exactly which of them was memorable? And not only that, but Bumblebee was recognizable solely because he was all yellow. The rest of the Transformers looked to be a dully grey, with healthy dollops of black, and a few touches of colour here and there. Every action sequence looked like a car accident, and not in a good way. The Transformers fanboys bitching about everything not looking like the cartoon are right- but not for the reasons they think- the cartoon worked because when you saw Optimus Prime, you KNEW it was him. When you saw Starscream or Megatron, you KNEW it was them. In the movie? They looked like big Mech Assault action pieces. Not cool.
The second reason why the movie sucked is because it was essentially the American remake of Godzilla, but with better special effects. I understand there needs to be a 'human' backstory, but the reason why there ARE Transformers fanboys in the first place is because all of them had some sort of personality. In the movie? Well, Jazz certainly tried his best to be Jar Jar Binks. And um, yeah. That was about it. Optimus Prime was spot on, but Bay managed to muff up the easiest characters in the entire movie- Megatron and Starscream- instead we got a couple of throwaway lines, and that was that.
The third reason why it sucked is that this was basically an alien invasion movie, but with some big robots. No adherence to backstory, no reason other than some convoluted 'All Spark' BS as to why everything was happening. If all the Transformers were lizards, it could have been the same thing.
The movie does get an enthusiastic 2 thumbs up for Megan Fox however.
Turning to the cars- yes, GM played a huge role here. Yes, the Camaro looked pretty boss. Will this do anything at all to increase sales? Probably not. Not unless they actually do start transforming.
Mags Ebert signing off.