Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just in case you were going to pay money to watch it....

Transformers: Army of One

So, I admit it. I watched transformers when I was a young girl, sitting beside my brother on a Saturday morning, watching one gloriously 80's cartoon after another. I had heard good things about this live action tribute to the cartoon that started as an advertising campaign for shape-shifting toys. Turns out, it took the team that worked on the giant robots 38 hours to complete ONE frame. Who's got high hopes now?

Excited, buttocks pressed against the edge of the seat, I watched a killer first few scenes where something big is being built up and eerie space invasions whisper promises of an action-filled, self-aware film about relationships between man and technology, good and evil, a boy and....his camaro?

I was almost won over when the two heroines of the film surfaced with sharp wit and amazing abilities (cracking computer signals, hot-wiring cars, explaining an advanced fuel-injection system) that almost hinged on some sort of female empowerment. They had so much potential, they could have done so much....but alas, they are only female.

At the core you have two “hot” women, whose make-up never gets smudged, in tight clothes and existing solely for wet dreams. Their character development and awesome talents begin and end with their usefulness, while the men – useful or not – gain the protection of giant robots and, by default, save the day. The heroine ends up on the hood of the car in her hero's arms (whose only dream throughout the movie, as far as I can tell, is to get the car to get the girl) and the other female hero, the brilliant computer hacker, has to go a man's house in order to get the code cracked.

Which leads me to another human rights flub the movie is guilty of – racism! You have a bunch of white guys parading around, saving the day, and in the midst you have the comic relief in the form of big black men yelling at their mothers, break-dancing, and eating too much. On the outskirts, there is a Spanish speaker who can't seem to forget his Spanish heritage no matter how often the other soldiers remind him to speak English. (Oh that silly Latino!)

At the end of the day, it is one long parade of awesome looking vehicles, bad scripting and bad editing. Nothing pays off, nothing satisfies, and all the issues that could have been dealt with in this movie are over-ran by a whimsical Optimus Prime saying “I see good in humans.” And, if you watch closely enough, you might see some advertisements for the military. Just a few. Just a few that look like hot guys knowing exactly what to do (lead the monsters toward the city! That way we can avoid civilian deaths!(WTF?)) and a level headed secretary of defense. Just a few that look like entrusting the bad-guy's evil weapon to the military is a better idea than giving it to the giant fucking robots that came from outer space to destroy it!

In short, it's really bad.

- Korin Lykam

1 comment:

nidhi said...

ha! i wasn't planning on seeing it, but many of my partner's friends have been geeking out over it.

i liked your review, sounds like the stuff i would observe/talk about. good to know that there are others who can't "turn it off" in a movie.

i love deconstruction.