I have better things to do than write this litany of complaints against Michael Bay’s Transformers 3, but I can’t do any of them because all I can think about is how furious I am. I spent so much time arguing with my friends that they should come see it with me, that they shouldn’t hold onto the hate of Transformers 2 ’cause this one’ll be better, that now I’ve gotta eat crow without any condiments at all. There’s no reason that movie had to be THAT bad. To be THAT uninterested in its characters. To care THAT little about the fans and the movie-going audience. I have to assume that Michael Bay did not give a shit about this movie, since beyond his usual and much-ridiculed Bay-Drama-Action-Shots, Transformers 3 seemed to be giving the finger to the audience at every turn.
Yes, there was some stuff that was cool, but finding a chocolate chip in a bowl of shit doesn’t make you rave about the restaurant. It just makes you mad that the restaurant’s Special of the Day turned out to be a bowl of shit. What kind of restaurant would do that? What kind of director would make this Transformers movie?
I gotta just get into my individual rants already. Spoiler warning starts here, though you should thank me for “spoiling” the surprise of the mystery Special of the Day.
1. Firing Megan Fox ruined the movie.
That’s an exaggeration but maybe it’s not an exaggeration. Sam/Shia chases after that new blonde chick because she’s the love of his life, will die for her, etc. etc., and at one point even betrays Optimus Prime to keep her safe. Why? Because she’s super-hot? If that was still Fox’s character, you’d believe it all and feel for it because you know the history. But now it’s just “look how far Sam’ll go for a hot piece of ass.” We should have been rooting for love, instead we were rooting for the end of any scene with her in it.
2. Sam’s A Loser
First movie? Sam’s the unpopular kid on the adventure of a lifetime. Awesome. Second movie? Sam’s older and loved his adventure but now yearns to be his own man. I get it. Third movie? Sam can’t get a job and fights to get into the action only because the lady from Fargo told him he should butt out. He’s a big nothing, never has any meaningful interactions with the Autobots, just running through the big action finale only because he wants to be in the big action finale. Great, loser.
3. Sentinel Prime is wasted.
He’s a traitor. Retroactive spoiler alert! He was supposed to rendezvous with Megatron on Earth eons ago to use his spacebridge invention to bring Cybertron to Earth, using our resources to bring their ruined planet back to life. Interesting? Coulda been. He saw that an alliance with Megatron was the only way to save Cybertron, which isn’t an invalid idea the same way Magneto’s point of view in X-Men isn’t wrong. But…
• Why did the Decepticons shoot him down in the first place then? Megatron didn’t tell them to let him go? Oops!!
• Before Sentinel’s revealed as a traitor, there’s a scene where Optimus bows to him and offers him the Matrix of Leadership. Sentinel turns command of the Autobots down since, Optimus knows this world better than he does. Why? Dude, command the Autobots to go home and don’t watch the news, or lead them into a trap or something. At least try to convince Optimus that he should join you, since you were his mentor. Like in Star Wars, Palpatine spent so long laing the groundwork to convince Anakin to join the dark side, Sentinel shoulda done SOMETHING with this. Zero reason to turn down the Matrix except to have the audience believe he’s a good guy.
• When the good guys figure out that the Decepticons need Sentinel to run the spacebridge, lots of generic Decepticons attack! Why are the Decepticons trying to kidnap Sentinel when he’s already going to help them? It’s almost as if Megatron ordered the attack just to keep making the audience that Sentinel is a good guy. How meta is THAT?
• Oh my god, the reveal that he’s working with Megatron must’ve been awesome, right? Big twist, big moment? Nope, he just starts shooting at the other Autobots in a parking lot. It had less drama than when Palpatine told Anakin he’s a Sith Lord while they were walking down a hallway. Did Bay assume that twist would be leaked and just didn’t try to do anything with the reveal? Movies suck nowadys.
• Near the end of the flick, Sentinel laments that the Autobots didn’t see things from his point of view (even though he never tried to convince them) by uttering the phrase “The good of the many outweigh the good of the few.” Fuck Bay for having Nimoy quote Star Trek II like that. Fucking sacrilege. It doesn’t even make sense – he’s eager to have six billion human slaves, so clearly he’s fucking over the many for his few. It was a stunt line of dialogue and it was offensive.
4. Megatron’s a pussy.
In the first movie, everyone was terrified of this guy. Badass central. Ripped Jazz apart with his bare hands. This movie, he just keeps thanking Sentinel Prime for doing his thing and stands there with his still-gaping head wound. You can bring this guy back to life on the ocean floor, but you can’t fix a head wound. When it looks like Sentinel’s plan is working, Megatron first sighs that he’s so happy that Cybertron will be saved (an interesting emotion from him that could have been explored further), but then the new blonde model girl runs up to him and yells that he’s a pussy and he’s gonna be Sentinel’s bitch. Literally. That literally happens. So of course Megatron is convinced and runs to shoot Sentinel, just before Sentinel’s gonna kill Optimus. That’s some sad, shitty shit, Megatron, you fucking idiot.
5. Fuck the Transformers
The way Megatron was turned stupid is indicative of the lack of effort made to make these transformers coo. There’s zillions of new Decepticons on the scene but aside from Laserbeak they’re all generic nobodies. Shockwave is new, he’s barely used, we learn nothing about him and he’s killed by a falling parachute. Ironhide is killed by Sentinel Prime (with a weapon that disintegrates him into rust, which he never uses again for some reason) and nobody even mentions it – Not even an “Aw, Jazz.” Starscream, instead of betraying Megatron like we all expected he someday would, is removed of all menace and is killed by SAM in an alley. In order to save Optimus Prime’s heroics until the end of the big action scene, he’s caught up in some cables and has to be cut down by other Autobots. Christ. Hasbro should be pissed.
6. Random Shit that Kept me Pissed
• Everyone that isn’t a soldier, Shia or Blonde Girl, is acting like a circus clown. Agent Simmons, Sam’s parents, et al, you think they were annoying in past movies? Nope, that was all warm up. New people like Alan Tudyk plays a gay assistant with unexplained super-training, the Chinese guy from Community is about to rape Sam in a bathroom stall and Sam just pleads for him to stop (not an exaggeration, that really happens), John Malkovitch goes from hardass to giggling kid play-punching bumblebee…. Shame on all of them!
• The big battle at the end has the Decepticons take over Chicago (to be honest, there’s a lot of awesomeness of Decepticons blatantly killing people in the streets here, very Terminator-like coolness, but it’s just a chocolate chip in the shit), then destroying all the ways the military can see what they’re doing IN Chicago. That way, they can set up the spacebridge in peace and nobody will stop them. But if they had just gotten the spacebridge ready someplace quiet where nobody goes, like Michael Bay’s therapist’s office, then nobody would have known to stop them and they would have won. Yep, there’s NO REASON the big end battle takes place.
• Decepticons and Autobots always kill each other, unless someone thinks of a “cool” scene where they don’t! There’s a scene where Decepticons take prisoners for no reason until they realize that they don’t take prisoners. There’s a scene where Ironhide tells two Decepticons to “drop their guns” even though Transformers can make guns out of their own bodies. Every other scene they’re ripping each other’s heads off. Suck, suck, suck.
• The Decepticons are going to turn Earth into the new Cybertron. They put hundreds of spacebridge pylons into Earth orbit, so it seems the outer shell of Cyberton is going to cover Earth and then you got a living Cybertron again, with human slaves to run it. Gotcha, cool. Then… Sentinel uses the main spacebridge pylon to teleport Cybertron NEXT to Earth. Huh? Did he change the plan last-second and not tell anyone? How could putting Cybertron NEXT to Earth gonna save anything? And shouldn’t the Earth instantly rip apart from all this new gravity a few feet away? ARGH!
• Sam’s not allowed to be a part of NEST and the Autobot/US Military goings on. But he does have the responsibility, which he doesn’t want, of keeping Wheelie and a new second loser Wheelie-esque bot as secret pets. Why? Tell me Michael Bay, WHY? At least the twins weren’t back.
• Optimus Prime talks of honor pretty big. We love him because he’s noble like that. He respects individual freedom and the rights of all things, that he’d even leave Earth if we asked him to go. Except in this flick, we do ask them to go, and he doesn’t. Later, Megatron, completely defeated, tells Prime it’s time for a truce. In response, Prime tears his head off. So much for that reluctant “Sorry brother, but you left me no choice” in the first film. Oh, and then Sentinel Prime, also defeated, laments all that’s happened. So Prime blows his head off. Why, Prime? You were my hero!! Sob sob.
• So the spacebridge is first opened to bring lots and lots of Decepticons to Earth. You saw it all in the trailer. They’re all buried in the moon and jump into the spacebridge to land in Washington DC. Yep, they were all buried in the moon. Buried in the moon. Why the fuck are there hundreds of Decepticons buried on the moon?? And even if you had a reasonable answer for that, why didn’t they just come to Earth without the spacebridge in the first place??
• The movie ends like 5 minutes after Prime wins the big battle. No epilogue, nothing learned here. Action scene is over, cut to credits. Bay turned his back this flick as soon as he could.
• The autobots can’t get off Earth without a ship. Why? Decepticons fly away from and to Earth all the time. Hell, when the autobots first got here, they didn’t use a ship. Why the hell can’t any of the autobots transform into something that can fly? They can change how they look and what they transform into whenever they want! I know in the cartoon, the autobots were cars and the decepticons were jets, and that’s that, but if you’re going to have plot points around it in a big movie, you gotta say something about it.
7. And now I nitpick.
• That soldier guy, Epps, retired from soldiering and now walks behind that giant NASA treaded platform for a job. Whatever, fine. We see him again as the giant platform, with nothing on it, is rolling towards a shuttle/autobot ship hybrid on a launch pad. The job of that big treaded thing is to move shuttles to the launch pad. So what the fuck were they doing with it if the shuttle was already there?
• Laserbeak is secretly, stealthily, taking out all the humans that helped the Decepticons with their plans. But when Sam is helped by one of those humans, Laserbeak goes nuts and shoots up an entire office to get at him. Dumbass.
• Half of the Autobots are apparently Scottish now.
• Speaking of Scottish Transformers, didn’t Jetfire create a spacebridge all on his own in the 2nd film? Then why is it a special something only Sentinel can make happen in this film?
• In the beginning of the movie, the Autobots take out an Iranian nuclear site so that the humans “don’t make the same mistakes we did.” This just felt weird. Why aren’t they hunting Decepticons? They’re really doing missions for the USA like that? Just weird.
• Did I mention Megan Fox needed to be in this movie already?
I could keep going on and on but I can’t believe I’ve even written this much. In the end I’ll say that even in the 2nd film, which was stupid and numbing, they put a lot of effort into the characters, their motivations, creating interesting new Transformers (Devestator, even with his balls, was neat)… it was a bad film but clearly they were at least trying. Here, they didn’t even try. I don’t mind going to see a big spectacle where the script isn’t as great as it COULD have been (loved the new Tron), but this complete lack of effort is inexcusable.
I gotta go pee.