My 3-point critique of ROTF (non-partisan!)

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Paradigm-Shift Prime, Jun 25, 2009.

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  1. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    Saw it today, it was ok I guess. Nothing more than ok though. There were some sweet parts, but from a critical movie perspective it has some major problems. I'm not a fan of 'popcorn movies' either so..., but I tend to look at this as a movie from neither of the 'fanyboy' extremes, 'omfg best &$#*# evar!!!' on end end for anything that has the title transformers and 'RAWR!!! RAGE hate kills nothing but G1 is real transformers' on the other (). So I'm not afraid to criticize but I'm not out looking to bash.

    But yeah three major areas that bring it down imo:

    1. Comedy:
    Far far far too much in the line of really low-end, appeal to 10 year olds humor. I think half the script consisted of the following words: balls, testicles, scrotum, hump, fart, crap, bitches, etc. Poop n fart humor never really does it for me but even for those who might laugh at it a bit I think it was a major overkill. It was like every second line.

    I think a problem that leads to this is too many goof-ball characters. You have Sam, the room-mate (ugh), Skids, Mudflap, Simmons, and Wheelie. And the whole second half of the movie is that exact pairing all together. So in what could be the most intense, serious, or dramatic sequences of the movie instead you have the persistant reversion to being horny and passing gas (i.e. the Devi balls scene, which really sums up the character of the TF movies they have decided to go after). I think just Skids and Mudflap cracking jokes and passing gas would have been plenty (and maybe not making them the bots with near or at the most screen time). The roommate coming along for the whole ride just for comic relief was totally unnecessary when there was already so much (and he had no role/function).

    2. (lack of) characterization of the bots:

    Well I think this is an area where pretty much everybody could agree was lacking in the first movie. It partially has to do with limited special effects screen time, but it has to do with how they develop the characters in other ways too.

    So yeah, lots more screen time in ROTF, yet little more characterization on the whole. That must leave it to how they develop the characters other than the fact that they are being seen on the screen. They did a little more to work on the decepticons this time, i.e. the Megs/SS confrontation scene, the dcon lair scene. However the development of the autobots seems to get sacrified/just left stagnant. Previous characters except for Prime and Bee now have about 2 lines each.

    And all new characters are simply now around, no background or character account for pretty much all of them (twins, Sideswipe, the fallen at first, and why Megatron is so not the boss of the decepticons anymore and a suckup to him, Devi, poor Jolt who doesn't even get introduced until one of the last scenes of the movie and has maybe 1/2 a second of screen time up until then, etc.). I think this is the biggest problem, lifeless, characterless characters for the vast majority of them. And no bot dialogue outside of absolutely necessary one liners.

    And then there's the incoherent doubles/drone armies thing for the decepticons they decided to do. It just doesn't make any sense, and they certainly don't provide an explanation for it. It esepcially is bad because the individual Devi limbs are fighting at the same time as Devi is formed. ???. One even gets named (called out by Megs I think), and it's not like they're just background, BB has his fight with one, etc.

    3. Pacing/Plot:

    Well, the plot isn't exactly rocket science but it gets the movie along. The pacing however I had some trouble with. The movie starts out fast, serious, and with a bang of nice action. There is almost no backstory on the 'what happened in between movies', just the absolute basics. Some account of which new bots are there, their skills, why those ones, etc. would have been great here (see 2. characterization) but as the movie continues we learn that we're not to ask any questions about how why and when robots show up in any given scene. Sometimes a chacter shows up in a scene, 15-20 minutes of in-movie time pass, and then when they are next shown they pretty much haven't moved or done anything (i.e. when Megs shows up on the top of the pyramid). Either that or one goes away or disappears and then don't reappear until well later, when they had no where else to be. Where were they for all that time? (These two presence/pacing problems were in the first movie too, and most notable in the battle scenes leading to the climax in both movies).

    The transition to Sam's story is nice and smooth early on and the movie finds an early balance. More pretty sweet action with Prime fighting off the dcons after Sam (insert first random tformer with no name or character). From the point Prime dies though until pretty much the climax (the last half hour of the movie, once Devi is formed on) there is a MAJOR lull in the movie, little tfs, action, slow moving, not a lot of plot development. Then things pick up quickly for the final fights (and the last 1/3rd of the pee pee jokes) and the movie ends abruptly. Decent final battle but very quick once Prime is back and, again, very little in plot or character summary offered. It pretty much just ends on the spot.

    I am generally a fan of longer movies but for the 2 1/2 hours that ROTF was it doesn't seem too well used. They could have used this time to develop robot character and plot details/background, condensed parts to make the robot scenes more frequent, or heaven forbid, cut out some of the extened potty scenes.

    Sorry to sound somewhat downer on ROTF, but keep in mind this is a critical perspective, which I tend to have when I watch movies, and that I only want as good as a Transformers product as possible and so naturally have critique on how I think it could be done better. Unfortunately I do find that some of the areas of critque, namely the three sumarized here, are a bit critical and so bring down the experience of the movie a fair bit from both an objective critical and TF fan perspective. I did find it enjoyable on the whole, but these issues were frustrating me even right as I watched, and limit the overall quality of the movie and the depth or coherence of the world/verse they are trying to set-up and have the viewer become absorbed into (as is typical of movies that go for the 'bubbly summer popcorn flick' thing).
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  2. planetjacker

    planetjacker Critters burn real good. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I agree that the "toilet" humor was a bit over done in this film. Did we realy need to see the dogs humping twice? The first time was fine it led to a joke from dad but the second showing was unnecessary. I also feel we didn't need to see J.T.'s ass or Devs "balls"

    Over all I liked the film but felt they were just trying to push the limits of its rating with the toilet humor.

    Almost forgot. Did Wheelie realy need to hump Megans leg? And if so did that joke need to go for as long as it did? I think not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  3. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    Leo is the outsider. The normal every-day guy who has no idea what's going on. Just like Sam was in the first movie.
     
  4. Throwback

    Throwback Well-Known Member

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    WHy was Sam so reluctant to fulfill his destiny. I didn't buy that "i just want to be a normal kid" bit.
     
  5. MrSoundwaveGuy

    MrSoundwaveGuy I've made a huge mistake

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    I pretty much agree with everything in this review, though I have to say I'm probably the only one that thought Leo was "decent"
     
  6. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    Some well put points. I'm pleasantly surprised to find a cohesive post in this forum. I tip my hat to you.

    Now, in response,

    1. Kudos for not saying "unfunny" - the entire cinema laughed at all of the low brow moments. I'm not really that fussed by them but I can understand why people don't like them. As for the superflous characters (Galloway, Leo), again I didn't mind them but can see why people didn't like them, and in fairness I felt that given the length of the movie they could have been done without.

    2. Bay seems reluctant to have scenes where the robots just talk to eachother, which seems a bit odd to me to be honest, because obviously this limits their development as characters. I mean, across both movies when you look at scenes with only the robots, speaking with each other in the character development sense, you've got 3 Starscream/Megatron scenes (the two lines of dialogue at the dam, the Nemesis, and the skyscraper), the observatory scene from the first movie... and that's all I can think of in that regard.

    In fairness the new characters included didn't really allow for this to happen much - all of the new Decepticons were variants of 'I like to kill stuff', and all the new Autobots that didn't receive any time were variants of 'I'm a hardass soldier bot' (Jolt aside), which the main Autobots seemed to have covered. I thought the Megatron/Starscream development was handled reasonably well, and if Bay and his team are to take anything from this it would be to apply that to the rest of the cast next time, in that they can be characterised without making the entire movie about them.

    3. I don't think the movie was particularly well cut, especially that period you specified between Prime's death and the final battle. A lot of it was over convoluted and could have been abrogated by taking a slightly less complex path - for example if they'd warped straight to the temple, as opposed to in the middle of the desert, and then had the pointless searching through the desert scenes. I felt that whole set up to the final battle was too long for what content it had - it was mostly pointless searching and pained characterisation from Shia and Megan.

    I also felt the introduction of the Fallen wasn't handled well at all. There really was no reaction when it was revealed that Megatron was working for this demi God sort of transformer - everyone just sort of shrugged their shoulders and rolled with it. I felt his introduction should have been built up to, and should have even come as a surprise to Starscream, as opposed to the way it was handled, which was essentially The Fallen is in charge and Megatron is his officer (whereas in the first it appeared that Megatron was in charge and that Starscream was his underling).
     
  7. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    There's some parts I did'nt agree with, but when you're spending millions on a movie, you want to make EVERYONE happy, not just the fans.
    I think Bay did a good job on getting everything in there as much as he could.

    Action galore, outstanding CG, comedy, outer space, sex, hot chicks, decent plot for an old children's cartoon, variety ...etc etc etc...

    < Im not complaining.
    TFans will never be happy, they will always want MORE, MORE , MORE.
    The people that say it sucked seem angry becasue they actually just want to see more probably.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  8. Throwback

    Throwback Well-Known Member

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    I didn't like the unnesessary crude humor much either, they over did it (especially with dev's balls).

    Guess they had to show his cause they couldn't show Prime's cause Prime's were the size of Jupiter's moons!!!!!!!!!!!! He really kicked tailpipe.
     
  9. Sokar

    Sokar Well-Known Member

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    I agree with a lot of this review.

    While I wouldn't really say that lennox was comic relief so much, I'd definitely agree that it was overused this time around. For the most part I found Simmons to be much more serious in this one, but unfortunately the whole underwear thing was rather unneccesary.

    There were really 2 problems I had with the humor. First off, too much of it was this low brow sexual humor. I can live with them adding in dev's balls, but wheelie and mojo humping everything was just stupid. What could that possibly add in any way to the story line? There wasn't a whole lot to dev's balls but at least it was something you wouldn't necessarily be embarassed to have your friends see in the film. Second, the placement of it was just plain poor at times. They kept switching from serious scenes to goofy crap and then back and forth again (eg when they are brining back prime after the forest and then they've got the twins cracking jokes)

    Over all this wasn't a bad movie I don't think, but there was still a lot they could have done/changed to make a superior film. Hopefully with no writer's strike and at least a few years until the next film the next movie will be a bit more complete/polished
     
  10. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sorry, I meant Simmons not Lennox for one of the 'goof-ball' characters. Edited to correctness.
     
  11. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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