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Review: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

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Mark Kermode | 11:00 UK time, Friday, 19 June 2009

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers, Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, Armageddon, The Rock, Pearl Harbor... in a way, this is a review of all of Michael Bay's work.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    best.review.ever

    thanks.. :) i don't think i'll be seeing the new transformers movie..

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh, we're playing charades now? Yaaaaaay.

    My guess: "mindnumbing".

  • Comment number 3.

    Yep, to quote, I think South Park 'Why is Michael Bay still allowed to make movies?'. Shame it took me nearly two years to realise Transformers was crap.

    You should've done that review with loads of panning shots left and right, the 360 degrees around someone shot, and preferably something blowing up. Don't forget the 5 second scene quick cut editing! Oh and film yourself around sunset with slow-mo.

    This is how it's done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXGWZxI9lAs

  • Comment number 4.

    So you liked it then?

  • Comment number 5.

    Would it have been better if McGee directed it?

  • Comment number 6.

    Me? Course I did - it was hysterical. Physical comedy nearly always is.

  • Comment number 7.

    Now, really, hitting your head on sandstone would not make the same sound as doing so on a metal grate. Be consistent with your sound editing, Doctor.

    Only joking. I didn't plan on seeing this movie, anyway.

  • Comment number 8.

    You liked The Island.

  • Comment number 9.

    gosh, that good huh!

    hope the good doctor gets his hearing back soon, I SAID I HOPE YOU GET YOUR HEARING BACK, and a few hours in a darkend room will probably stop the headache, might not help the flashbacks though i recommend counciling.

  • Comment number 10.

    Bearing in mind this isn't going to work on radio, I'm looking forward to your rant - I mean review - later today. I'm sure it's going to be MUCH more wordy.

  • Comment number 11.

    I wonder if the poster makers for Transformers 2 will interpret that as 'headbanging entertainment'....and include it.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'll probably still watch it, because being an 80's child and having grown up with shows like the Transformers i just won't be able to help myself. Even if it is the equivalent of watching something/someone you love being raped by a maniacal evil maniac while Spielberg gives it the two thumbs up.

    Eugh!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Heh-heh-heh. Can't wait for November and the good Doctor K's review of 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjaqwM-cny8

    The rant to end all rants is coming...

  • Comment number 14.

    I suspect that everybody who has and will watch this film will have their bodily attributes from top to toe permanently affected for the worse for the rest of their lives (seemingly like Dr.Kermode here).

  • Comment number 15.

    Careful Dr K, you might have messed up your hair!

  • Comment number 16.

    That's it.

    Picture speaks thousands words. But Michael Bay's is being loud for the sake of it. And yours, Dr. K, nails it down.

    Best video review. Hoped the good Doctor didn't get hurt in the process.

  • Comment number 17.

    Eloquent.

  • Comment number 18.

    Only quibble I might have is with the inclusion of the original Bad Boys, where the story had more to do with Simpson & Bruckheimer than new boy Bay. I thought it was strong on characterisation, Smith and Lawrence (and Téa Leoni) improvising dialogue before the explosions started. It's a pity Bay seems to have forgotten the importance of making characters interesting.

  • Comment number 19.

    transcendentally hilarious

  • Comment number 20.

    The Rock is pretty good though; solid script, good dialogue, great casting and actually entertaining. The rest of his films are rubbish though.

  • Comment number 21.

    if you really want to watch a transformers movie try and find the animated film its really much much better than this tripe. Another cherished childhood memory has been trampled over and frankly stolen by money grabbing ^%$"$&%$£5er's who have really no idea what they are doing, theve seen how films like toy story involved both parents and children and thought wow that makes money but completely missed the point and unlike pixar who repected their audience think hmmm lets put some more megan fox wobbling in slo-mo!

  • Comment number 22.

    You know what, though, for all the Bay-bashing, we shouldn't let Spielberg off so lightly. Is he really happy to have his name plastered so triumphantly over these films? Surely, if any of the Spielberg that made Raiders remains, he would know that Transformers (and, presumably, it's sequel) is just hideous. Or is it all about the money?

  • Comment number 23.

    I think you'll be pleased to read this article Dr. K:

    http://www.totalfilm.com/news/no-transformers-3-for-michael-bay

    There's a few choice quotes in there that are very funny, very depressing but all in all take this from it:

    Reviews like yours have finally made Michael Bay realise...

    the war is over. Thank you.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm going a step further:

    I'm going to get Michael Bay's head...


  • Comment number 25.

    Well...hm...eehh..ahem...well said.

  • Comment number 26.

    Again you have been beaten to the punch on this review style. Browse to www.rifftrax.com and buy their commentary for Transformers and enjoy. Basically they beat themselves around the head during the 3rd act.

  • Comment number 27.

    Fantastic review. Made my day.

  • Comment number 28.

    If that doesn't win the turner prize or feature in the next Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, I don't know what will.

  • Comment number 29.

    Now, come on, no holding back - tell us what you really thought of it, Mark! :D

    And I have to say that I'm really looking forward to what you think of 2012. I already hate it with a vengence and I've only seen the trailer!

  • Comment number 30.

    As an aspiring screenwriter, I found Revenge Of The Fallen - which I have just seen in the IMAX in Waterloo - completely inspiring. Because I know that nothing - nothing - I write for the rest of my life will be as bad as that film.

    Let me just lay out my credentials. I'm a big Transformers fan. Yes, of course, they're toys and yes, the fiction developed around them was, and has always been, written around the concept of selling those toys (hence the mass slaughter of most of my toybox in the original 1986 animated movie). But there was still something in the premise that made it interesting - not the "robots in disguise" element (which has never actually been that important) but in the idea that these alien robots have the power to destroy great swathes of humanity at a time, and it is only a temporary alliance with other robots that prevents them from doing so.

    And I felt that the 2007 film had enough of this idea, together with enough of characterisation (there were only around 10 robots) in amongst the explosions, to carry it off. I was really thrilled and engaged by the first movie. Of course it wasn't Citizen Kane - it wasn't even Citizen Smith - but it shot by like a laser beam on the strength of its visual effects, some genuinely funny moments, and Jablonsky's really excellent score.

    But oh dear Lord.

    It probably will be of very little interest - but no little surprise - to Mark to know that Revenge Of The Fallen is loosly based on a very ropey episode of the animated series called Fire In The Sky. Hence, a a plot that looked thin as the basis of a 15-minute TV show aimed at 6-year-olds is stretched to obscene transparency on the big screen in about 20 minutes, then tears altogether and flaps around like a useless piece of toilet paper, attracting nothing but grime and excrement and smearing it over the audience for the next two hours.

    I have never, never, never seen a film less engaging, and I've seen The Mummy Returns. There is no characterisation whatsoever. I know a lot of people complained about this in the first movie, but actually in the first one most of the Transformers didn't turn up until an hour in, giving at least a little time to put some emotional investment in Sam and his family; when Optimus Prime and his chums DID show up, they were distinctive enough to spot who was who (and if you knew the characters from the original series, they worked fine). This time around, Sam is hampered by having some appalling comic relief to put up with and the worst lines since the ending of Four Weddings And A Funeral. (There's nothing here remotely as wry as "I bought a car. Turned out it was an alien robot. Who knew.")

    Meanwhile the basic premise that the Autobots (and especially Optimus Prime) are, you know, the good guys is seriously undermined in the first five minutes when Optimus bruatally offs a bad guy, carelessly trashing Shanghai as he does so. Later, Megan Fox (on the side of the good guys, remember) continually tortures a tiny Decepticon until it turns into an Autobot and starts humping her leg. Maybe they should try that in Guantanamo Bay.

    But most damningly of all, these things just will not die. Not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES are central characters resurrected from the dead. It's not a Transformers film, it's a vampire movie. How can you - if you were so inclined - get satisfaction from an evil character's demise when they can just be brought back as easy as waking up in the morning? How can you mourn for the death of an Autobot when he can just be brought back thanks to some vague plot machination? (It literally is, "The Decepticons have a bad weapon but don't know where it is. We do know where it is, but Character X is dead. Could we use the bad weapon to resurrect Character X? That would mean we can get everyone next to the bad weapon at the same time, and we can also lead the Decepticons right to it - rather than, say, just letting Character X remain dead.")

    I don't want to dwell too much on the Bay factor, because like I said, I enjoyed the first Transformers and, moreover, liked Armageddon and The Rock too. But there are many times when this film isn't even about Transformers, it's about a Michael Bay "best bits", as if such a phrase isn't a contradiction in terms. Ooh look, there's an aircraft carrier sinking, just like in Pearl Harbor. Cut to Paris being devastated by asteroids, just like in Armageddon. There's even a Bad Boys II poster shamelessly on display. YES, WE GET IT MIKE. YOU'RE PROUD OF YOUR FILMS. NO-ONE ELSE IS. CAN WE MOVE ON?

    Even more appallingly, he then steals some bits from other films, notably the Bourne movies and, yes, Saving Private Ryan. Then he gets the Oompa Loompa from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in simply to make a joke about him being short. I'm not making this up, you know. And worst of all, the once complex and interesting character of the good traitor Jetfire has been turned into one of the Pirates Of The Caribbean, as if giving a robot a faux Cockney accent and making it use a colloquial English term for testicles (which I don't remember the Transformer toys I had as a kid having, although they crop up again later in the film) makes any sense whatsoever. Let's not even mention the other new robots - the Autobots are completely awful, and include a pair of twin cars that talk like two clones of Martin Lawrence. Think about THAT.

    Plus points? Ha. There's a big fight in a forest which is quite good, although much of that's to do with the score, which is recycled from the first film, and the bit where Devastator forms is excellent - except, like most scenes in the film with any dramatic tension at all, it's then immediately ruined by some shockingly ill-timed comic relief. (Compare this, any Transformers fans, to the same sequence in the animated film - the way Kup simply says the word "Devastator" leaves no room for doubt about how much of a terrifying monstrosity it is. What he did not do was comment on the size of his swingers. Yes, you read that right.)

    It's the most disappointed I've been since Chris Waddle skied that penalty in Italia '90. It's both insanely boring and obnoxiously revolting; like playing a four-way game of strip chess with Tim Henman, Nigel Mansell and Cliff Richard. It's got a 12A rating, although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with more brain cells than they have holes in their backsides. In the screening I was in - remember this the midnight showing at the IMAX in central London, packed with good-humoured people excited about the film - there was a single laugh in the entire billion years it took to play out, when one robot used a disparaging slang word for cat. It is godawful drivel of the first water.

    And remember, I wanted to LIKE this.

  • Comment number 31.

    Mark Kermode is the worst possible type of movie critic. He has no skills himself , no apparent talents apart from destroying other people's work.

    He loves the sound of his own voice and his rant on the Mayo show yesterday was frankly embarrassing. His agenda against Bay was clear from the start when he referred to him as Damien. It was obvious Kermode was going to slate T2, I knew that and guess what, he did. Wow what a shocker !.

    Kermode probably did not even see the film and wrote his review anyway.

    The thing most grating is that Kermode considers himself so superior to all us mere mortals who may gain some entertainment and pleasure from T2.

    His is a self publicist. He knows his diatribe will get headlines and push his own agenda and over inflated ego still further. I am quite suprised Kerode manages to actually get out of his House in the mornings unless he has had the door frame widened of course.

    Some sheep will probably not see the film now after listening to Kermode's pathetic ranting but I am afraid it will still make over
    $ 600 000 000 at the box office so you see no one really cares what you think or values what you think Kermode.

    Stick to the Polish subtitled arthouse films and suck up to directors no one has ever heard or are ever likely to hear of.

    I do not buy your pathetic review and will see T2 anyway. Sorry if that offends you but you offend me.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ jovialTony - I'm sorry mate, but you could not be more utterly wrong if you were a Mayan prediction for the end of the world. Of course Mark saw it - indeed, he is renowned for lambasting other critics who write reviews of films they haven't seen. But more to the point, he didn't hate Revenge Of The Fallen because he hates Michael Bay, he hated it because it's a terrible film. I went in with great expectations, being a fan of Transformers and having really enjoyed the first film - and I was bored beyond belief. And so were most of the rest of the audience I saw it with. Sorry, but it's the truth.

  • Comment number 33.

    Thre trailers here in Oz run a 10 second totally indiscernible clip of some things blowing up and Megan Fox looking like Megan Fox, then a simple, deep-bassano voice over... "TRANSFORMERS: A MICHAEL BAY FILM". Enough to make me not want to see it at all. I have my memories, and I went all misty eyed in K-Mart yesterday when I saw they'd re-released Starscream and Optimus Prime in their original forms. I learnt from The Phantom Menace....I'm not gonna watch this one!

  • Comment number 34.

    @ jovialTonyMason "Mark Kermode is the worst possible type of movie critic. He has no skills himself , no apparent talents apart from destroying other people's work."

    Actually he's a really good bass player and plays in a very good band. He is also an incredibly entertaining movie reviewer.

    All the reasons you've listed are the same reasons that we all love him. You see, the rest of us understand that, regardless of Mark's remarks, if we want to watch a movie and/or like it, we will.

    And just in case some of you haven't seen this: http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155700

  • Comment number 35.

    Was this a review for the first Transformers or the new one?

    Because watching Mark's review reminded me of the first Transformers. The review was nearly perfict mind. It just lacked random shots of Megan Fox and people putting on silly confused faces.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi, first time blogger but long term listener here. Saw the film last night. Guess what? Bad acting, so-so plot, dubious use of humour and suggestion given the target audience, and it could have lost half an hour and nobody would've noticed.

    D'you know what?

    I DIDN'T CARE!!! It's a film about whacking great robots / toys knocking seven bells out of each other. It is GOING to be loud and daft, of course it is. You want an overly long dumb blockbuster? Then Return Of The King or King Kong (stand up P.Jackson) are as bad, if not worse.

    It is what it is - no more, no less. If you don't like that sort of thing, then don't watch it. It's a free world . . .

  • Comment number 37.

    Now your just taking the Michael!

  • Comment number 38.

    @jovialTonyMason- you are entitled to your opinion about Mark, but can you please not refer to Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen as T2. Within the movie world, T2 is universally the shortened form for Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

    Incase you are completely unaware of this films existence, it has guns, explosions and robots too. The difference being that its directed by James Cameron, somebody who understands that to attain the desired effect of suprise and excitement from his viewers, he must create contrasting elements. For something much bigger to mean something, you must first create interest in the humanity and the point at which an audience can relate. Sorry if I'm beating around the bush...but CHARACTERS THAT YOU CARE ABOUT?

    I agree that every film should be reviewed on its own merits (of which Transformers ROTF has few), but when the director of the movie has consistently panned the viewers in the face with a big can of tripe over a number of years, its hard not to go into a theatre with bias.

    Just deal with it.

  • Comment number 39.

    It's funny that a few of us were only saying the other day that there is no point in the "complain about this comment" option and now I guess it has come in handy as I notice that a comment has been deleted! So it was useful after all! : )

  • Comment number 40.

    This review reminded me of Shinya Tsukamoto's films Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer. I have a feeling, however, that the films to which is refers won't be nearly as unique or interesting.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have no idea why jovialTonyMason's comment was removed.
    I posted that we didn't need the "complain about this comment" feature,so goodbye to that :)

    NOW TO THE SERIOUS STUFF.


    Roadblaster wrote
    "Then Return Of The King or King Kong (stand up P.Jackson) are as bad, if not worse. "

    Am i reading this?Seriously?
    I never thought someone in this world would articulate something like this!!!
    Are you comparing Transformers with LOTR?Have you even seen LOTR?.You my friend must have seen another movie,go to your video store and take it now.
    You can't compare a wheelchair with a Ferrari after all :)

    Listen to 5live for a "better" review of transformers where the good doctor actually makes a review.

  • Comment number 42.

    Return Of The King is as bad. Why? Let me spell out my concerns . . .

    1)Length. Over 3.5 hours of increasing tedium (and the directors cut is over 5 hours, I believe). I have NEVER been in a cinema with some much yawning, muttering, looking at watches, people stretching, etc)
    2) It never ends. Just keeps on going and going, with no end in sight.
    3) Too much CGI, anyone? Far, far more the ROTF
    4) Given that the whole trilogy is over 10 hours long (cinema versions), there is an alarming number of plot holes, coincidence and just ill thought out logic.
    5)Smeagal (sic) / Gollum aside, I just don't care for the characters by the end of the 3rd film. Viggo Mortenson(sic) - great actor, particularly A History Of Violence - has all the charisma of a plank in this
    6) At no point do you really think any of the good guys are in peril - VERY few of them die. Lack's a sense of threat (think of Dr K's criticism of Spider Man 3). They keep coming (and in Gandalf's case, coming back!)
    7) Back to the CGI - hugely ropey in places.

    I'll happily go on if required.

    My point is - if you surrender to the spirit and world of the film, fair enough, you over look the issues. If you choose to be critical, to nit pick, just because you don't like the idea, the franchise, the director - you are more likely to be critical.

    To qualify my view of Peter Jackson, I love Heavenly Creatures (7/10), The Frighteners (8/10), The Fellowship Of The Ring (8/10). The Two Towers was going a bit wobbly (6/10), ROTK is a (4/10), and King Kong is 6/10 at best (though lose an hour, particularly the pathetic ice skating scene, and you've got a much tighter film).

    Over to you!

  • Comment number 43.

    Good arguments about LOTR and let me comment on them.

    1)Length:Godfather= 2 hrs 55 mins,godfather II=3 hrs 30 mins,godfather III=2 hrs 50 mins,Once Upon a Time in the West=2 hrs 45 mins,The Good, the Bad and the Ugly=2 hrs 59 mins and so on...length doesn't necessary mean bad movie,sometimes it means wonderful movies.Just like LOTR :)

    2) "It never ends".Again...length doesn't mean bad movie.

    3) "Too much CGI":I assume you've seen Matrix.Nothing to add more.If CGI is used in a good way then it elevates the movie.If it is used badly..well then it becomes transformers.

    4)"plot holes":The LOTR movies are based on the books from Tolkien so the plot holes are almost absent in comparison with so called historical movies like troy, braveheart and so on.You can't actually use the argument of plot holes in a movie like LOTR.If you used it for Troy i would understand.

    5)characters:I cared.Aragorn,Gandalf,king Theoden,Merry,Frodo,Gollum and even the more cheesy Frodo and Legolas.The movie had more characters and depth than 200 transformers movies all together.

    6)To tell you the truth i felt the good guys lost the war in this movie until the very end.Of course we all knew there was gonna be a happy ending,but until the ring was thrown into the fire,it was pretty intense.Even then,the gollum was fighting till the very end.So that is i believe the definition of a threat.

    7)Why CGI again?i thought you said that before.Running out of points maybe..

    "My point is - if you surrender to the spirit and world of the film, fair enough, you over look the issues. If you choose to be critical, to nit pick, just because you don't like the idea, the franchise, the director - you are more likely to be critical."

    If you don't like the franchise,the idea or the director then you are not being critical,you're just not being objective.I really want to like transformers...i won't dislike it because of Michael Bay,but because it's just bad.

    Over to you.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm still gonna go and see it. Course, I did kinda get excited when I saw Yoda draw his lightsabre in Attack of the Clones.

    To review your review, I thought it was flat, devoid of character had no coherent storyline, and just seemed to consist of one man hitting his head against things. So spot on of Tranformers. Not enough special effects though, so frowny face for that >:(

  • Comment number 45.

    Oh and as for the length arguments - perception of length is important. A good movie should make you want to see more, regardless of length. A movie that makes you think about your arse and make you want to get up - clearly wasn't a movie that could hold your interest long enough to forget about what you were doing, and has therefore overrun.

  • Comment number 46.

    Sensational review Dr. K!

  • Comment number 47.

    Splendid defense. In response . . . .

    1) Totally agree with the point you make about length, but disagree with your conclusion. ROTK IS too long. It meanders for the sake of it. Long films certainly can work (Ten Commandments anyone?) but don't mistake quality for quantity

    2)By it never endss, I meant that the director just could not let it go. I know there were a lot of plot lins to wrap up, but it didn't feel like it - more just stringing it along, because . . .

    3) The CGI point: Matrix is a great film, the CGI adds well to it (being a technology based film, it makes sense). ROTK . . . as I stated in my original defense - and this is a point the good doctor has made with a number of films - there is no sense of the physical. You know the bit in ROTK with Gladriel (sic) fighting the elephant? At no point did I feel that death was imminent. Same for everyone else

    4)Plot holes . . . of course you can. You either have a plot or you don't. If you have a plot, then it can be flawed. ROTK has some doozies in it. Biggest of which is simple: Sauron (sic) is all powerful, all knowing, has armies all over the place, has immense magic, has imbued his own essence to the ring, which he needs to take over again . . . AND HE CAN'T DETECT THE RING WITHIN HIS OWN FORTRESS?!??!!? That is a simply unforgivable point that, to me, shatters the whole illusion of the power of the film (I've never read the book/s, so I cannot comment on how canon it is). But, at the time, having seen all 3 films, I went from being totally into it (FOTR) to losing interest (TTT) to completely giving up (ROTK). And that was as someone who went in with the only expectations of seeing, what I was told , a supremly crafted story. Started great, but by part 3, it wasn't

    5 & 6)Fair point about the characters, I just disagree with you. Simple. As I said before, in the first film, I was interested in the characters. By the third film, I couldn't have cared less - Smeagal apart (who was utterly brilliant throughout the franchise). Did I feel they were actually in peril. Nope. A fact proved that, despite the overwhelming odds and for the main Hobbit protagonists, they'd had no experience of fighting, mangage to survive no matter what. And still I just didn't care.

    7) Slightly different point to before. The CGI isn't great. Not a killer in itself, but to me, it just lost it's effect on me. I just thought, great, more effcts . . . but that was because the film had lost it's hold on me.

    What I think is proven above is that people seem to see it as they want to see it. In my view, ROTK has the above flaws. I know that ROTF shares them in it's own way - of course it does. But you cannot elevate one and denigrate the other without accepting there may be pros & cons to both films. It just isn't that black and white.

    Bay said before that it was going to be the same, just more so, so it wasn't like everyone wasn't warned!


    4)

  • Comment number 48.

    Well said Roadblaster .

    Basically it comes down to taste in movies,so i guess you didn't like LOTR and you won't like it no matter what anyone says.Fair enough.

    Now about the plot holes.There's a reason i mentioned the books LOTR.
    As you said a plot hole could be that Sauron cannot detect the ring.
    This is simply because noone is wearing it :)
    This is all over the books,and that's how the ring works.It has a power over it's bearer,it weakens Frodo down,makes him powerless both physically and psychically only to force him to wear the ring.That's why Sauron cannot detect the hobbits in his own fortress until Frodo wears it and then the eye,the dragons and pretty much everyone turn their attention on the hobbits,remember?That's pretty much the explanation,and the movie makes it clear from the fellowship of the ring so it's definitely not a plot hole.

    As for the rest of your points,we could argue forever without agreeing,so its all about taste in movies.

    Cheers.


  • Comment number 49.

    You're quite right - it is made totally clear througout the films. However, since the ring is imbued with Saurons presence, and the Wraiths are hunting for it far and wide, it just seems to me totally unbelievable given the detail & context of the story he couldn't detect it. Sorry, I just didn't buy it.

    Sad thing is, I loved FOTR. The series just lost me as it went on. Ditto the Matrix trilogy, et al.

    But the good thing is, if people agreed on everything, we'd never have any debate would we? And where would we be then? Personal taste is king. Look at Simon & Mark - one loves U2, the other despises them, and they still get on!

    Ta for a fine debate!

  • Comment number 50.

    Cheers to you back mate!

  • Comment number 51.

    Hello all.

    I have no idea why my comment was removed.

    I was not abusive or used swear words. My tirde against Kermode was not worse than Kermode's tirade against Bay so it appears there are double standards being applied here.

    I guess this is a site where only positive remarks about Kermode and comments to massage his ego still further are allowed and it is a site for fans and lickers of Kermode only.

    Its all very sad but Kermode probably censored my comments himself.

    I guess its the times we live in.

    I fully expect this comment to be removed as well.

    Kind regards.

    Tony
    XX

  • Comment number 52.

    Thank you for that. Remember, ROTF could've been worse - could've been directed by McG & starring Johnny Depp in Jack Sparrah mode . . .

  • Comment number 53.

    Well, at least you didn't go on about how men should only not be allowed to look at beautiful women but only other men, preferably naked and glistening in oil.

  • Comment number 54.

    Oh come on now,where are all the sexy ladies playing ten years their junior at?!
    Bend over,turn to camera,pout,we're making movies!

  • Comment number 55.

    Oh yes ROTF could have been worse..as you said...and i would add..it could be like "Spirit".Then we wouldn't have any debate..

  • Comment number 56.

    I hope they can get mr bay on the show,

  • Comment number 57.

    My BELOVED Dr, whom has caused me to shed so many joyful tears...
    This is THE review to END all reviews... with added PHWOARRRRRR!!
    Immaculate!

  • Comment number 58.

    Not a patch on the Da Vinci Code / Pirates 3 rants!

  • Comment number 59.

    Transformers ROTF is like a 'porn' movie for pre-puberty teens. Only action scenes, repetitive and careless, but this one was too long. I didn't even 'relax'!

  • Comment number 60.

    So the question has to be asked of pretty much everyone who's written on this particular blog . . . what were you expecting? You know the franchise, the director, the form, the 'talent' . . . it was never going to be The Exorcist, was it?

  • Comment number 61.

    On a completely separate topic, I have just read that the good Doctor interviewed Sam Mendes at the Edinburgh film festival. Would love to see or hear this interview, anybody know if it is going to be broadcast at some point? Maybe on the Culture Show or something? I am just wondering if Mark told him that he was hoping Angelina Jolie would win the Oscar instead of his Mrs!! : )

  • Comment number 62.

    I just literally laughed out loud! Classic review. Great work by the sound engineer too.
    A 150 min running time and my tortuous experience at the last Transformers film mean I'll be giving it a miss, but this review has given me my Michael Bay fix until the next one!
    Regards, Will Martyn, West Sussex.

  • Comment number 63.

    I saw it on friday.

    It was like the first one but with the stupidity and eye-numbing, brain-melting visual orgasm amplified to an even higher degree. It is the closest you can get to someone bashing your head with a gong-cymbal and assaulting your senses with loud, crass, metallic noises.

    And it goes on for twelve hours. Or what feels like it.

    Michael Bay has no mercy on your soul. It is as if you're stuck in a coma having a waking nightmare (that goes on and on) where you are being subject to the worst of the possible elements. Everytime you look you see little dogs humping big dogs, a giant brass robot ballsack above you etc,etc... Shia Lebouf trying to act possessed and mystical but coming off like someone with asperger's and an acute condition of tourette's.

    Michael Bay has about as much grasp on comedic timing that his films have sense, rhythm or pace - which is no a lot. It was as if an 8 year-old penned the most annoying, shallow, unfunny and downright retarded script of the year. Add that to a director who feels like he as an outright disdain for his audience, spraying visual/auditory diarrhea all over your receptors and you've got the most migraine inducing experience of the year.

  • Comment number 64.

    I could care less about the new transformers movie or michael bay for that matter, this kind of mindless fodder is just another death knell for film goers that want to see in-depth, interesting and challenging cinema. Good Dr. you are indeed right about a former comment about michael bay being the devil incarnate. Don't even get me started about how unbelievably rubbish pearl harbour was, my memory of it still makes me wince even now. If you want to see a film about pearl harbour watch tora tora tora.

  • Comment number 65.

    Imagine Michael Bay sitting on his couch at home ,reading all the bad reviews in the paper and going "who cares??" i made a gazillion dollars,wait till you'll see my next movie!!

  • Comment number 66.

    @jovialTonyMason - Of course Dr K has notable skills (apart from his musical ones). Being a decent film critic requires more than just having an annual pass to your local Cineworld and being able to quote The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

    The reason Dr K is a much better film critic than most others is that he is actually knowledgeable, unafraid to speak his mind and not just a promotional lackey, and hugely entertaining to boot. The wide knowledge of culture, history, insight, film lore and film making he brings to the subject is what sets his reviews apart. Not to mention his meticulous Renee Zellweger impressions.

  • Comment number 67.

    ps. As an ex-BBC employee, I assure you that Dr Kermode wouldn't have removed the comment himself!

  • Comment number 68.

    The other reason that Mark is head and shoulders above other critics is that if he is wrong - and proven so - he'll admit it (Neil Young, Chris Columbus, etc). That rare combination - humourous & humility.

    Is it too late to get him to stand for speaker? Imagine the rants!!

  • Comment number 69.

    I don't suppose that there's any chance of your TFII review going onto video? I'd love to link to it on youtube to all the people whom I know are going to love the movie.

  • Comment number 70.

    I wonder if they will put this on the DVD; there are 2 disks to fill and I don't think there will be much call for a Directors Commentary as I assume Mr Bay speaks like Sean Penn circa Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    "Dude, wow that like robot is like totally awesome".

  • Comment number 71.

    Doc,

    Outstanding review! I couldn't have put it better myself.

    However, let's get serious. Elbow the talentless hack that perpetrated these retarded wham bam thank you ma'am atrocities, I'm more concerened about the mighty Amblin beard. He may only be executive producer of this insult to celluloid, but why the hell is Spielberg apologizing for the terrific, balls-of-steel Munich - because, I'm telling you, that's exactly what he's doing.

  • Comment number 72.

    Still waiting for an answer as to why everyone on this blog who has pasted the film actually went to see it, and what they were expecting. I went to see it because . . .

    1) It's Transformers
    2) Big CGI robots transforming, fighting etc
    3) Better to see it at the cinema that on DVD
    4) I liked the first film, and was expecting more of the same

    I was aware that the plot was going to be a bit hokey, the acting perhaps a little ripe, and Megan Fox perhaps not the most vital of acting talents in this particular piece. As I've stated before, I didn't care! My inner 13 year old (I'm 35 this year, so I'm prime (bad pun!) age for this) was what enjoyed this film.

    You are talking about a franchise based on toys, comics, cartoons, and money. That's it. It's empty, disposable, leave-your-brain-at-the-door entertainment. So what's the problem?

    It's curious that the week before Dr K was commenting on Last House On The Left, and how the original was vitally important of it's time. True, as were the Hills Have Eyes & The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (all originals, not the remakes). Yet these films are violent (obviously), misogynistic, with some what variable levels of acting, direction and story. Do I deny their importance? Nope. Does this make them GOOD? Matter of opinion, isn't it?

    (Which reminds me - a film Dr K mentioned in this review as well, Driller Killer - terrible. Utter, utter, utter dross. One persons art is another's toilet roll. Only my opinion, mind . . . )

    Mark did allude to this in his review - studios do the big tent pole releases, that allow them to fund smaller, perhaps more character driven pieces. Maybe this is the trade of you have to take? Just because something is big and (dare I say) popular, is it bad? The Pixar films are always succesful, are they bad? No! People LIKE them - the box-office just proves that.

    So I ask again . . . what where you expecting, and why did you go?

  • Comment number 73.

    Oops, noticed some bad spelling in the previous rant. Sorry!

  • Comment number 74.

    Roadblaster. Do now hold your breath for a reply. Most of the people slagging it off have probably not seen it and follow Kermode around like a pack of Sheep. Read some of the over the top sickly praise for him on this thread. YUCK !. And Kermode showing humility. PPEEELLLLEEEAAAASSSSEEEE !.

    Clearly this site is for people who have no minds of their own and just accept and agree with everything Kermode says.

  • Comment number 75.

    Dear all

    Unaccustomed as I am to posting (rather than filming) replies on the Kermode Uncut blog Ive noticed something I want to address.

    Logging on yesterday I saw that a post by JovialTonyMason had been removed and referred to the moderator. As you probably know, the BBC checks its boards for any material which contravenes house rules and apparently someone had considered JTMs post potentially defamatory to me. I disagree my own feeling is that anyone logging onto this blog has the right to hold and express any opinions about my movie reviewing, and indeed I actively encourage criticism here at Kermode Uncut. Obviously, we all have to watch our language (which JTM did) and the BBC will still remove anything (said by you or me) that is libellous, racist, etc. But beyond that, I have asked that your opinions about my opinions be allowed to stand no matter how forcefully expressed. After all, if I can call Michael Bay Damien, why shouldnt JTM be allowed to call me useless?

    The mods are in the process of replacing JTMs removed comment, but for the meantime here it is, in its entirety, with my blessing.

    Feel free to speak your mind.




    JovialTonyMason:
    "Mark Kermode is the worst possible type of movie critic. He has no
    skills himself , no apparent talents apart from destroying other
    people's work.

    He loves the sound of his own voice and his rant on the Mayo show
    yesterday was frankly embarrassing. His agenda against Bay was clear
    from the start when he referred to him as Damien. It was obvious Kermode
    was going to slate T2, I knew that and guess what, he did. Wow what a
    shocker !.

    Kermode probably did not even see the film and wrote his review anyway.

    The thing most grating is that Kermode considers himself so superior to
    all us mere mortals who may gain some entertainment and pleasure from
    T2.

    His is a self publicist. He knows his diatribe will get headlines and
    push his own agenda and over inflated ego still further. I am quite
    suprised Kerode manages to actually get out of his House in the mornings
    unless he has had the door frame widened of course.

    Some sheep will probably not see the film now after listening to
    Kermode's pathetic ranting but I am afraid it will still make over
    $ 600 000 000 at the box office so you see no one really cares what you
    think or values what you think Kermode.

    Stick to the Polish subtitled arthouse films and suck up to directors no
    one has ever heard or are ever likely to hear of.

    I do not buy your pathetic review and will see T2 anyway. Sorry if that
    offends you but you offend me."

  • Comment number 76.

    Now that's a fine response from the Good Doctor.
    The blog feels more alive now,i believe the doctor drinks a fine scotch and reads all the posts at the end of the day...and i BET IT'S THE BEST PART OF HIS DAY,apart from going to the cinema.
    Cheers to you Doc...but still you were wrong about drag me to hell :)remember no double standards applied.

  • Comment number 77.

    Ha ha genius. Sure there's more than can be said about this moive, as at has been on Mark's radio review, but this encapsulates the very core of what it is about Bay that makes him such a bloody insufferable and quite frankly movie director. Bravo!

  • Comment number 78.

    jovialTonyMason there might be some truth on your previous comment,but i really don't think the "sheep" from this blog won't watch transformers just because the Doc said its awful.I happen to agree with him most of the time but i also disagree with him.Drag me to hell,Terminator salvation,hannah montana,angels and demons,rambo.Those are the ones that i disagree with his reviews.I simply can't agree when someone tells me that hannah montana and drag me to hell are good movies but TS and Rambo is not.It just doesn't fit.

    Roadblaster has a very good point in saying that you must leave your brain outside before going to watch Transformers otherwise you won't enjoy it.The problem is that i did that,and i still thought it was rubbish.Maybe others will like it,and for sure Michael Bay is not Damien....he just needs to attend some directing courses..for a year!

  • Comment number 79.

    ...frankly BAD movie director. Was what I ment to write.

    In answer to Roadblaster, no I havent seen it and to some part for the reasons you mention in that I did go and see the first movie becuase:

    1)It's Transformers - I have been a massive fan since the recieving my very first Transformer way back in 1985.
    2) Big CGI robots transforming, fighting etc - I had already become quite excited by the Citron ads, the idea of seeing my favorite Transformers up there in glorious CGI action was very exiting to me.
    3) Better to see it at the cinema that on DVD - Very true especially a huge expensive CGI effects extravganza like this.

    However I didnt go and see TF2 becuase:

    4) I hated first film, and was expecting more of the same.

    I'm not going to go into why as this blog is about TF2 not the original and so in essance I can't say if Mark is right or wrong in his critique of this movie but I can say that I agreed with his critique of the first movie and everything he has said about this one matches the expectations I had of its sequel. Therfore I will not be going to see it on the stength of my expectation not Marks confirmation of them.

  • Comment number 80.

    I haven't been to see TF2 yet, I've listened to Marks review of it and I know before seeing it that I will agree with his sentiments, but I will still go and see it....
    Why? I will probably love all the PHWOAR! moments and if honest will probably like more PHWOAR! moments. In fact if they removed all the dialogue and had a cracking rock soundtrack over all of it, it probably would be a great PHWOAR! experience. Don't care about the story, certainly didn't care about it in the first film and that was totally ruined for me as soon as the robots spoke.
    Then I will leave the cinema feeling thoroughly ashamed of my pleasure at the PHWOAR! moments, but it's hard to keep the 13 year old side of me in check. I will try and atone for it by watching something more worthy the day after....

  • Comment number 81.

    Sleeeves - thanks for the response. All your comments fair enough - I don't think you can MAKE people like stuff, even if they are natuarally inclined to love it. Example: I wanted to love Godzilla a few years back, but lets's be honest, it's not perfect, is it?

    Defeis - if you left your brain at the door and you still didn't like it, fair enough.

    jovialTonyMason - any response is a good response. Just because I liked the film (7/10 for me!), I'm not expecting everyone else to. But I'm enjoying debating the whys and whatnots of the reason, as opposed to just slating / praising whatever, because that's what everyone else is doing.

    And Mark has always admitted when he's wrong - the Neil Young one comes to mind. I agree with about 50% of his reviews, but that doesn't make the other 50% any less entertaining to listen to!

  • Comment number 82.

    Is that a rather large bald spot under Mark's carefully combed quiff?

  • Comment number 83.

    Big fan of Michael Bay's work then?

    It does seem much like the work of an excitable schoolboy who somehow managed to convince a production team that he had a workable script, ah well, special effects triumph over substance once again!

  • Comment number 84.

    Wow what can I say.

    A personal address from Mark Kermode himself.

    I have to admit as much as it kills me Mark has gone up 1000% in my estimations of him and the fact he was big enough to put my post back which although not abusive ( particularly ) it was hardly flattering to him.

    We will agree to disagree Mark but fair play to you for the gesture.

    I can't hate you anymore. DAMN ! LOL.

    Kind regards.

    Tony

  • Comment number 85.

    I like splosions! Lots of splosions! *drools* Need more splosions. Shootin' for 5 nucular splosions in my next film. Gonna be called "Splosion: The Nucular Musical"

  • Comment number 86.

    For the record I love the big blockbuster films as I am fairly easily pleased and in these awful credit crunch times complete escapism with 30 feet Robots knocking seven bells out of each other is just what the GP ordered for me but for the record I am a HUGE Steven Spielberg Fan and love his films. The last decade my best films are

    Downfall
    The Machinist

    And wait for it.

    August Rush - criminally under rated and this film has special meaning to me. Its is beautiful and perfect.

  • Comment number 87.

    So... did you like it?

  • Comment number 88.

    Quite.

    Personally, Mr. Jovial, I would love nothing more than to read your extensive, finely crafted, highly tuned, STRONG OPINION of...sorry was it T2, or Transformers: Revenge of the Avid...by you (once you've, eventually, seen the film of course) so as to convince us all as to why it is Bay's Magnum Optimus.

    All I can add is that Doc Mark Kermode should be presenting Film 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 and so on.

    Come on Pauline Kael, do your worst.

    A sheep who saw the film.

  • Comment number 89.

    I LOVED Transformers.

    I thought it was a very good film with a decent enough story for a cartoon based robots at war film.

    I ecpect T2 to be more of the same.

    I am expecting superb action scenes, jaw dropping special effects which raise the bar further and speciall effects and cgi even though it is populist to slag it off is still an art.

    I am howver not expceting a Shakesperean story or an Oscar winning worthy acting performance from Shia.

    For the record I believe the greatest ever film is Schindler's List.

    Fill your boots.

    Kind Regards.

    Tony
    XXXX

  • Comment number 90.

    My top 15 films for your perusal and deriding.

    1. Schindler's List
    2. ET - The Extraterrestrial
    3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    4. Downfall
    5. The Machinist
    6. August Rush

    In no particular order

    Gladiator
    The Elephant Man
    Field of Dreams
    Somewhere in Time
    Magnolia
    Napolean Dynamite
    The Silence of the Lambs
    Eraserhead
    Saving Private Ryan
    Pulp Fiction
    The English Patient
    Se7en


  • Comment number 91.

    best review ever - summed it up nicely

  • Comment number 92.

    On the contrary, there are some quality productions in your favoured canon: Se7en, Pulp Fiction, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Silence of the Lambs, Gladiator (which utilizes CGI effectively and sparingly for creating art), Close Encounters and Schindler's List are all great films. The Machinist is brilliant.

    The trouble is you've yet to see Transformers 2. How can you tear into someone and their STRONG OPINION of a film if you haven't even seen the thing?!

  • Comment number 93.

    I am a little bit concerned about this whole "Sheep" thing. I think everyone that comments on this site is pretty good at giving Mark what for when we think he is wrong. That is what I particularly like about it. I also like the fact that Mark responds to a lot of questions and quite often addresses the criticisms and concerns of the posters. To say that this site is obviously tailored towards people with no minds of their own, who just accept or agree with what Mark says is not true at all. You only have to look back at the great Audrey Tautou debate to see that people definitely have a go when they think he has gone too far!

    With this is in mind I am very glad that the original post by JovialTonyMason has been put back on the site. I cannot for the life of me see why this was removed in the first place. I can only surmise that somebody got a bit eager with the old "Complain about this post" button. Yes it was a harsh criticism of Mark, but you know, he is a big boy and I am sure he can take it! : )

    Now, as for your top 15 films Mr Jovial, there is not much in there that would be a source of much derision to be quite honest with you. I was particularly impressed with the inclusion of Somewhere in Time, I mean talk about coming from left field! : )

  • Comment number 94.

    Spielberg's first question when interviewing directors should have been "do you like the concept of Transformers? Which are your favourite characters?" The fact Bay was ignorant of Transformers meant he should not have been chosen to direct. Characterisation is actually central to the Transformers concept; Bob Budiansky envisioned the Transformers as "everymen", anthropomorphic pastiches of humans. Transformers without characterisation of the robots is not Transformers. The whole point is that they are sentient, and alot of the pathos and humour comes from how like us they are. The emphasis on the human characters is insulting, because it is based on the assumption we cannot empathise with the robots, even though the cartoon and comics clearly proved that we can. The wealth of characters and stories they have to draw on is immense and any filmmaker with passion and imagination could come up with something amazing. In particular the religious subtext of Transformers lore, surrounding Primus, is pure dynamite for any intelligent writer. The idea of robots, created by a God in his image (and I'd add that Primus, in one of the comic's most subversive twists, does not care much about his creations...imagine how the US Christian fundies would react to THAT in a blockbuster movie) is a pretty amazing one because it challenges alot of our perception of robots and ourselves. I'll bet you Spielberg would have shot down any attempt to make a smart TF movie. But Spielberg and Bay could not give a shit about that, he wants a dumb TF movie, in the case of Spielberg, to fund his vanity projects and Oscar bids.

    To reiterate, Transformers without proper characterisation of the robots, is NOT Transformers.

    Mark, please watch this, this amateur adaptation of the comic/graphic novel War Within is much truer to the spirit of Transformers than Bay:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN5RkRYsru0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2w8_37549M&NR=1

    And if you think TF is just robots hitting each other, prepare to be shocked:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tffbekYOh04

  • Comment number 95.

    Michael Bay said he won't direct the third film (YAY!)
    A memo was leaked where Michael Bay criticised the studio execs for not getting behind the film.

    Having now seen the film I see why. The staggering racial stereotypes spread across the movie must have got Paramount sweating, especially when you consider the recent political goings on in the USA. If they could have stopped it from opening at all and sent it straight to DVD they would have.

  • Comment number 96.

    What Suguler wrote = WIN

    Yes there is and always was more to Transformers than Robots beating the cr*p out of each other and then bumbling about like the three stooges between fight scene while a moronic teen drama set against the backdrop of a generic disaster movie unfolds. Unfortunately Bay knew nothing about that when he and wouldn't know what to do with it if he had.

    As for the 'Bay wont be directing TF3' rumour, isn't that based on a mis quote? Didn't Paramount announce a provisional release date for TF3 of July 2011 and Bay react with "2011! No way! I said 2012! I need some down time dude!" which basically equates to he will do TF3 but in 2012 not 2011.

  • Comment number 97.

    For anyone on Twitter, may I recommend following this: http://twitter.com/michael_bay

    Very funny.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have to say I disagree with Dr K on this one, and normally I consider Marks reviews with the highest regard. I am not a cinematic idiot, but I am not prepared to jump on the bandwagon of criticizing a film because it succumbs to a generic formula, style or presentation. Michael Bay likes to blow stuff up and provide no nonsense, brain in the underpants, action.

    If some of the casual reviewers posting responses abandoned their desire to counter the general consensus, and appear as the intellectual cool, movies would be viewed as movies and cinema would be seen as cinema.

    Transformers is not trying to be The Assassination of Jesse James. Dont try and force it or you will miss the point entirely.

    This film is exactly what it was supposed to be. Loud, Exciting and Fun. I saw the film last night and thought it was fantastic. I loved the first one and Revenge of the Fallen was more of the same. I dont care that it was more of the same, thats what I went to the cinema to see. The plot has holes (and!), some of the acting is weak (who cares) and I came out with an ear canal in a similar state to how it was at the grand prix on the weekend and download before that.

    That is what I wanted to see and feel, and judging by the reaction of the packed cinema that is what they wanted as well. I didnt want considered subtlety last night, but no brainer fun. Just because it will be popular and the mainstream will like it, is no reason to regard it as rubbish. If I want to see the most captivating characterisation and acting talent I will watch There will be Blood or Bronson (the two finest actors currently in the business). LaBeouf and Fox dont pretend to be Day-Lewis or Hardy, and what they do embodies what Transformers is about.

    This cinematic snobbery is one of the factors that stopped me pursuing higher education in film. Even at A-Level, the prejudices shown towards that which does not come from or represent a socialist ideology were unbearable. God forbid a business (which Paramount, Warner, DreamWorks and Hasbro are) should intend to fulfil the primary goal of any business in a competitive market and make a profit. Yeah Im a 22 year old student who grew up with Transformers toys and Jurassic Park, but I think my opinion is just as valid as any others. And to make my point of how good I feel this movie is, here are my top 10 films (no particular order)

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    There will be Blood
    Jurassic Park
    The Musketeers of Pig Alley
    Transformers
    Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
    The Man Who Wasnt There
    Double Indemnity
    The Thin Red Line

    Tim

  • Comment number 99.

    Tim . . . absolutely spot on. Totally agree with no reservations at all.

    Just to join in the listing fun, my top favoutite films 10 (in rough order) are . . .

    1) Jaws
    2) Dirty Harry
    3) Death On The Nile
    4) 12 Angry Men
    5) The French Connection
    6) Grease
    7) Spider-Man
    8) Terminator 2
    9) A Nightmare On Elm Street
    10) The Wedding Singer

    Please note: I'm not saying these are the best films ever!!! Feel free to slate . . .

  • Comment number 100.

    Sorry, cack spelling again, should be favourite . . .

 

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