Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009): Action! Explosions! Michael Bay! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
God. Ok. This movie is easily the worst movie of the franchise. (Though I have yet to see the fourth one so you never know.) Why does it earn this exclusive title you might ask? Well, it took everything the first movie did wrong and magnified it a thousand fold. Movie's too long? Ok, let's make it longer! 150 minutes instead of 144 yah! Shaky cam super annoying? Ok let's do it even more than we did in the first one! Yah! Action sequences hard to follow? Well, adding more Autobots and Decepticons should solve that problem, right? Yah, definitely. Oh, we don't know how to deliver witty dialogue? Ok, let's just try throwing in witty dialogue with EVERY SINGLE LINE. That should work right? And who needs emotion? Nah! Let's just wing it. Bumblebee your favorite character? Ok we'll bait you in with him in the first act, then all but remove him in the second and third. Why? Because f*ck you. That's why. Seriously. I feel like Michael Bay looked at a checklist of what didn't work in the first movie, and instead of dumbing those things down, he magnified them. Here, Mr. Bay, let me tell you about the last time that idea worked...........................hang on still trying to think of it...........oh right. IT NEVER DOES. I don't even want to waste more time with this review, but I need to explain exactly why this movie finds its way into my worst movies of the 2000s.
Ok, so remember that one time you felt emotion while watching a Transformers movie? That moment where you actually cared about what was happening to the characters on the screen in front of you? No? Well that's because Transformers is completely void of any emotion at all. This is a huge strike against any action movie, and Transformers is no exception.. Now, before you go off and remind me of the existence of "popcorn flicks", let's take a moment to remember what that is. A "popcorn flick" is a big stupid action movie where you don't care about the characters on the screen in front of you but the action is so wildly enjoyable that it doesn't matter. The best example of 2013 is Pacific Rim. The (current) best example of 2014 is Godzilla. You don't care about any of the characters in Godzilla, (even though the movie put way too much emphasis on them) but man when Godzilla comes on screen and roars and fights you get goosebumps it's so much fun. This movie has about 20 seconds of enjoyment when Optimus Prime pulls out a second sword and takes on several Decepticons simultaneously. But then you immediately go back to the incredibly hard-to-follow action sequences when you are baffled by how Optimus manages to be completely isolated from all his Autobot companions after they were all just fighting alongside each other moments prior. All the Decepticons are taking on Optimus, but he's just all by himself. That's the kind of thing you ask yourself whenever any action sequence takes place in this movie. Which removes any chance of enjoyment during the explosions. That big fight sequence at the end in Iran or wherever they were is one of the worst action sequences I have ever seen. It made literally no sense, as seemingly hundreds of Decepticons randomly show up and take on all seven Autobots and a handful of marines and somehow don't kill them instantly. Or the fact that this Fallen individual who's the lead bad guy here doesn't show up until the very end of the battle after his one and only weakness is made available again. You may say that I'm getting too picky, but really! It's ridiculous! And that's on top of the shaky cam and not knowing where anyone or anything is. All of the sudden Megatron is right on top of Sam and then all the sudden he isn't! It's just.....stupid! And unenjoyable. And then there's the dialogue. Which is awful. Michael Bay doesn't know what the word humor means, so I think trying to make every line in the movie funny is not the best idea. But he did it anyway! Entire plot lines were stupid, like Ramon Rodriguez's character. Everything Sam's roommate did was stupid and unfunny. The defense secretary shutting down the task force and the Autobots made no sense either. Hey! A bunch of Decepticons just showed up! What are we going to do? Ask the Autobots to fight them? Nah! That would make sense! And the entire "I can't say 'I love you'" storyline was unbelievable and ridiculous. I feel like I'm saying those words a lot. But it's true! All these stupid and ridiculous things happen in this movie, which makes the movie......ready? Stupid and ridiculous.
There are exactly three reasons why this movie isn't a complete disaster. 1) The scene where Optimus Prime pulls out a second sword and takes on a bunch of Decepticons brought me about 20 seconds of enjoyment. 2) There is one scene that actually brings out some emotion. And it gets me every single time I watch this movie. Shia LeBouf's character's (Sam) dad is played by Kevin Dunn. Aka the one semi-talented actor in this whole godforsaken mess. He is given exactly 30 seconds to show off his acting chops as Sam tries to get his mom and dad to leave the big action sequence at the end of the movie and leave their son behind. Kevin Dunn nails this scene as a dad being forced to leave his son in a warzone. And it gets me every time. Even though this is immediately followed up by LeBouf telling Megan Fox to go with them and she's like, "Nah." And he's like, "Kay." And I'm like, "Seriously?" I don't know if that was grammatically correct, but DON'T YOU LECTURE ME ABOUT GRAMMAR. Oh ya and kudos to Shia LeBouf having way too much fun playing this character. He's not doing a good job of it but at least he's having fun, right? Anyway. 3) The score once again is great. Again it's just a constant rehash of the official Linkin Park song of the movie, this time called New Divide, but it still swells at the right times and everything. These three points bring this movie up to a stellar 1.5/10. Oh I just spoiled my verdict didn't I?
Ok so have I adequately explained why this movie is terrible? I sure hope so. If you think that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a good movie, let me introduce you to Pacific Rim. Or a James Bond movie. Or any other half-decent popcorn flick, for that matter. Then if you still think this is a good movie, well.....you might want to go see a doctor. I don't know what for, but you should probably go see one.
The Critique: Michael Bay basically just threw the entire world of Transformers at a brick wall to see if anything would stick. Unfortunately, nothing did, leading to one of the worst movies of the 2000s.
The Recommendation: get a bunch of friends over, (maybe) get rather intoxicated, and then laugh at the movie. Cause you sure as hell aren't going to be laughing with it.
Rewatchability: Oh my God low
The Verdict: 1.5/10 Almost Unwatchable
Transformers (2007): EXPLOSIONS! ROBOTS! CGI! MEGAN FOX! ACTION! I CAN'T HANDLE IT!
I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD DO THIS REVIEW IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT'S A MICHAEL BAY MOVIE. No. No that would be stupid. Enter the Movies is better than Michael Bay. Right? RIGHT? Look, Michael Bay is the Adam Sandler of action movies. There's no way around it unfortunately. I like some of his earlier stuff. I think Pearl Harbor is a very good movie. I think The Rock is good too, even though that's mostly because it's about Alcatraz and has Sean Connery and John Spencer in it. I even put Armageddon on my list of guilty pleasure movies. I mean who doesn't like I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing??? But man has everything else he's EVER done been TERRIBLE. This falls into that category of everything else. Look, I'm going to keep this review short and save my rant for the sequel, which is one of the worst movies of the 2000s. But here's the problem with this movie: there's no emotional weight to it. You could not give two sh*ts about the characters in the movie. You know you have a problem when the only character you even remotely care about is a giant yellow robot who can't talk for some reason.
Why is this the case you might ask? How about the fact that the acting is TOTALLY OVERDONE? God, who thought it would be a good idea to pair Megan Fox and Shia LeBeouf (was he ever famous?) together? WHO THOUGHT OF THAT IDEA. I WANT THAT INDIVIDUAL FIRED. Except, here's the thing! That person is probably Michael Bay. God d*mnit. These two have no chemistry whatsoever, and it's because they aren't given any chance to develop. At all. Not that it would've made a difference but still, they go from two friends to lovers in the span of about 5 minutes. Wait, what? I would never buy the notion that Megan Fox's character would even start this whole adventure with LeBeouf's character let alone somehow fall in love with him. It is laughably bad. No one else is given any chance to develop any character either, as the movie will just throw new characters at you and expect you to immediately care for them. Like the entire Sector 7 premise is thrown in well into act two of this 144 minute disaster and we are supposed to just accept that it exists and that they somehow brought Megatron down from the Arctic Circle to the Hoover Dam without anyone noticing? Oh is that a spoiler? Does it matter? I think the entire world has seen this movie by now so it doesn't matter. Oh ya, Jon Voight is in this. Ya. He actually has a kinda-sorta-major role, even though he is cash-grabbing to the MAX here. Though it's not the worst cash-grab he's ever done. Let's just take a moment to remember that he was and always will be in SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2. That movie makes this movie look like Citizen Kane. But he's still pretty bad. Just like the rest of the acting in the movie.
Ok, so it's not all bad. The robots do look pretty cool and that action sequences are relatively well-done, minus the shaky-cam. The regular readers know that shaky-cam and I do not get along, but for you newcomers, first of all welcome to my sanity check and second know I don't like shaky-cam. I want to be able to see what's going on! I don't need some cheap mechanic trying to increase tension during the action sequences hindering my ability to respect what's happening on the screen. However some of the one-shots during the action sequences were actually amazing. The sweeping one-shots going back and forth between the good guys and the bad guys shooting at each other were ahead of their time in 2007. And just as cool as they are today. Bernie Mac is also in this movie. He, without a doubt, brings the most humor to the movie with his (likely improv'd) lines. When Bernie Mac is in a movie as bad as this it really lets him shine and you realize just how great of a comedic actor he really was. God rest his soul. The score is also really cool. Sure it's just a symphonic version of the main song of the film, Linkin Park's What I've Done, but it's still quite good. That's just about it. I will go more into why these movies are really bad in my next review.
The Critique: a typical Michael Bay movie. CGI porn with no emotional backing whatsoever.
The Recommendation: if you haven't already seen this movie, you're doing it right.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 2.5/10 Somewhere Between Bad and Awful
21 Jump Street (2012): A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I'm sure you have missed me profusely. Every night lying in bed wondering....."When oh when will Enter the Movies post another movie review?" Well, my friends and lovely readers, the answer is here. It's today, by the way. In case you couldn't figure it out. Because you're reading this right now. Today. Whatever day that might be for you. You didn't miss me at all did you? No? Ok well uh.......I guess I should review this movie or something. Right! Ready? No? Ok here we go!
21 Jump Street. Inspired by a crazy late 80's buddy-cop comedy by the same name, (starring a young Johnny Depp in a rare non-movie role, fun fact) the modern interpretation has already gone down as one of the smartest and funniest comedies of 2012. After watching this movie in 2014, on the cusps of its inevitable sequel, I'm going to have to say.....yes. Yes it is one of the best comedies if not the best comedy of 2012. That isn't saying much, as 2012 was a notoriously bad year for comedies, but this movie's formula of buddy-cop, satirical cop, and parody of itself styles work perfectly. Did that make sense? No, not really. It's been a while, so I'm a little rusty. It successfully blends a buddy-cop comedy together with a satirical cop movie, as well as the fact that it's a parody of itself from start to finish. Hopefully that one made sense and if it didn't, well too bad. Everyone in this movie knows it's a ridiculous premise, and they love pointing out the fact that it is. But it's never once overtly pointed out. If Tatum or Hill in this movie had just flat out said, man this is ridiculous, why would anyone believe we are in high school? It wouldn't have been funny. However, if there's a running gag in the movie of everyone pointing out the fact that Channing Tatum looks like he's 40, but they still buy the premise, then it's funny. The movie, on several occasions, breaks the fourth wall, however they never overtly do so. That's what makes it so smart! And the bond between Tatum and Hill is legitimate enough that when the plot gets going, you root for them! You know, as you're supposed to in a buddy-cop comedy. And the car chases in the third act are some of the best satirical car chases I have ever seen. I was rolling on the floor laughing with some of the gags in those scenes. Without a doubt the best part of the movie. All of these elements together make for a wonderfully hilarious 109 minutes.
Now, there are some flaws in this movie. For one, the third act is waaaaaaaaay too long. I mean holy crap it's practically half of the movie! There's just too much concluding and tying up of loose ends here. Honestly I would've been cool if the Hill-Larson romance had been left unconcluded. Maybe because it's my least favorite part of the whole movie. But it's tied up. Oh well. Additionally, I did not buy Channing Tatum's storyline at all. He goes from major jock to major nerd practically overnight. While Hill's story I bought into, I did not buy Tatum's story. In any way, shape, or form. But, as the rule of comedies go, it doesn't matter as long as you laugh. And boy did I laugh from start to finish in this movie. At the end of the day that's all that really matters in a comedy.
Ok, other aspects of the movie to talk about....the score was very underutilized, unfortunately. I just watched the movie and I can only really remember one cool musical montage. But, sometimes that's ok. You don't always need pop music to remind you of how you're supposed to feel at that moment, so I didn't really miss it. The acting was awesome. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were amazing together. Without that duo this movie suffers tremendously for sure. I hope to see them together in future movies that aren't named 22 (or 23) Jump Street. The dialogue was largely improv'd, and the strong supporting cast of Brie Larson, Rob Riggle, Dave Franco, and of course Ice Cube (though he only plays one character in all of his movies, I'm ok with it) hold their own against Hill and Tatum. And the cameos throughout are fantastic. There's just so much hilarity packed into 109 minutes. And only a few dick and butt jokes. Well, ok more than a few, but definitely less than This is the End (my top comedy of 2013) and Neighbors (my top comedy of 2014 thus far) so if you want to a watch a good comedy that isn't super-repulsive, pick 21 Jump Street. If you haven't already. Really I feel silly making recommendations on this movie because I feel like everyone's seen it but if you somehow haven't, then check it out! Ok? Ok. Time for 22 Jump Street. Peace.
The Critique: A wonderful blend of buddy cop, satire, and parody, 21 Jump Street is without a doubt the funniest comedy of 2012.
The Recommendation: If dick and butt jokes don't totally repulse you, and you haven't seen this movie yet, listen to your friends (and me!) and check this out.
The Verdict: 8.5/10 Somewhere between great and awesome.
Ok so I'm back! I know I've missed a lot of summer movies in recent weeks, but I'll play catchup. Let's have some fun!
"Like" Enter the Movies on Facebook for the latest and greatest on all things movies! OR ELSE FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A KILLER RABBIT. Sorry about this one, guys. Not my decision. He volunteered. And is just absolute dynamite!