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Worth Getting Up at 4:45 AM

26 Jun 2009

Me: Hey, Pete.  You called and left me a message.

Pete (who’s in Ontario and two time zones away): Ann?  What time is it for you?

Me: Sixish.

Pete: Why?

Me: I’m leaving early today to watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  I want to catch the matinee when the theatre’s not packed.

He laughs.  Uncontrollably.

Me: Yeah.  I won’t get up this early for work unless I’m on-call, but I’ll do it for Transformers.

Pete: The critics trashed it.

Me: That’s because the critics can’t accept that Michael Bay isn’t Ang Lee.  Bay is about good-looking people spouting one-liners, slick CGI, fast action sequences, and big explosions.  And it burns those same critics that while his movies will never win the Oscar for Best Picture, they make stupid amounts of money.  The first Transformers brought in $700 million and this one’s brought in $120 million on opening day.  Yeah, I’m definitely seeing it.

Pete: You know Bumblebee’s a Volkswagen Beetle, not a Camaro.

Me: Dude, I watched the original animated series religiously.  I know.  I also know Optimus’s girlfriend.

Pete: Optimus has a girlfriend?

Me (shaking my head): You can no longer call yourself a Transformers fan.

I saw the movie; I loved the movie; I will be adding the movie to my home collection. The script doesn’t stick to the origins in the original animated series, but that’s understandable because too many things in the series would not make sense to an audience over the age of ten and a lot has happened in the world since 1986. (Do they even make cassette players anymore?)

Anyway, I’m not going to recap the movie because the plot is just an excuse for a lot of fighting and shooting and blowing things up. A few of my favorite characters made it into the sequel. I like the animated Jetfire, but I LOVE the new Jetfire. He’s ancient and cranky and funny as hell. Wheelie’s as cute as ever…but I don’t remember him as quite as horny in the animated series. I’m still waiting for the Dinobots (who doesn’t love Grimlock?), but I don’t see how they can be worked into a modern day story.

A noticeable difference in the sequel is Bay slowed down the transformations so you can actually see changes and fully appreciate just how intricate and cool they are. The hand-to-hand combat scenes are long and loud and violent enough that had it been people instead of CGI robots, the movie would’ve gotten an R rating.

With the first movie, I was a little disappointed Frank Welker didn’t voice Megatron like he did in the animated series, but he’s in the sequel as Soundwave, who’s one of my a favorite Decepticons, and Devastator. Unfortunately, Soundwave was more of a cameo and Devastator, who’s a super Transformer made up of the merged Constructicons, wasn’t as devastating as he could’ve been.

Nonetheless, the movie totally met my expectations and, like before, Linkin Park came through with a very catchy song:

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