Monday, February 2, 2009

Bigger Is Better?

Transformers was Michael Bay's ultimate boys' toys fantasy movie - cars, robots, weapons, and yes, a hot chick. Everything in the movie is a collectible that begs to be bought at the merchandise store, even whatshername.

So the Superbowl spot for Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen is out (even the title is a vomit of male bravado and a pseudo-mythical proclamation). As expected, it shows the sequel to be bigger, badder, louder, brasher, etc. Bay piles on the explosions, clashes, explosions, destruction, explosions, flying debris, explosions. The robots are bigger and more varied, the military has a bigger presence, there are battleships, tanks, helicopters, you name it. In short, a movie with even more collectibles.

While the first movie should have been a fun adaptation of a fun 80s cartoon series, it was, instead, a showcase for the Most Annoying One-Note Actor Of Today, and suffered from a serious lack of action and fun. When the action does come, it's the usual shaky, disorienting, incomprehensible rubbish.

It cemented Michael Bay's reputation as a pasar malam director who shamelessly panders to the demands of the lowest common denominator.

Here's the thing: why should bigger be better? Must sequels top the originals with bigger action sequences, bigger explosions, bigger everything?

The lesson should have been learnt last year. Bay should take a leaf from Christopher Nolan's book - all that The Dark Knight had was a bigger, more complex story. And the story comes first before anything else.

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