QUEER CLIP: ‘Transformers’

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 at 5:36pm

I know it’s pointless to attempt a serious critique of a movie aimed at developmentally disabled capuchin monkeys; Transformers: Dark of the Moon will make more in its opening weekend that probably all the Coen Brothers films combined. But it’s worth noting that it does so with a cast largely assembled from the Coens’ stable: Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and a returning John Turturro add credibility if not much class or logic to the latest save-the-world-from-robots actioner. (Why would anyone trust a race that gives themselves the name “Decepticons”?) But I do have some questions for that abortionist responsible for this monstrosity, Michael Bay:

• I wonder why the only gay people in your movie — Ken Jeong (from The Hangover) and Alan Tukyk — are portrayed as psychopaths who assault men in the rest room or fey closet cases. (Oh, right — none of the people in your movies manifest anything close to genuine human qualities.)

• Do you have no sense of scale? How does a 2-seater sports car like a Camaro transform into a robot the size of a house? And speaking of size, when Sentinel Prime (voiced, in some strangely ironic ways, by Leonard Nimoy, mocking his Spock character) escapes, why does the military have such a hard time finding him? He’s 60 feet tall and dense enough that he probably tilts the earth off its axis.

• The same goes for your action sequences: If you upchuck so much visual vomitus at the audience at one time, we never have time to orient ourselves. I know you think you are showing balletic violence, but it’s just incoherent. Even the good scenes are obscured by all the chaos. (The best sequence is the most human: Commandos soar in wing suits.)

• Who do all these robots from zillions of years away turn into cars? (It’s easy to spot the good guys: They are all Chevys.) And why do they talk like ghetto gangstas and Italian goombahs and British fops? Don’t they have their own culture?
• Can I have your paycheck?

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 1, 2011.

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