Non-transformational

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez
Directed by Michael Bay

Rating: Transform me back to Cannes after this!

This film transforms the summer blockbuster into … into…. Well, into something, all right. How about a gussied-up used clunker of a car toy converted into a cinematic conveyance?

Since the first Transformers transformed clanging, cacophonous, chaotic, cluttering, conscious contraptions into copious caches of cash for its creators, it was certain this would be a carbon copy. And if they can do that, so can I. Herewith is a critique that copies the construct I conjured for Transformers in 2007 [note: transform this symbol “?” into “transforms into”]:

• Megan Fox ? Megan Fox

• Megan Fox ? A deliciously donned damsel in distress distractingly dashing around

• Shia LeBeouf ? Mutt Williams, from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

• Acting ? Bombastic bombast

• Humans ? Two-dimensional biological machines

• Two-dimensional biological machines ? Cartoon characters with ADD who cannot recall anything from the first film, like the dangers of Decepticons and some metal fragments of a thing called the Allspark that can turn machines into Transformers or repower existing Transformers

• Cartoon characters ? All other humans helplessly and haplessly glimpsed gawking at the gargantuan, gear-grinding Transformers, or ground under their girth

• Parents ? Clueless, clumsy, chatty, childish clods

• A toaster ? A gun toting, compact, sentient sex-crazed, Megan Fox-leg-humping machine packing a machine gun

• Transformers ? Fast, agile, thunderous machines with weapons and sharp metal protuberances, but incapable of making mincemeat out of two-dimensional biological machines

• Twin Transformers ? Un-PC jive-talking racial stereotypes

• Old-timer Transformer ? Scottish-speaking, endearing curmudgeon

• Sexy female Transformer ? That female Terminator from Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles

• A university ? A hormone-crazed waste of time to be little lingered over

• A university professor ? A smarmy, cocky, egotistical, lecherous showman (a/k/a Rainn Wilson)

• College students ? YouTube, kitty-calendar-obsessed geeks

• French food ? Slimy green stuff
that “sucks”

• Computer techno-geek ? Computer illiterate who fails to comprehend that people can be tracked by use of their cell phones

• Civilian military leaders ? Donald Rumsfeldesque, inept blowhards insensitive to the needs of the career military

• Donald Rumsfeld ? A wimp who’s ignorant of how a parachute works

• The Air and Space Museum ? Some desert back lot filled with rows of surplus military aircraft

• Orbiting surveillance satellites ? Useless hunks of space junk that cannot detect hulking objects hurtling toward Earth or hacking onto and into hearing hardware

• Human mega-weapon that can wipe out worrisome world-ending weapon ? Worthless, worn-out waste (seemingly) with only one warhead

• Ancient Egyptian ruins ? Stuff to be blowed up real good!

• Transformers’ key to powering an Earth-destroying machine ? An item somehow overlooked for 13,000 years behind a wall of ancient Egyptian ruins

• Ancient Egyptian pyramids ? More stuff to be blowed up and knocked down real good!

• “I love you” ? Three words to mouth only when someone may be dying

Transformers I ? Transformers II

This had me fantasizing about other, more welcome transformations, such as:

• Health care ? Affordable service for everyone

• Sonia Sotomayor ? U.S. Supreme Court Justice

• Stimulus money ? Jobs

• Iran ? An open, tolerant, free democracy

• Iraq War ? The history books

• Michael Bay ? Stellar film director

• Me ? Outstanding film critic

Doug Young is The Statesman’s outstanding film critic. He works for Sen. Mark Udall. In 2008, he won first prize for humorous writing in the Colorado Press Association’s annual contest, where he received a 100 percent score for his film reviews.