The first Transformers, much like most Michael Bay films, was a over-directed, sunset-soaked mess of special effects, explosions and fetishistic shots of military vehicular hardware. But also like many Bay films, there was a guilty pleasure quality to it. Fans of the old toys, cartoons and comics might have felt slighted to see their favorite characters no longer familiar (other than iconic Optimus Prime), but the film didn't sell itself to be anything more than a mayhem-filled action flick with gratuitous shots of Megan Fox bending over a car engine and an Autobot peeing on Jon Turturro. No one really complained.
Given all of that, there was no reason to expect a sequel to be cinematic genius or anything more than the first. It's everything we were delivered the first time...with a little less charm, a lot more mayhem and nothing resembling coherent storytelling. Let's not forget a sexy fem-bot with deadly kisses and a peekaboo skirt, more Megan Fox in unlikely clothing and scenarios, a pair of "good guys" that are bad comedy racial stereotypes at best and Jon Turturro standing beneath a giant robot's testicles. I'm making none of that up.
Michael Bay is apparently the horny teenage dork of the director set.
Transformers 2 made a ton of money, of course (and since I don't get paid to write this stuff, I willingly contributed so I share in the blame), and will inevitably lead to a third flick, but I won't be catching it in a theatre.
Picking up some time after the first film, the Autobots (the good guys) are working with the military to hunt down and destroy Decepticons (the bad guys) still on the loose. Said bad guys are getting reinforcements from on high and look to resurrect their fallen leader, Megatron, on behalf of an even badder guy, The Fallen. Don't bother piecing it all together, it's pretty much irrelevant.
Shia LaBeouf re-enters the story while heading to college, finding a piece of a Transformer artifact and getting stalked/seduced/hunted by that fem-bot. He goes on the run with his robo-buddies and unlikely girlfriend Fox while getting tangled up in some plot involving ancient Transformers and Egypt. I don't know...I gave up making sense of the film when a fight burst out of the back of the Smithsonian (last time I checked in Washington D.C.) into a desert.
The Decepticons are even more forgettable in this film...during the final battle, I couldn't distinguish between any of them that didn't have balls. At least the Autobots had color and product placement transformations when they weren't talking in Ebonics about being unable to read.
The action was sharp and the effects mind-bending at times (I'm still annoyed with how many moving parts the robots have, though), but it's all a smokescreen for a movie without any real heart, intelligence or sense. Michael Bay can blow shit up like no one else, but after a while, you completely forget why you should care.
Yes, I'm capable of watching a "mindless" popcorn flick, but when we give Hollywood so much leniency to make them, eventually we'll be left with nothing but. Thankfully, last summer's blockbuster, The Dark Knight, proved that smart film-making can still rake in the dollars, too.