Me and My First Michael Bay Movie: Transformers 3

Posted by Gia Manry on Jul 19, 2011 in Cinema |

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On the night that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 opened, several cohorts and I picked our way through the be-spectacled and be-robed fans lining up for back-to-back showings of Part 1 and 2 and made our way into another theater in the back of the megaplex. We settled in, watched some previews, and then sat through a film that was actively painful to watch.

Its name…was Transformers 3.

Note: this is less of a review and more of a cathartic expulsion of pain and anguish. Read with caution.

Now, you must understand that my expectations for the movie were lower than low. I had groaned and rolled my eyes every time my companions had suggested seeing it, which we had been trying to do for a couple of weeks and been foiled (to my slight relief). But there I was, sitting in the theater, and I was the designated driver: there would be no escape, unless I wanted to mingle among the wizards and muggles outwide (it felt odd to be surrounded by costumed folk and not be there for the same thing they were).

The first hour and a half (ish) of the movie was about what I expected. Shia LeBeouf’s character was a tool, the bots were as cartoony as their original hand-drawn selves, and the plot was predictable. We started to settle into the final battle and I sat back, pleased that the flick would soon be over and we could hang out and mock it. But I had made a mistake, I hadn’t gone in prepared, I didn’t know! The film’s run time was >two hours and forty minutes!

So for over an hour I sat there as the characters tumbled around an office building, Optimus Prime ripped out the spine of an enemy and said something stupid, LeBeouf bonded with his Bee pal, the asshole human (not LeBeouf; there was a second) continued to prove he was an asshole human, etc. For an hour. I know people go to Michael Bay movies for the explosions, and to be honest, I haven’t seen a single one of his movies (I had to double-check)…but I had always assumed that they were at least decently paced, the sort of cheesy summer popcorn action/adventure flick you could just sit through and enjoy a la, I don’t know, Independence Day or the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

I was so, so wrong.

But the thing that really gets me is that after the fact the film would come up and the first thing other people would say is “oh, I kinda liked Transformers 3.” And then I’d feel like an asshole because all I could do was launch a tirade about how bad it was.

Am I crazy? My compatriots in the theater agreed with me— even my boyfriend seems to have enjoyed the experience of making fun of the flick (he was sitting with our other two friends on his right, so he at least got to hear all of their made-up punchlines) more than the film itself.

It was my first Michael Bay movie. If the gods are good, it’ll be my last…but we have an awful lot of Movie Night Thursdays to fill in the future…

Gia Manry is a Texas-based geek who you can hire. Or you could just follow her on Twitter.

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