Optimus Prime in Transformers.Courtesy of DreamWorks
There’s nothing like a summer blockbuster to bring out passion in the critics. Should these flicks be judged with the same standards as, say, an Ingmar Bergman or Brad Bird film, or are they simply escapist teenage fun where plot and character are rendered irrelevant? Michael Bay’s Transformers has left many in the critical establishment reaching for earplugs and aspirin, while fan sites have declared it mind-blowing. Just as Decepticons face off against Autobots, so is the pride of the critical establishment pitted against hyperbolic online magazines.
Rant: “A movie of epically assaultive noise and nonsense … part car commercial, part military recruitment ad, a bumper-to-bumper pileup of big cars, big guns and, as befits its recently weaned target demographic, big breasts.” —Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Rave: “Transformers is better than sex. I mean, I don’t want to overhype it or anything, but I just got back from the screening, and if I had the chance to watch it again right now, or some hot woman would have sex with me if I went home with her, I can’t think of a woman alive who would tempt me away from a repeat viewing. Jennifer Garner is usually my go-to babe, but not even her. And if there are any women out there who doubt this, I suggest you make me an offer and put me to the test.” —Fred Topel, Can Magazine