A great review on the latest Transformers movie, Revenge of the Fallen, from Sci Fi website Io9, gives us an insight into male anxiety and the unquenchable male ego. The writer observes how Michael Bay appeals to the average male,
No matter how great a loser they might be, they can’t be as losery a loser as Sam Witwicky. And yet, Sam has awesome giant robots stomping around telling him he’s the most important awesome person ever. And he has the hottest girlfriend in the universe, Megan Fox, for whom banality is a huge aphrodisiac.
It even sees the positives in its ultra long running time…
Transformers: ROTF is so long, you’ll need to wear adult diapers to it. But the movie’s pure celebration of the primal urge, and unfiltered living, will make you rejoice in your adult diapers. You’ll relieve yourself in your seat with a savage joy, your barbaric yawp blending in with the crowd’s screams of excitement.
This may explain the brutal assault on the senses that is Transformers and the fourteen year-old audience of boys that filled the cinema; being wowed by equal parts of Megan Fox’s low cut tops and explosions of cybernetic carnage. As I got home and sat in front of the television, slowly recovering from Michael Bay’s opus to movies that look like one long trailer, I am reminded that this sensory overload is still preferable to enduring the dribbling dialogue from “Catch and Release” staring Jennifer Garner, that was screening. Witnessing the torturous situation of choosing between the dangerous guy or the safe “friend”, I’m afraid, does not fare well against the desert engulfing Devastator, or watching a skinny white guy hold the fate of the universe in his hands.
Despite the criticism of his acting skills, Shia LeBoeuf’s performance is perhaps more akin to Dustin Hoffman’s early work (see The Graduate), who makes being a whimpy, unimpressive character… a quality (Yes, I am being very kind to Shia). Thank-you Michael Bay for revealing to us that despite our heroic aspirations, inside every man lies a frail, anxious boy who just wants to be told that the universe needs them, just the way they are. You hold us tight and assure us, if just for a moment, that in the absence of substance, the male heart can be filled with nothing but noise and cheap sentiment, and be happy. If only you could learn to hold your camera still once in a while.
And now for the most awesome clip of men who don’t really grow up…