Sunday, July 5, 2009

Robots Revisited

There exists, in a sense, a statute of limitations on spoilers, relative to the film in question. For instance, a discussion of Empire Strikes Back is permitted to consider the sensitive issue of Luke's parentage, as it is now assumed the reader will be aware of the revelation.

It is the opinion of The Middle Room that, for Transfomers: Revenge of the Fallen, that statute has already expired. We are well aware that Transformers has been out for only a week and a half, however it is our considered position that this is more than enough time for a film of this sort.

If this is not the case; if there are any out there who have not seen that and/or Terminator Salvation and, for some unknown reason, care how they resolve, they are warned to stop reading at this point.

No, we mean it this time. In the past we have offered halfhearted warnings before obscure allusions to the theme, but right now, this very moment, you stand poised above a paragraph with detailed information about the very conclusions to both films. If this is information you do not want to see, we warn you one last time: turn back! Turn back before it's too late.

A hero, fallen, defeated by their most iconic foe, who impaled them from behind, lays without hope. The problem is their heart; no longer able to function on its own, the hero cannot go on to fulfill their destiny and protect the future of mankind. Then, a cybernetic agent from the other side, one who's realized the absurdity of evil and seeks salvation, offers their own heart. This sacrifice alone allows the hero to rise, imbued with new power; ironically the same power that empowers their robotic foes, and prepare to fight on.

Those who have seen these pictures know that the above paragraph accurately describes the conclusion to both Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Terminator Salvation. We think it worth noting, however, that the finale of Salvation would have been much improved had Marcus Wright skipped the speech and simply yanked out his robo-heart and handed it over.

Similarities go beyond this, as noted in this documentary production. It is also a point of interest that Revenge of the Fallen in fact incorporates a Transforminator in its storyline. This character, technically a Transforminatrix, attempts to make out with the main character, before violently attacking in a manner reminiscent of the Terminator franchise.

Likewise, the giant human-harvesting robot in Terminator Salvation seems to be a Transforminator himself, folding and shifting his form and combining with an aerial craft. The border between these properties seems to blur.

The main issue most viewers have with Terminator Salvation (beyond complaints about the acting, writing, and directing) is that it lacks a military presence. The post-apocalyptic future portrayed in the original Terminator movies was that of a final and horrific war, which is entirely absent from the picture.

Revenge of the Fallen, on the other hand, has been accurately criticized for relying too heavily on the military in a story which is suppose to focus on robots. Of course, it was also criticized for serious issues with the acting, writing, and directing.

It occurs to us that a solution may be surprisingly simple. Sequels for both these movies seem inevitable. Perhaps the directors should switch films.

We would be very interested in seeing what McG could accomplish with a Transformers film. As to Michael Bay... er.... Maybe Terminator would be better off with an entirely new direction. With all due respect to the images Bay has succeeded in creating, there is a sense that he's done all he could. We enjoyed Revenge of the Fallen, but even we'd think twice before going to see another Bay-robot production.

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