starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro
screenplay by Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
directed by Michael Bay
by Walter Chaw The worst summer in recent memory continues as Michael Bay brings his slow push-ins and Lazy Susan dolly shots back to the cineplex with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (hereafter Transformers 2), the ugliest, most hateful, most simple-minded and incomprehensible assault on art and decency since the last Michael Bay movie. It's bad (that goes without saying), and it's possible that even its fans will have the brute sense to recognize that it's bad--but it's bad in such a way that defies easy description. It's so bad, it's exasperating. The action, as you'd expect, is impossible to follow, with long stretches cascading in on one another without the slightest notion of who's winning, where, and to what end. But that's not why it's bad. It suggests that the evil robots have perfected Terminator technology in the manufacture of a gorgeous slut-bot (Isabel Lucas), who, before trying to kill the returning Sam (Shia LaBeouf) with her go-go-gadget tongue, is humiliated by having heroic Autobot Bumblebee money-shot robot semen all over her face. But that's not why it's bad, either. Ridiculously poor filmmaking and Bay's wearying misogyny aren't "bad," per se, so much as they're the tools of his auteur canon, of his absolute gold-standard grasp of what it is that prepubescent boys are into and his desire to, as fast as he can, create undercover hardcore porn to gratify those desires. What else to make of the weird girl issues--the entire co-ed Michael Bay U campus populated with hot bimbo chattel, Bay's camera leering obligingly? It's tough to make someone feel sorry for Megan Fox, yet the extent to which she's objectified in this flick has you looking for track marks, smeared mascara, and other evidence of bus-stop porn-star exploitation.