Scrimshander Answers Your Questions on Contemporary Cinema
Zunguzungu: Transformers 2 vs. Terminator Salvation. Which is worse?
Scrimshander: Tough question. The new Terminator film is merely an incompetent militaristic nostalgia piece, while Transformers 2 is an incompetent militaristic nostalgia piece with the distinctive Michael Bay touch. In short, Bay’s senseless violence is more picturesque than McG’s yet harder to follow, his repugnant worldview more tangible and consistent than any ethos in T4 despite the lack of any cohesive narrative vehicle for attitudes or ideas. I’d join the chorus of reviewers and bloggers who have recoiled from Bay’s sexism and racism, except that even these elements of his artistic personality seem like nostalgic projections of the sexism and racism of the ’80s. The robots occasionally look cool, but the film is an absolute cipher; not even the hatred feels spontaneous or personal.