Here is my most basic conundrum regarding T2: Rise of the Fallen. Much has been made about the racism in this installment of Transformers, and yet next to nothing has been said about the sexism in this film. Why?
I put off writing this post to mull over this quandary, and sadly the only thing I’ve been able to come up with is that sexism in Hollywood, Michael Bay films, and action movies in general is expected. Hot chicks wearing skimpy clothes are just as ubiquitous as gratuitous explosions and felled henchmen, so why make a big deal about it every. time. It just gets tiring, right? Wrong. Maybe for the weak of heart and lily of liver, but not for this one.
Here are my qualms:
1). LadyBots- More Like FeebleBots. There were “female” transformers in this one– this should have been a triumph, but their depiction left much to be desired. Why and how could we tell they were lady-folk? Well, they were motorcycles (and were thus smaller and properly, femininely, diminutive to Optimus’s masculine behemoth), were pink and purple (“girl colors”), the hologram riders were female (identical and generic), and their voices were female. The biggest problem? Their size made them completely ineffective against the giant Decepticons, and during what could have been their shining moment of glory (leading Shia & Megan to safety) instead descended into their blazing doom (instant death after having delivered only one line). Where are the hulking pink and purple ladybots who can run with the big boys? Probably too busy getting their tires rotated.
2). Hot Chicks Only. Megan Fox and Isabel Lucas– I think their scripts probably read “It doesn’t matter if you try, because people will only be looking at your T&A.” And they took to these seductive, shallow roles with zest. But come on, give them something more to do than run around in high heels and skimpy clothes. (I was gratified to see that Megan Fox took off her heels and ran barefoot. Finally, a smidgen of reality. Pathetic that that’s what I take joy in.) This is beginning to be my usual refrain…
3.) Stereotypes’R’Us. As if this weren’t enough, the gendered and racist stereotypes sent me over the edge. (Compounded by its length, choppy narrative, and overall shittiness).
I’ve spoken to a number of individuals who enjoyed this film more than the first because it’s “truer to the original” — and over at Little Junkies they’re divided, but funny as always (love the caption “Shia takes a break from carrying the movie; Michael plans another explosion.”).
What say you? Did you see this one? Does it matter?