Transformers 2: Big Controversy, Big Box Office & Sequel Rumors

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

transformers character list featuring optimus prime Transformers 2: Big Controversy, Big Box Office & Sequel Rumors

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has now blasted its way into theaters and IMAX and after just one day, the movie has managed to break box office records ($60 mil!), incite controversy (minstrel Autobots Mudflap and Skids), and, of course, spark (unconfirmed) rumors of an inevitable sequel.

Oh yeah, and the film has been taking a “record-breaking” beating in the review columns. Not that Michael Bay care$.

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS ABOUT TRANSFORMERS 2.

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BIG CONTROVERSY

transformers 2 the twins mudflap skids Transformers 2: Big Controversy, Big Box Office & Sequel Rumors

If you’ve seen our Transformers 2 discussion forum (or looked just about anywhere else on the known Internet), then you’ve surely seen the outcry from both fans and critics about “The Twins” Mudflap and Skids, two new characters that were introduced in Revenge of The Fallen.

The problem? The Twins have been almost universally pegged as the most offensive racial stereotype on film since Jar-Jar Binks. The two Robots talk in southern crunk drawls, use profanity almost every other word, talk slang like “bust a cap in somebody’s ass,” and proudly admit to being illiterate. Oh, and one of them even has a gold tooth.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Michael Bay sort of kind of denied the accusation of racial insensitivity:

“We’re just putting more personality in…I don’t know if it’s stereotypes – they are robots, by the way. These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it.”

So… basically he’s saying that, as the DIRECTOR he wasn’t keeping close eye on the development of the characters in his movie? On how they might be perceived, who they might offend or what kind of controversy they might stir? Yikes.

Bay later added (brilliantly) in his defense:

“I purely did it for kids, Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them.”

There is TOO much loaded into that statement for this blogger to touch. Just good to know that (in Michael Bay’s humble opinion) Mudflap and Skids are the avenue to reaching today’s youth. Double yikes.

Transformers 2 writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman are wisely putting up an umbrella (ella, ella) to shield themselves from this s-storm. Apparently, this “ghetto fab” version of Mudflap and Skids was a shock to them (the writers) as well. As they told Film School Rejects:

Orci: Number one, we sympathize. Yes, the gold tooth was not in the script, that’s true.

Kurtzman: It’s really hard for us to sit here and try to justify it.I think that would be very foolish, and if someone wants to be offended by it, it’s their right. We were very surprised when we saw it, too, and it’s a choice that was made. If anything, it just shows you that we don’t control every aspect of the movie.

Kurtzman and Orci are pretty good guys in my experience, so I for one gladly give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, this has studio idiocy written all over it; when you think about it, Paramount had to clear this depiction of The Twins at some point, so no matter what Bay or the voice-actors were up to, the studio should’ve known better.

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  1. @mark

    You just lost any shred of credibility with this:

    “not working vic, if the movie wasnt good it wouldnt have made that much”

    The quality of a film is NOT directly proportional to how much money it makes. You’re in film studies and you think that’s true? Holy cow…

    Oh, and have they stopped teaching proper capitalization and punctuation? Or can you turn in college papers these days with “internet grammar?”

    Honestly, you people that invalidate every argument I have about the film with “you hate it so everything you say is wrong” seriously crack me up.

    Vic

  2. Reality tv racks up the ratings, so I guess that means they are high quality shows…

  3. Lol, Ken, I look at it as being seriously outnumbered by idiots…

    Tv or films doesn’t seem to matter anymore… Look at how many bad films do well these days.

  4. @Vic
    Have you heard of the girl that turned in an essay completely written in phone txt speak?

    ie: I 8 gud fud 2day, lol.

  5. also, how expensive are the tickets nowadays, compare number of tickets sold adjusted for population and not money you’ll see dramas from the 1990s tie this movie. its two or 3 times as expensive as it was like 15 years ago, come on nothing will ever surpass the classic Spielberg summer movies of the past.

    screw this CGI crap

  6. @ Everybody:

    For the record, my whole thing is the fact that the studio didn’t stop this (as I state in the article). Whether misinterpretation or plain old annoyance, somebody should have realized The Twins sucked.

    That said, I AM black and I agree with that earlier comment: the people who laughed hardest at The Twins in MY theater were, admittedly, African-American.

    However, seeing people of a certain race humored by stereotyping is not a justification of any kind. Not everybody of that race might feel that way.

    In the end though, it’s obvious that any PERSON who looks at The Twins and thinks theirs is some kind of behavior to emulate is sadly a dumbass individual .

  7. I read a quote where he said that it didnt have to be a black person talking, it could have been K-Fed. They were posers, not black, not “gangsta”, just posers. Anyone who really looks that deep into is just looking for more stuff to justify the fact that this movie is making a crap load of money, but they didnt enjoy it.

  8. I don’t think any of the people who contributed to the massive opening waited to hear what the reviews for the movie was…

  9. Transformers really had such good potential. It’s a shame it was turned into a pretty joke. Hopefully someday somebody I know will get it on Blu-ray so I can watch it in quasi-glory without paying. I just want to see the robots.

  10. I found the twins about as offensive as My Name is Earl, The Sopranos, Will & Grace, and most of Tyler Perry’s work. That said, they come across like awkward, prepubescent teenagers trying to act cool. I mean, have you really looked at them? They’re both relatively short, with stubby limbs and child-like faces. They certainly behave like children, constantly picking on each other and bickering nonstop. That doesn’t stop them from being annoying, but I wouldn’t call it racist.

  11. Mark

    I’m 17 and Transofrmers is one of the worst flms I’ve ever seen.

    Also never corelate money and quality. Star Wars 1: The Phantom Jar Jar to name an example. The majority of casual movie goers probably didn’t know about RotF till a few months back and probably haven’t read any reviews, they just show up and spend money and hope to have their payment returned with quality cinematics, not RotF.

    I also wouldn’t blame the writers, having seen Star Trek I suppose it really depends on what the director does with the material. In JJ’s case he loved it and nutured it into a master piece, in Bays case he butchered it.

  12. I think you bring up a really good point Bane, South Park and Family Guy are very good examples one exception, South Park is rated “Mature” and always ends with a life (twisted) lesson. Family Guy should be rated “For Adults Only” but since its on FOX it gets a pass. The last time I watched that show I couldn’t believe the level of kid accessible adult humor. That’s FOX.
    Makes it real easy for half ars parents to let their kids watch another hour and look the other way.,, 8-O
    ^
    Whoa ,,,,,!!!!
    Come on Iron Patriot, I get your point but Earl and Sopranos only enhanced those stereotypes…

  13. Please disregard my last post Iron Patriot.
    I originally misread your comment. ;-)

  14. Get over it people! Stop trying to find racism in every corner and in every shadow. How can we ever truly get rid of it if people are so willing to point the finger. So was the Blackhawk a stereotypical British white guy? If so, I’m deeply offended!!!!

  15. As someone mentioned above, I am NOT a politically correct guy and I’m usually one of the first people to roll their eyes when there’s some knee-jerk accusation of racism in a situation – but I thought that these two characters were way over the top. As I’ve said before, if they’d had “rapper” personalities I could understand it, but I don’t get the backwards, ignorant, Southern thing.

    Vic

  16. I would have never expected a Transformers movie to have a parent in the film eat pot brownies, a robot who is a stereotypical Italian humping a leg, these two and so much more. You know, you can bash on this property by saying “Its based on a cartoon which is based on a toy series” well, thats a valid argument but at least in that series they talked about morality. And I forgot who mentioned it but Jazz in the series was a smart autobot who was noble, and he had a grappling hook!

    Kofi, you are give these two nimrods Kurtzman & orci too much credit. Of COURSE they knew about these twins! Its not like a spur of the moment thing, you have to write it down in the script, then the animators need the time to create these things so basically they had to take clues to draw these guys like monkeys. C’Mon Kofi, everyone is at fault here!

    Aaron McGruder, PLEASE make a Boondocks Season3 and mention this crap!

  17. Some years back, AT&T had a commercial with a map of the world. This map had people talkig on AT&T phones, 1 person per continent. But on the continent of Africa, it wasn’t a person, it was a monkey. This ad went through all the execs and managers, and they only did something about it because of the public outcry. Was the public wrong for their disdain? I haven’t seen the movie yet but from what I’m hearing, I’m probably going to be offended by these characters. If you’re not offended, fine, but please don’t tell me I shouldn’t be offended. I am a black man and I find this gangsta rap ebonics gold tooth MTV crap nothing but media gentrification.

  18. people. relax. enjoy what you can out of it, its entertainment. And the fact that the robots seemed southern should eliminate the “black” stereotype that people seem so anxious to find in everything. just take everything into account, not just the cant read and gold tooth. thats ridiculous

  19. People should also complain about the “Italian” stereotype!

    Honestly, I would have never expected this. I thought they would have learned from the previous film and work better on the story, character development, etc., not just putting on more robots.
    I know this is only a movie but seriously take some responsibility. This is a property marketed towards kids. Pixar’s films are all PG or G correct, does any of their films have this type of filth in them?

  20. It’s entertainment? So we should just excuse insults to a race or creed because it’s just entertainment? So if a film comes out saying that Hitler was only trying to help the Jews, we shouldn’t mind because…it’s just entertainment. So I shouldn’t mind that Jackson song using a Jewish racial slur because….it’s just entertainment. I shouldn’t have mind watching The Last Temptation of Christ because….it’s just entertainment.

  21. John “Kahless” Taylor,

    If people like you want to take offense to everything, then there is nothing the rest of us can do to correct it, is there? Entertainment is meant to entertain….I understand your argument about the commercial, that’s pretty bad. But two giant robots with a southern draw? Come on! I have white friends that talk more southern gangster than those two robots did.

    If people just stopped taking offense to anything having to do with race, we could finally do away with racism altogether in this country. Who knows, someday we might even have a black President…….oh wait…….

  22. I don’t have a problem with southern drawl. As I stated, Scatman Crothers had a southern drawl but Jazz was great. Did you ever see Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story? In this movie, Lee was taken to a comedy movie fest by his future wife, Linda Caldwell. The film involved a popular actor portraying an Asian but in a bad way. Linda was laughing but Bruce was disgusted. She saw his disgust but instead of telling him “it is only entertainment”, she empathized with him. This movie is suppose to be about the cartoon characters from the show, as has been said many times. I watched that show and never, I mean never, saw any robots like what I’m reading about. I will probably see this film because I do like great action, special effects, and hot women (my wife isn’t reading this is she? :-) ), but I hope I can tune out this ebonics MTV gangsta nonsense.

  23. Oh man….you haven’t even seen the movie? And yet you are offended already?

    Yes, I have seen the Bruce Lee story, most of which was not true-to-life, as the story was based on Caldwell’s book.

  24. Attacking people for having the sense to see racist caricatures and not like it? Come on, people.

    And the last guy to defend the Mammy-bots goes by a name that tells me he’s here just to attack people like Kahless.

  25. No, I haven’t seen the movie and yes, from what I have been reading it sounds like these 2 bots will be offensive to me. I haven’t seen any films about the KKK but I find them offensive as well.

  26. Haha! If you stick your head in the sand and stop following the news and pop culture, you’ll probably be alright. Otherwise, the world might offend you. How do I get to your magical land of rainbows and unicorns?

  27. I would also like to point out that the writers in the article above were being asked about the gold tooth. And then it seems like they are able to brush EVERYTHING about the characters off as not their idea because michael bay wanted a gold tooth.

    And to me, I always thought a single gold tooth stereotype was like a southern redneck or like an old miner type thing. But I am only 23, so I don’t remember what the stereotypes were like back in the 20′s, like most people seeing this movie.

    And I will have to say. NO ONE can comment on their level of offense unless they have seen the movie. Its bull to be arguing about it when you have only seen the trailer for the movie and what other people are saying.

    Also, i think how much money something makes has a lot to do with how good it is, but only in one direction. If a lot of people go to see it. I think that means people are being entertained or that there is something worth seeing, skidz and mudflaps perhaps. If it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t mean its bad. There are a lot of great movies that didn’t make any money.

  28. Sharpe, I’m not here to attack people but ultra political correctness garbage is ruining the fabric of our once great nation! Too many people are on a racism witch-hunt. If you look for something hard and long enough, chance are you will find it, but in the meantime, the world has passed you by. Start using your heads people!

    Don’t forget what this is about. Robots…..that have attributes of a certain “black” culture. So people are offended….. but the truth of the matter is, there ARE people that act that way, so they based the characters around THAT subculture. Should I be offended of “Mater” the hillbilly towtruck from the movie Cars? It’s absolutely no different than this scenario other that that was purely a child’s film! Wake up people!

  29. Finally, a guy with brains. You are absolutely right ParrotSoup!

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