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. And that’s just it, there have been people who were offended by this Mater from Cars. Like I said, I will probably see the movie but it won’t be to see these 2 bots.

  2. @Aaron

    uuuhhhh, how do them being southern eliminate the black stereotype??? Do you realize where the majority of black americans live in the USA???

  3. “more of an intergalactic thing”

    PLEASE say they mean Unicron.

  4. Smart,

    Are you trying to say that because the PC police have taken things too far in over-analyzing and seeing racism where there isn’t any, that there is no stereotype or line that shouldn’t be crossed? How does that follow?

    Is there nothing that would offend you, not because you are the target, but because the target is dehumanized by the caricature and simple human dignity demands a certain level of respect?

    I think you may be overcompensating. There are still good reasons for our sensibilities to be offended at times. From what’s been described, what I’ve seen in trailers and pictures, the “twins” may not be as blatantly offensive as the way blacks were portrayed in the comics of the 50′s, but it treads dangerously close to it and warrants some concern.

  5. Didn’t the autobots learn how to speak from the “world wide web” and if they did (like they said in the first movie) aren’t we the people that spoke like that to blame for the way they speak. I myself dislike how people speak on the internet and stuff… but i guess they just picked how some people speak on like messengers or they copied what they saw in myspace or something like that. Not saying that its racist or not… just saying what i think they might be emulating… us.

  6. Why is it that people can act like that, but make 2 robots do it and it’s racist?

    They chose to act like that because they found it to be cool. People shouldn’t be offended by it. They should like that people (or robots) want to act like them.

  7. “act like them?” lol, I’ll leave that one alone.

    I think the issue is that the picked a stereotype, then made them stupid and illiterate… So it’s not just a cultural thing but a statement of a group’s intelligence…

  8. But all of them are illiterate. None of the autobots can read the ancient script, which is why they have to find a Decipticon. Otherwise, Sam would have had Bumblebee read.

  9. @Foopher

    Bud your logic is just a LITTLE BIT faulty.

    People are not ALLOWED to act any kind of way. They act the way they act for a whole variety of nature/nurture reasons. Intellectual creations don’t have that freedom. They are constructed with intent by the person that makes them. That means that intellectual creations can be questioned as to the intent behind their behavior in a way that people NEVER can.

    And your very question is a kind of stereotyping, if I’m understanding it correctly. As a black person I can safely say that the majority of African-Americans would not align themselves with the way The Twins behave – which is prob why they can laugh at it. I’m not PERSONALLY offended by The Twins b/c I know THAT’S NOT ME.

    But do I still question the intent of the filmmakers in having The Twins behave in that manner? Absolutely!

  10. Kofi, this might sound way off base but I have to wonder if the twins behavoir is a subtile way to promote rap music.

    Just a theory.

  11. I was disappointed in this film. Too many juvenile moments. If i wanted to be entertained by this type of comedy then I would have watched the “Dukes of Hazard”. The first Transformers movie had a better balance of action, comedy, seriousness and storyline. The comedy this time felt forced and in your face, unnecessarily.
    The Fallen is just another Hollywood badass that doesn’t last 5 minutes in the movie when put to the test, just like Darth Maul and DeadPool.

  12. “The Fallen” is the title character….yet “he” is only in the film for a short time and he get killed effortlessy.

  13. Classic bait & switch tactic Matt.
    8-)

  14. What do you mean? Darth Maul put up quite a fight. I think a better example of a weak final villain is Iron Monger of Iron Man, lol. I LOVED Iron Man, but wished it had a better final fight, oh well, IM2 looks like it will have that for us…

    Can’t wait to see footage from IM2.

    So what trailers did they show in front of TF2:ROTF?

  15. Ken J,

    I saw trailers for Gi Joe, 9, and some movie about some redneck…I forget what its called(don’t care either), but no Avatar.

  16. Yah, already established that it doesn’t, but was just curious what other movies it showed. And don’t hate on “rednecks” so much, I live in the South, but my area is more city than anything else, but there are small towns in Florida where I have some really good friends and I think you guys would consider them “rednecks” lol. Heck, I think I almost count as one, lol.

  17. @KenJ – I’m in Florida too bud. Where are you?

    I just watched the movie last night and I actually tried to NOT like the film, but ultimately I had a great time watching it. I thought the Twins would annoy the hell out of me because of all the preconceived ideas I had about them but, to me, they had the funniest lines in the movie. And they battle scene with Devastator was in the top 3 for me for the film.

    Other than the gold tooth which was more stupid than racist to me, I didn’t see all of the blatant racism people are trying to point out. Maybe I’m missing the point though?

    At what point in the movie do the twins crossover into the racist field? Or are we talking about stereotyping more than racism?

  18. Ken,

    I wasn’t hatin on rednecks…hell most of my family members are rednecks.

  19. @Paul

    South Florida aka North Cuba, lol. And yah, I think people are mainly talking about them being modelled after stereotypes.

    @ Matt

    I was just giving you a hard time, didn’t really think you were saying anything real bad or took any offense to it, haha. ;-)

  20. Everything I’ve heard about this isn’t offensive to me at all. Then again I’m not overly sensitive to anything. The only thing offensive about Transformers 2 is that it offends our intelligence.

  21. @vic
    “dude relax”…lol. I was actually getting a foot massage when i wrote that comment… trust me i was extremely relaxed. I just said it because it seems like the truth why bother to defend it when you get outnumbered easily on here defending that subject but if i’m wrong ill apologize its no biggie for me to do such a thing.

    @Iron Knight
    First of all i don’t hate screenrant i’ve posted several times before that i love this site and at work whenever i can i’m just either reading the comments or the threads. Secondly…”rude comments..?” if my “comment” bothered you i’m sorry but there were several others that were actually name calling and yet nobody said anything about those.

    On regards to the language in this movie… i guess if your a parent i understand you wouldn’t want your kids learning that and its hard since the product itself entices kids to want to watch it as well. On my behalf though i loved the language because in real life i see and know alot of people that curse alot… if i saw a vehicle transform into a robot besides crapping my pants, possibly fainting i’d probably say all kinds of bad words. Yes i understand its pg-13 and all but hey what did you expect… its bay and he takes pride in doing things his way. In my opinion it should have been rated r though just so it could have more cursing and blood and guts maybe… something like that one scene in the rock when cage put that green ball in that dudes mouth… that would have been cool to me. Another thing on the rated r would have been that i wouldn’t have to had to hear kids in the theater which also would have been awesome.

    On the whole racism thing… eh… they were hilarious to me so i didn’t really care. Reno wilson and Tom Kenny did the voices for them… one is black and one is white… so you decide whatever you want on that one.(don’t really want to go on the whole race thing here…lol)

    @Voice of Reason
    Heck yeah we have alot to talk about this movie and the whole childhood cartoons coming to life… one thing i always hated about the cartoons was the cheesy dialogue and moral crap. I use to curse at the screen when i would see that… i wanted to see something that entertained me not tell me some sort of life lesson… i was already about to go to school in a hour anyways…lol. The one thing that kind of never changed was how optimus would speak… even though he kicked major a$$ in this movie he still had those cheesy lines and kind of spoke like a narrator. He kinda reminds me of that one dude that narrates “worlds wildest police chases” with his cheesy jokes and stuff so it was hilarious to me.

  22. WOW! 82 comments…..hot subject!

  23. Go look at the Star Trek review, last I looked it was at like 1200 comments… No, I didn’t type one too many zeros…

  24. Just saw the movie. Yes, the twins are annoying but they didn’t disgust me like I thought they would. I thought think did a pretty good job on Devastator.

  25. A lot of comments here.

    One thing I’ve noticed in “discussions” like this is there are always two sides; one that preaches freedom without limit, and one that things everyone should fit into a specific mold. Both seem a little extreme to me.

    I will say this – I do think that some thought should be put into how these robots are percieved and what they represent. It shouldn’t be a big deal.

  26. I didn’t have a problem with the Twins as much as some people did. Although I do agree that I got kinda wide eyed when I heard them say pu**y. I chuckled after the dear in head lights moment came and passed. But for me personally, when I saw the kinda car they represented in the movie, I saw more of a California surfer accent than a southern gangster one. I guess looks can be deceiving.

  27. there goes 200 mil in 5 days..

    btw.. let’s stop the racist issue of the twins, and just enjoy the movie, at least (i admit) shia did a great act in Trans II, didn’t he :D
    I hope transformers III’s gonna be better than the 1st and the 2nd.

  28. Caroluz enjoy the movie? I’m more likely to grow two more heads than enjoy this movie.

    As for Shia it’s pretty hard to do a bad acting job when all you gotta do is run around and let the giant robots and a half naked Megan fox do all the work.

  29. First off the twins were awesome i dont care what anyone anywhere says. this movie was by far one of the best movies i have seen this year and probably all of last year and the twins were a BIG part of that. also the fight scences were awesome shia and megan ripped it and the new guy was kinda of a p***y but hey we all know that cause of the twins hahaha they were so funny i cant wait till it comes out on dvd so i can watch it over and over

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