Regarding Lousy Movies & ‘Snob’ Critics

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am,

transformers revenge fallen reviews Regarding Lousy Movies & Snob Critics

Well. I’ve taken some heat for reviews in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such… interesting reactions to one of my reviews as I have for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Of course I don’t really care – back in the day it used to bother me when someone flamed me for a movie review, but now I actually get a kick out of it. icon smile Regarding Lousy Movies & Snob Critics

Of course I’m not alone – go to any site that gathers up an aggregate of movie critics’ opinions and you’ll see similar numbers when it comes to Transformer 2. The number of positive reviews for the sequel to the highly successful first film is abysmally low:

RottenTomatoes.com: 20%

MetaCritic.org: 35%

TopTenREVIEWS.com: 1.7 out of 4

Even over at IMDB.com, where it’s mainly “regular people” voting for films, it’s only getting 6.7/10 – not bad, but not an overwhelming vote of quality from “Joe Average.”

On the other hand, two days shy of being in theaters for even a full week, the film has already earned over $200 million in the U.S. and close to $400 million worldwide, and our very unscientific poll here on Screen Rant shows that 74% of visitors here rate the film either a 4 or 5 out 5 stars.

[poll id="9"]

The result? A backlash against movie critics the likes of which I’ve never seen before. There are accusations of impartiality (“you hated the first one so of course you hate this one!”), being too old to “appreciate” the film, being generally unclear on the concept of a “fun, summer popcorn movie,” and my favorite: Not liking it because I (and other reviewers) are snobby, elitist critics.

Generally speaking, action films that do well at the box office tend to get at least half way decent reviews (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Spider-Man 1 & 2, etc.), but this has to be the best-performing, worst-reviewed film in recent memory.

It seems that Michael Bay (who, for the record, I do not “hate” – his film The Rock is one of my favorite movies to pop in the DVD player from time to time) has tapped into the formula for entertaining the teen moviegoer who is easily amused by cool visual effects, big explosions and titillating shots of hot babes.

What’s ironic is that many of the same “elite” critics that skewered the sequel actually LIKED the first Transformers film, so those accusations are pretty ridiculous. Fine, I’m not one of those who liked the first one, but over at Rotten Tomatoes the first film had almost triple the positive score of the sequel (57% vs 20%), MetaCritics had almost double (61% vs 34%) and at IMDB where non-critics vote it was 7.4 vs 6.7.

The other funny thing is that here at Screen Rant I actually try to write reviews to help the average person decide whether or not to drop their hard earned bucks at the local multiplex. I also generally rate movies within the context and genre of where they fit and what they set out to accomplish. In other words I don’t judge Oscar-contender dramas on the same scale as a great comedy or an awesome Sci-Fi film. That’s why I can give Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, the amazing documentary Enemies of Happiness and Serenity all 5 out of 5 stars. Each of those films has a different goal, and each of them meets or exceeds it within the context of its genre.

Some may call that inconsistent, but I never claimed to be objective in my reviews – I have a certain taste and regular readers come to know that point of view and can judge whether or not they’ll like a film based on that particular point of view.

So as to the accusation of being an “elite snob,” here are a few movies that I consider “popcorn flicks” and which have received good reviews from me – and in some cases I’ve taken heat for being too easy on them:

So if a string of explosions, big CGI effects sequences, bad jokes and sight gags, no plot, lousy acting (HELLO Megan Fox) and foul language in a movie based on a toy line that will attract under-10-year-olds doesn’t strike me as a “fun” movie, that’s not my problem.

If you want GOOD action movies, keep supporting movies like Star Trek, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Hellboy, etc.

However, if you want more empty action movies, by all means, go see Tranformers 2 three or four times. But when you get a bit older and appreciate movies that have a good story and characters you can care about, don’t complain that there’s nothing but crap at the megaplex – because it’ll be your own fault.

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TAGS: transformers, transformers 2

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  1. I am going to see it Wednesday and cannot wait for “Action without plot, a lot of noisy explosions, puerile fart jokes, doggie sex and gratuitous sexploitation of women”.

    Why? Because it is what I expect from Michael Bay. When will people expect from a director exactly what they know they will get?

    @Vic

    95% of the time your reviews coincide with exactly how I feel about a movie. I’ll let you know on Thursday on this one. Not that you care (or should) of course. :)

  2. the movie sucks its just Bay jigiling keys infront of ure face saying “look at the shiney shiney”

  3. I still cannot believe that people did not like Cloverfield…what a fresh idea! And come on Eagle Eye was a pretty good movie, Live Free or Die Hard definetly delivered, and the Friday the 13th reboot was pretty damn good. And dont for one second tell me people did not laugh at Get Smart….But as far as Trasnformers goes major let down…I like to go to the movies with an oppen mind so I normallt dont look at reviews up until after I see the movie so taht the opinion I formulate is my own and not bias in the least. And I just dont think that the storyline of a movie so grande in scale was remotely good. This was something that Michale BAy and the writers came up with in teh last minute.
    I did like teh action (as always with Micahel Bay) and I thought Shia was the films saving grace. But the story and dialogue was very very weak and we really went nowehere from the first film (which I did like).
    I think that the 3rd needs to centralize more on a new topic and drift away from Megatron (same villain for 3 movies, come on)
    Either way the 3rd will make $$$

  4. I loved the film, yes it had it’s weaknesses, but I found it to be fun.I’m not bothered that most critics don’t like it, doesn’t change my liking for it. It baffles me when people get offended by other peoples opinions to films. It’s a film, you like it or hate it, no one should personally attack anyone. including you, Vic. But you said:

    ”However, if you want more empty action movies, by all means, go see Tranformers 2 three or four times. But when you get a bit older and actually acquire a bit of taste when it comes to film, don’t complain that there’s nothing but crap at the megaplex – because it’ll be your own damned fault.”

    I don’t think liking this film should question anyones taste. We ALL have guilty pleasures. Yes anyone reading this, YOU like films that most people would hate. Transformers sweeping up the Box Office will NOT effect the future of film.

    gottarhyme says:

    ”They lower the IQ of the general population of male hormonal adolescent Peter Pans aged between 25 and 40. This movie was not aimed at ‘kids.”

    Films don’t lower anyones IQ. It’s not like guys are walking of out and banging into walls and drooling from the mouth. I do agree it was not aimed at kids. I found that to be one of the problems with the film. You also says ”male”. I’ve seen and talked to many girls who saw the film and liked it/

  5. I couldn’t agree more Vic!

    I gave it a Two out of 5 stars as well… 2.5 if I had my way.

    I don’t know why you would be taking heat for an obviously unbiased review, i would go the exact opposite and say that I look up to you because you don’t keep the Same bland “Safe” review that many take.
    [I understand the irony here because I would have voted the film a 2.5!]

    The movie has a Hot chick, Awesome Visuals, Inappropriate Jokes,and giant robots fighting. I guess that’s all you need for a Blockbuster now a days!

    I’m guessing that most of the 52.0% are Teens/Kids votes… Just a hunch, but I’m guessing it would appeal to them more.
    while I did think the 1st movie was pretty good about a 3.8 on my scale, this movie felt like Beating a dead horse.

    But honestly… 50% 1/2 the people who voted said that the movie is the best of the best… right up their with some of the greatest movies ever made,

    Honestly they rate this movie up their with some of the greatest ever made!!! That’s complete BS

  6. Hey gang,

    FYI, upon further reflection I decided that my closing statement WAS a bit harsh and I’ve toned it down.

    Vic

  7. Lol, just dont pay attention to them Vic. Its your opinion, no one should be offended. Also, be glad that this isnt an AVP review that everyone is complaining about :)

  8. Vic then how would you have made the film then? As an expert in the movie industry with some experince in writing and directing movies. How would you have wrtitten the movie? What plot changes, characters or story ideas would you have placed in the movie?

    Didnt the same guys that did stark trek write this movie? So why hate on Bay? Yes i enjoyed it was fun, kept me hooked and heck made me feel like a kid watching what i could only imagine in my mind from reading the comics or watching the tv shows from back in the day. crude humor and eye candy…..heck watch tv for crying out loud!! Or if you have kids just listen to your kids….or think back to when you were a kid and you found fart jokes funny.

    Now i know alot of people will say see this is the type of people that make this move money….but really come one people!!!! its a fracking movie!!! why do i need to sit through ” the reader” or ” gran torino” and worry about the harshness of life and the complications of getting old and miserable…(ahem!!!!) when i can sit back shut off the adult side of me and BE that 10 year old watching a movie that just entertanins. Its not asking me to feel anything but just sheer happiness thats it.

    Sure it had plot holes and campy acting but take it for what its worth giant robots and hot chicks….

    Oh and all those other robots with out names or introduction as to who they were….they were just the red shirts from star trek nothing more nothing less.

  9. @angel dust

    Believe me – the fact that the Transformers movies were written by the same guys that wrote Star Trek befuddles me to no end.

    I would have actually preferred more giant robot fights with the camera pulled back to where we can tell what’s going on (like in the forest battle). Didn’t anyone else think the final battle scenes were anticlimactic? They build up Devastator to be this ultimate bad-ass and then he spends his time sucking up sand and climbing a pyramid with grappling hooks, and that’s basically it.

    Vic

  10. One thing that amazed me about the first Transformers is how many critics rated it very highly initially and then later revised it and gave it a lower rating. There were at least 4 or 5 major critics whose initial reaction was very positive, but then realized that they enjoyed a “dumb summer movie” and then lowered their ratings by 2 stars.

  11. Totally agree with your last post Vic. I was thinking the same thing….Anti-climatic ending, almost an after thought afer the editing was complete. I did not hate the film, but I felt let down. With Star Trek, I could not wait to see it again, ( same feeling with last years Iron Man) ST set the bar this Summer and I think nothing is going to come very close. D-9, Potter should complete the Summer fair. Reviews help me “close” the deal and I appreciate you and your staff to tell it like it is. Some sites will only influence “their” stance on a star or director and even a writer. “Observe and Report” was the worst film of the year by far, yet some sites and reviewers thought is was the best of all time. Personal taste I suppose, but if you want to appeal to the 12 through 14 year old movie demographic, I guess O and R as well as Transformers II delivers. I guess I have to respect what I read by the source after the source proves it self to be un-biased. ( like here on Screenrant) A great actor is just that, a great film is just that and so on…… Personally I don’t waste my $$$ on Rogan, Stiller and Cage. There is too much talent out there and too much to chose from to waste my time on mindless dribble and bad acting. I appreciate what you do here and before I get attacked for saying “I am in the business”….it is exactly the reason I can percieve the BS from who and what is being true to the craft….and not producing tripe. Please keep up the good work.

  12. And with this article can we all just imagine this never happened.

  13. I think thats everyones main beef with the movie the crazy hyper close up of the robots, the production team and i am sure bay and writers really wanted us to get an idea of the complexity and unique nature of the robots. Yes its cool to look at and you need to spend the massive budget on something….not just making megahan fox look way hotter!!! but yes i agree the close up hurts the movie by blurring the action somewhat, althought the forest battle did kick ass something fierce!!!!

    Devestator was the Venom of this movie massive ass kicking wasted on very little screen time and easy kill. I would see this movie again this weekend on the small screen to enjoy a different take on the movie.

    But really lets be adult about this…was this whole waaaa post really needed? Yes it has flaws but so do thousands of other movies and yet we still watch them, getting pissy and having to write a coloum where you are defending it is just adding fuel to the fire. Or perphaps you are smarter then all of us and this is a clever ploy to get more web traffic…..if it is you sneaky devil….but come on vic really???? think back to the 80′s campy show its not any better then this….the movies that you listed did improve over older material get smart was better, black snake was a unique movie, friday the 13th was friday the 13th….the rest had all original and unique story lines.

  14. Wow! This article was only about the backlash from fans for critics not liking this movie. Sure, he could have toned down his last statement, and he has acknowkledged that. But come on guys, he’s right. The critics at Screen Rant gave their opinions of this film and many of the readers came down on them like a stack of bricks. Vic did his research and found that his site wasn’t the only one going through this; thus this article. I think it was Kofi who liked the first movie and Vic hated it; 2 writers from the same site with varying opinions, yet they disagree in a calm manner. This doesn’t seem to be the case with many readers here. It seems that if someone doesn’t agree with you, you call them names and use vulgar phrases.

    On the most part, I agree with Vic’s reviews. There have been some I disagreed with but I still think the man is a talented blogger. These are just his opinions.

    Someone asked about what could have been done better; well, I would have had more robot action, a better villain in the Fallen, more action from Devastator, gotten rid of the human-looking decepticon, far less stupid humor, Simmons would have been in security somewhere (not some guy chopping meat) and less stupid, I would have had Fox get some acting lessons, the mother would have been less stupid, the Twins would have been more Jazz-like, more Ironhide, more Ratchet, and less scratches and dents on robots but vehicles look like new.

    The movie was entertaining for me but far from a great action flick.

  15. I’m with you on this Vic. There are a handful of critics who are a bit elitist, but none of them work for screenrant. While I don’t always agree with the guys here I think the reviewers on this site have fairly good taste and are by no means elitist. They were not great reviews, but check out Wolverine and Punisher War Zone. Two movies that are not considered great and that elitists panned majorly got decent enough reviews on this site. I thought Wolverine was fair while they were way to easy on Punisher. Still I think those two reviews can prove that these guys are not elitist. If anything Vic is an average Joe opinion, but with an appreciation for story and character. So an average joe who is a little more educated in the film industry.

    As a populace we should demand more of our films. More than shallow popcorn swallowing crap. To show where I stand by the way there are some films that are not classics that I enjoy. It wasn’t great, but hell I enjoyed Wolverine to a certain extent I even loved the Tom Jane Punisher aside from the Travolta mis cast. Wolverine and Punisher both had their flaws, but at least you can see in those films spots where they attempted emotion or something resembling depth. Even if Wolverine failed to achieve it the film at least tried to be a little more. Transformers proudly shows off that it is nothing more, but an empty summer things go boom fest. It doesn’t try to be more. I can respect a film that at least tries to be something more. I can’t respect a film that doesn’t even want to be a film just eye candy.

  16. Vic,

    revery back to teh old website look…PLEASE!!!!

  17. @Daniel F

    I agree with you:

    “As a populace we should demand more of our films. More than shallow popcorn swallowing crap.”

    And:

    “Transformers proudly shows off that it is nothing more, but an empty summer things go boom fest. It doesn’t try to be more. I can respect a film that at least tries to be something more. I can’t respect a film that doesn’t even want to be a film just eye candy.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. It deserves to be repeated.

  18. Whew! While I am not going to speculate as to what could (or would’ve) made Transformers 2 a better quality product…I will say that this backlash against the critics has certainly amazed me…almost to the point that it’s starting to get ridiculous.
    As evidenced on this site and others (FSR, CHUD, etc.), whenever a review comes out for a movie (favorable or not), there is almost always going to be backlash (with quite a lot of it via personal attack), but this is the first time I’ve seen entire subsequent articles dedicated to the act of critiquing itself.
    The thing to remember is that a critic’s opinion is simply that. An opinion of one individual…so feel free to differ…just be aware that you might not agree with what is written in the article.
    As for all of this revolving around Michael Bay and co…after seeing Transformers 2 with my friend, we realized that we have seen no less than 7 Michael Bay films in the theater upon their theatrical releases…and each time, we knew (almost) exactly what we were getting into (with the exception of “Pearl Harbor.” I don’t think anyone knew about that one). Did we expect “Citizen Kane?” Not at all. Am I going to lambast a critic for merely putting into print what I was already thinking (or already thought I knew)? Of course not (especially if the critic, if I may use Vic for an example, writes well written and carefully phrased reviews [so as to avoid spoilers] with helpful suggestions for those with children).
    My advice? For those who are inclined to read reviews of movies prior to their releases; read as many as you can. From that, formulate an idea of how you think the movie will go for you, and then shelve it while munching on popcorn and enjoying the stadium seating (or not, if they are not available in your area). Aferwards, see how the two line up while discussing what you just experienced with your friends. That’s all there is to it.

  19. I am totally with you on this, Vic. 2 outa 5 was being fair for this piece of crap. The people sitting by me in the theater who actually thought the poor sex jokes and dialogue were funny proves my point that people have very poor taste in movies. Now, I have nothing against cude humor, as long as it’s, ya know, actually funny and works in the context of the film, Transformers was neither.

    The action sequences were really repetitive. I swear, I was so unengaged I actually drifted off once. Let’s not even mention the flat and poor dialogue, the humans’ god-forbid-I-call-it characerizations and them giving what is supposed to be alien robots too many human attributes. Very dumb and inconsistent with the logic presented in the first (poor) film. Advanced alien robots who can’t read and make comments about the attractiveness of human females? And then **** their legs? Did this make it past the draft stage? Did they have 13 year olds write this?

    If repetitive CGI action sequences and great special FX are all you want out of a movie, then you will like this. But if you can’t see it, get the videogame instead – it’s the exact same thing, minus the crappy dialogue and acting.

    You want to watch a smart action movie with some actual substance, sharp dialogue, engaging characters and stories, AND great action sequences, go see Star Trek. Movie of the year.

  20. Critics have actually called this one right.

  21. “You want to watch a smart action movie with some actual substance, sharp dialogue, engaging characters and stories, AND great action sequences, go see Star Trek. Movie of the year.”

    Funny that both were written by the same duo.

  22. I know. It’s like they’re not even trying, lol. But I think Abrams helped a lot more than just the directing area with Trek. In the hands of someone else, the Trek film may have been Trensformers. Who knows?

  23. @Kel…

    That is why I hope that Abrams is on board for the Trek sequels. I pray, PRAY that someone like Bay isn’t at the helm for the sequels.

    As to this article. I have not seen this film and I will probably wait until I get it through Netflix. I tend to agree with Vic about alot of the films he reviews (although I did enjoy the first Transformers). Vic is usually fair and I have to laugh at the people who call him biased. I’ve said it before, but this is the best movie blog on the web.

    Oh, and “Shoot ‘em Up” was awesome. I’d love to see a sequel to that flick!

  24. Andy, I agree. And I would kinda like it if Abrams took another shot at Superman. His script from before was terrible, but that was before he was Abrams. ;-)

    And the rant IS the best movie site on the net! :-D

  25. Vic is right folks seen Dark Knight 5 times,Star Trek 3 times Transformers II once was enuff they cram a whole lot of G1,G2,and the Pretender Bot no acting,and a lot of Boom I just hope that G.I. Joe don’t suck!

  26. I screen rant is the only site I like. I use to use comicbookmovie like crazy then I found this place and it’s my new home.

    I’m not a fan of Abrams I find him to be way over rated, but Trek was great. I was shocked. Because I’m not a big fan of him and I hate the original Trek series with a passion. However the new Trek was great.

    I don’t get the appeal of Shoot Em up. I forget his name, but the main bad guy in it is an amazing actor and it sucks to see him do a movie like that, but he’s done worse and I think he just takes any role he can get. Because he has done some real stinkers. Shoot em up was ok to me, but nothing special. It was just one of those overly violent to over compensate for something else movies.

  27. The more I think about Transformers II the more I hate it. I’ll never sit through that again. People at work keep telling me the movie was great and made perfect sense. Mankind may be nearing its end.

  28. @ viper moon

    I wouldn’t get my hopes too high for G.I.Joe not sucking…

    I do have to say, this summer has almost felt like one huge bust. I never would have expected Star Trek to be the best movie to have come out of all the movies I was eagerly anticipating.

  29. Also, I had no idea both Transformers and Star Trek were written by the same people. That’s bizarre.

    I guess it’s true that more than just writing goes into the making of these movies.