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Biggest Transformers Face Palm Moments

What were they thinking?

By Rob Vaux     June 30, 2011

Biggest Transformers Face Palm Moments
© Paramount Pictures/Robert Trate

 As we all know, Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are absolutely critic-proof. And I would be lying if I said that the sight of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime rendered in a real-world setting didn’t send a shiver of fanboy glee up my spine. (Besides which, I could listen to Peter Cullen read the phone book and still love it.) But at the end of the day, the films are damn hard to defend. And I’m not talking about plot holes or excessive explosions. The most egregious moments color the films with a crudity they absolutely don’t need and turn what should be harmless popcorn fluff into something infinitely more hostile. Here’s a list of the lowest moments in the Transformers franchise: moments that, if excised, would have made the Bay-hem a lot more enjoyable.



7. Bumblebee’s “Voice”

Frankly speaking, the series was probably damned the moment it made Bumblebee a Camaro instead of Beetle. (So really it’s all Volkswagen’s fault for not going along with the whole thing in the first place.) And the idea of him communicating solely through pop-culture sound bytes has a certain amount of charm… for the first five minutes or so. But the sheer inscrutability of his comments – let alone trying to connect how it fits in to the current context – becomes exasperating. (Postscript: they did a lot to fix this problem in Dark of the Moon.)


6. The Whole Plate of Donuts

Glen Whitmann: fat, cowardly, shrieking at his grandmama and totally superfluous to the plot. So why is he here? Because somebody thought that a spineless overweight black man would be really funny. But it’s not racist; Michael Bay said so. (Remember that point, we’ll be coming back to it.)


5. The Queen of Tarts

Regardless of your personal feelings about Megan Fox, her presentation in these films single-handedly sets women’s rights back by decades. Slathered in make-up, splayed across cars and motorcycles like a vibrating bed, Fox basically screams “don’t you want to fuck me?!” in every single shot. And she’s not the only one treated like a 1-900 sex phone ad. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s new girlfriend, Rachael Taylor’s “computer expert” and Isabel Lucas’s massively canon-breaching Decepticon mole receive similarly stomach churning treatment. We love sexy girls as much as anyone, but you can make them appealing without three inches of base and three inches of powder. Bay may as well put Mrs. Witwicky in a push-up bra and be done with it.


4. Mom’s Little Masturbation Talk

Speaking of Sam’s mom… one wonders what she’s doing in a film like this at all. Teenage boys certainly don’t want to be reminded of their moms when ogling Ms. Fox or watching Optimus Prime rip a Decepticon’s central processor right out of its chest. But rather than reduce the character’s awkward presence to an absolute minimum, Bay deliberately draws attention to it… by turning it into a joke. Hey kids, want to hear about the senior Witwickys’ sex life? How about eating a pot brownie and going wild? And let’s not forget the “Sam’s happy time” moment, in which Mrs. Witwicky attempts to explain to her son that it’s perfectly okay to rub one out. Way to make your core audience squirm like live bait!


3. Bladder Control

The dog pisses on the Autobot. The Autobot pisses on John Turturro. The movie pisses on us. We get it. Peeing can be funny (witness Animal House, The Naked Gun, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and many others), but Bay wields the notion the same way he does everything else: as a weapon to pound us into submission.


2. Testicular Danglage

Devastator always ranked among the biggest, baddest Decepticons ever: the one made out of six smaller Decepticons in that set your parents would never buy for you. When he shows up in Transformers 2, it’s supposed to be the end all be all of scary moments for the forces of light (and somewhere in the midst of its showdown with Mudflap and Skids is in the kernel of a good idea). That gets shot square in the (ahem) nuts, when Bay treats us to the sight of Devastator’s dangling sack hovering above Turturro’s shocked face. He can’t even be bothered to make a real joke about it; he just shows it to us and waits for the applause.


1. The Twins

The two-fisted minstrel show in Revenge of the Fallen has been pilloried to death these past few years, but we’re not going to refrain from kicking it again. Why? Because it’s just that astonishingly bone-headed. Seriously, the only reason the NAACP didn’t kick up a greater fuss is because they’re still trying to wrap their heads around the notion that anyone in 21st century America would be stupid enough to greenlight it. It’s not personality, Mike; it’s racism. And quietly dropping them from Part 3 doesn’t let him off the hook for putting it in Part 2. 


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wrrlykam 6/30/2011 12:36:26 AM

The randy dog scenes have been missed off this list. There is no good reason storywise for those scenes for be there. It was a stale joke after shot without reusing it.

SarcasticCaveman 6/30/2011 1:26:00 AM

 And now let's see who's going to post the first "Haters" comment...I'm giddy with anticipation.

Darkknight2280 6/30/2011 4:08:55 AM

#1 and #2 i can agree with they were dumb and cant beleive they actually did this.

On a side note.why does mania as a whole have this whole witch hunt mentality against a successful series of movies. I could find a million dumb things wrong with Twilight but you dont see mania posting anything smearing against that girlie teenage squeel fest! Very strange indeed.

NotAFan 6/30/2011 4:39:24 AM

 If you saw the Glen Whitmann character being funny and automatically thought of it as being racist just because he was doing what comedic characters are supposed to do, then it seems to me that you are the racist one! Just because hes black and a coward, it has to be racist! It can't just be that he is a man who is a coward! You have to see him as black! You sir are the reason that racism continues today! Tell me sir do watch Scooby Doo and say that Hanna Barbera is racist against Hippies and dogs? OR do you think that Scooby is supposed to represent black people like you seem to think the alien robots in transformers do? 

troyw 6/30/2011 5:34:30 AM

Ok, I've heard that just one comment too many on racism. Racism is believing one race to be better than another. How do the "Twins" qualify for this at all? All it's "guilty" of is a stereotype, which I might add is amply lived up to in shows like "The Voice", or that one with Flavo-Flav & Bridgette Nielsen. Look at how these guys act. They're JUST LIKE THE TWINS. It's the way they are. So what. It's just like I learned by experience that almost all of what Jeff Foxworthy jokes about in regards to the south is really true. When I moved down to the south from New England, I didn't realize how true those stereotypes were, and are. Doesn't at all mean I'm "racist". It means I can laugh at the nature of human behavior, including my own. Anyone here want to debate the fact that I well know the stereotypes of New Englanders? And yes, I think they can be true, and can be funny. I laugh at them, and am not such a politically correct pussy that I'm offended every time someone points out an accurate behavioral stereotype that sometimes deserves some laughter, maybe even some derision.

Geez, people, grow a set. Seriously.

Wish, you pointed this all out as well, and nicely done. I'd even add that I heard nothing much on stereotypes that were in "The Hangover". Man, no one offended by any of that?

jppintar326 6/30/2011 5:34:50 AM

Anthony Anderson is one of the most annoying actors working today.  His pointless presence in Transformers was particularly lame.  Can't believe the twins were featured instead of cooler classic Autobots like Prowl, Bluestreak, Gears, Huffer, Blaster, Mirage, Wheeljack, or anything but them.  How Devastator was stopped was lame.  Humans fired a large gun at it.  Thosr are supposed to bounce off Devastator.  In the animated show, they usually stopped Devastator bby out smarting him.

gopherblaster 6/30/2011 5:48:22 AM

 Thank you for this list

Wiseguy 6/30/2011 6:23:39 AM

troyw, Devastator grew a set and that didn't work. We must all be neutered, no balls allowed.

This is a haters list. Haters gonna hate. I say hate the game not the playa.

jmw2814 6/30/2011 6:31:11 AM

Its not racism its stereo typing. There is a difference. People need to learn it. Just becuase someone makes a joke or offhanded reference does not make it rascist.

ObiWannaJones 6/30/2011 6:52:15 AM

Hater Comment:  I agree with all of this head slappers 100%

After I watched the first one, complete with soft porn Megan and Mom's masturbation talk, I concluded that not only did I waste money taking my family to this crap, I lost countless brain cells

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