High-octane robo-smash-em-up Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen has taken a bit of a beating these past weeks; Harry Knowles urged people not to see it, and it’s a mere 20% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, adding fuel to the fire, the film has been accused of… racism. Why? Well, it’s all down to twin Autobots Skids and Mudflaps. Introduced midway through Michael Bay’s rampant actioner, these robo-twins talk in jive, are seemingly illiterate (“we don’t really do much readin’!” they jabber), and allegedly reinforce unflattering black stereotypes. Oh, and one of them has a gold tooth.
Bloggers the world over sounded their war cries, and eventually the film’s creative minds have been forced to respond. Except nobody’s accepting responsibility. Bay insists the perceived stereotypes were “done in fun”, while Reno Wilson, the (white) voice artist behind Skids, reasons the characters downloaded their mannerisms from the internet to fit in on Earth. Oddly, the film’s novelisation waters down the troublesome characters, downgrading them to mere cyphers, while clearing up the literacy issue (they can read, just not ancient scrawls).
Meanwhile, Bay’s involvement in the proposed Transformers 3 remains shaky at best. With Paramount keen on a 2011 release, the über-director has his eye on a break from the bots and a T3 in 2012. But if Bay does step up to the challenge, don’t expect him to launch himself onto the 3D band wagon: “I’ve heard that a major side effect of watching 3D is feeling exhausted. Can you imagine how you’d feel watching one of my movies in 3D?”
And could an epilogue in the Revenge of the Fallen novelisation – featuring an injured Megatron boarding the feted ‘Nemesis’ Decepticon spaceship and discovering a slumbering army – be a teasing prelude to filmic chapter three? Transformers 3: Rise of the Nemesis, anyone?
Via Total Film