Why Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a Better Movie than Inception
So Rotten Tomatoes gave Inception an 87% on the Tomatometer while it gave Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a 20%. (But it only gave Sex and the City 2 a 16% so how accurate can it be?) I have also become the first of my facebook friends to “Like” TRF. Thanks to RT I thought of like literally like “Like”ing it.
TRF is a better movie than Inception because it better satisfies its intended audience. Transformers: RF is cinematically the most possibly realized dream of a twelve-year-old while Inception is an under-realized movie about dreaming.
When I was a kid I played by myself a lot—Legos, Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, blocks, dolls, this castle thing that my grandma insisted belonged to my brothers. I’d lie on the floor in my room and imagine different scenes for my toys. I could do that all afternoon. TRF is Amy-as-a-kid’s kind of movie: rapid cuts from scene to scene for the ADD inclined, stunning visuals, a plot fit to the machinations of a fourteen-year-old, and maximum wish fulfillment for the kids who spend time playing on their bellies. It doesn’t fly so well with adults out of their floor-playing prime: critics who want to be surprised or moved or for whom sci-fi aesthetics carry little weight. It’s fine, they’re great people, just not the targeted audience.
Inception is more entertaining than TRF, although it lacks TRF’s aesthetic supreme awesomeness. Inception was also disappointing; it had the potential to do more than entertain. It could have pointed to something outside of itself, stuck with people made them think, reached the level of art. But it ended cheaply, with a gimmick. The movie itself was too sloppy to warrant careful observation (If Leo wanted his kids so bad, why didn’t he just have them come to France?), and the question it finally asked—the idea for the audience to incept—was a boring one. Is this world real? You can think about it for 20 minutes before deciding that there is no way to know and that it ultimately affects your life not at all.
When I was watching the previews for Inception in the theater. Eureka! this idea struck me: what I want most out of life is to be entertained. It depressed me as I went to get popcorn. But at one point—when I spent my time with small plastic animals and toy cars turned into robots—I wanted most to populate my world with characters, with ideas, with friends, and entertainment was more of the by-product than the goal.