Michael Bay reuses footage from The Island in Transformers 3

I haven’t watched Transformers 3, on the general grounds that I saw Transformers and Transformers 2 was apparently even more awful. Plus Mark Kermode gave a whole host of good reasons why I wouldn’t want to, such as it being racist, sexist and homophobic, as well as astonishingly stupid.

I have, however, watched The Island, with the impossibly lovely and random Scarlett Johansson, which had a very good first half and an impossibly bad, very stupid Michael Bay second half.

But Bay says he learnt from The Island that what the kids of today wanted wasn’t the thoughtful, interesting first half but the explosions-laden second half.

So, apparently, the world is doomed because the next generation is composed of morons. Oh well.

Anyway, so convinced of this does Michael Bay appear to have become that in Transformers 3, he’s actually gone and reused footage from The Island. Because you know, when you have a reported $250 million budget, you really have to scrimp, save and cut corners to make ends meet. How bizarre.

Has anyone else noticed, incidentally, that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley doesn’t get a single line of dialogue in any of the Transformers 3 trailers. That’s something of a warning about her acting talents, I think.




  • I saw the original version of The Island, Parts: The Clonus Horror, on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I suspect it’s better than The Island.
    And the re-used footage? Gob. Smacked.

  • Electric Dragon

    “Rosie Huntington-Whiteley doesn’t get a single line of dialogue in any of the Transformers 3 trailers. That’s something of a warning about her acting talents, I think.”
    Alternatively (or indeed additionally) it gives a hint about how much effort went into writing lines for her character.

  • SK

    Oh, come on. How do you suggest anyone makes a ‘thoughtful, interesting’ film about giant robots that turn into cars? I sure as heck can’t figure it out — it’s an inherently ridiculous idea, and when you’ve got an inherently ridiculous idea you may as well play up the ridiculousness.
    (I’ve seen it. I’ll continue seeing them as long as Hasbro keep licensing them. Quality doesn’t really enter into it as long as you have Optimus and Ratchet and the others whose toys I transformed as a child — there’s exactly one thing they could do to stop me watching, and that’s turn Optimus into a munkey.)

  • MediumRob

    “Oh, come on. How do you suggest anyone makes a ‘thoughtful, interesting’ film about giant robots that turn into cars?”
    If you can make a thoughtful, interesting film about a man who dresses up as a bat to fight crime, you can do it with robots that turn into cars.
    Having only seen Transformers 1, I can only suggest improvements to that, such as creating human characters that are actually recognisably human beings. Hell, why not have a movie that also considers what the ethical implications would be if every single machine in the world was sentient, say?

  • SK

    Can you make a thoughtful, intelligent film about a man who dresses up as a bat to fight crime? I don’t think I’ve seen one— ‘The dark Knight’ tried to get in some points about Virtue Ethics but was rather fundamentally hamstrung by its total absurdity and need to wrap up the plot that meant it didn’t delve nearly as deep as some commentators seem to think it did.
    Certainly the answer isn’t to spend more time on the human characters: they are not the point, they’re only there to give context and a sense of scale, so they should be drawn with as broad a brush as possible. Nor would it really be interesting to discuss such impossible scenarios as every machine on the planet becoming sentient: what can that tell us about the human condition?
    I have my own ideas about how the films could be better, mainly to do with making the robots’ personalities (and especially charactr models!) more distinct, in order to look at the impact of millenia of war (‘Transformers: The Movie’ did that better with the Kup/Hot Rod storyline), but none of that would even approach ‘thoughtful’ or ‘interesting’ because when you get down to it they are giant transforming robots based on a line of children’s toys and what we want to see is the battles they fought in our bedrooms, throwing non-sentient Matchbox cars though the air, writ large and in three dimensions.

  • We get the film industry we deserve.

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  • “Oh, come on. How do you suggest anyone makes a ‘thoughtful, interesting’ film about giant robots that turn into cars?”
    I don’t see why not. Plenty of the original comics were – given their intended age group – pretty intelligent. Rereading them a few years back, they were hardly Maus or Hellboy, but they were way ahead of typical licensed fare, with the later Furman-scripted stories being pretty good stuff.
    The problem with the films is really Bay. The first TF is, for me and Mrs G, something of a guilty pleasure. It gets quite a lot right: the intro, with the helicopter swooping in and surprising the base, is bang-on; but for every great moment, you get RacistBot or that cringeworthy hide-and-seek bullshit around the house. Bay being Bay, he couldn’t tell the difference between the good and the bad, so ramped up the latter and eradicated the former for the truly dreadful sequel. Depressingly, ignoring the teal and orange, the third film looks like it could be a great summer popcorn flick, but there’s no way in hell I’m risking £30 on it at the cinema, despite being a TF fan since I was a kid.

  • SK

    Oh, Furman’s a great hack who writes brilliant, thrilling ripping yarns, but I don’t think I’d call Matrix Quest ‘thoughful’ or ‘intelligent’ or of any deep artistic merit.