Holy explode-y granoly, The Rock is ridiculous. A great kind of ridiculous, a kind of ridiculous I still really, really enjoy. The swooping-the-camera-around-someone-heroically thing Bay does a lot, like when Cage surveys the damage of the Hummer-versus-Ferrari car chase, got a big laugh each time. (Great turnout last night, too.)
I almost wonder if The Rock should not work as well as it does. It's ridiculously (there's that word again) kinetic, where so much of the film's energy comes from the camera moves and the wall-of-sound-with-synths-and-guitars score that Nick Glennie-Smith and Hans Zimmer (and a few other composers) wrote. Much of the story is over-the-top in nowhere near a real-life way: as was pointed out on the commentary, Gen. Frank Hummell (Ed Harris's character) could just have taken his issue to the news, not tried to resolve it by threatening to bubble off the skin of everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area. But I doubt anyone watches Jerry Bruckheimer productions for real-life accuracy, AND BLESS HIM FOR THAT.
And yep, I got caught up in the ridiculousness and had a genuine emotional reaction to it, which is more than Bay managed with the first Transformers.
How caught up? Let's go back to after I first saw the film in 1996. Near the end, Hummell launches a VX poison gas-tipped rocket towards a full football stadium, then steers the missile off-course so he doesn't kill tens of thousands of people. The missile flies across the peninsula and out to sea. It crashes. I then imagined the poison hitting the water, spreading to all the fish within half a mile, making them bubble and melt and explode. I thought Oh no! Those poor fish!
I would go on to cry at The Truman Show. I'm just saying.
Shots that should not be beautiful, somehow are. It's a pleasure for me to watch. This is why John Schwartzman gets the big films.
Should be a good turnout for next month's Midnight Movie, because that one is, finally, Raiders of the Lost Ark. McMenamin's has taken extra steps to be sure that, unlike when it couldn't show Raiders as the June Midnight Movie, it will definitely be able to show Raiders this time.
When the FBI's mobile command rolled its truck into that warehouse, I yelled "OPTIMUS!!!!"