Never, Ever, Ever Again. Like, Seriously, Not EVER
DIREECTOR: MICHAEL BAY/2014
Reviewing the new Michael Bay Transformers movie is kind of like having to babysit this really annoying and obnoxious kid who drives everyone crazy, yet is inexplicably popular. If you’re me, you’ve never really had to babysit him before, but you volunteered to do so this time because nobody else could do it. Besides, you’d heard that he’d grown up and matured a little bit, anyway. Your friend told you that the last time he babysat Michael, the kid just sort of exercised and played with his action figure of The Rock the whole time, and he didn’t even make that much of a mess. I mean, yeah, he’s bringing his Transformers toys with him this time, and your other friends have told you horror stories about what he’s done with those. But your friend swears that Michael was much better behaved the last time, so why not give him another shot?
So Michael comes over, and at first, things are going fine. Besides his Transformers toys, he’s brought some spaceship and dinosaur toys as well. He plays quietly for a few minutes, and it’s actually pretty cool watching him fly his spaceships around the room. He even makes up a fun little story where the spaceships attack the dinosaurs, and it’s really goofy and stupid, but also kind of neat to see him making his dinosaur toys run away from pretend explosions.
But after a few more minutes, Michael gets bored with spaceships and dinosaurs, and goes digging in his backpack for his Transformers. This is where you get a little nervous, because you’ve heard that the last few times he brought these toys over to somebody’s house, he brought way too many of them and absolutely trashed the place. But he swears he’s only brought a few this time, and at first, he just kind of plays with Optimus Prime and his Marky Mark action figure that he recently ordered off of eBay for some reason.
He’s starting to get a little louder now, and a bit more annoying, but he’s still tolerable, even if the charm has worn off pretty quickly. He’s making up a new story about how Optimus Prime and Marky Mark are friends, and it’s goofy and silly but still kind of sweet in an “aw, he can’t do any better” kind of way. But then Michael says he wants to tell you about how the Terminator has teamed up with Dr. Frasier Crane to beat up Optimus and Marky Mark, and you feel that sense of panic start to manifest like a lead weight in your stomach. And what in the world is a kid like Michael doing with a Frasier Crane action figure, anyway? Do they even make those??
So, as Frasier and the Terminator fight Optimus and Marky Mark, you start to feel your sense of control over this situation slipping away. Michael’s starting to get more riled up, and your heart sinks when he digs the rest of his Transformers toys out of his bag. And they’re not even the cool ones! He’s got this stupid fat Transformer with a scraggly beard and a cigar, and this other goofy-looking Samurai Transformer, and this weird green Transformer who’s wearing a duster for some reason, and Michael insists on giving him a bad Australian accent. And honestly, you’re not even sure if these are real Transformers, because they seem a lot like bad foreign knock-offs. But Michael insists that they’re not—in fact, they’re totally awesome, and to prove it, he starts banging them together right in your face, and now he’s really starting to lose his capacity for voice modulation.
You try to get him to calm down and chill out, but it’s too late. It turns out Michael ate a ton of candy before he came over, and that sugar rush is just starting to kick in, because now he’s gotten the spaceships back out, along with some other robot toys and some weird robot dogs, and he’s slamming everything together while running around in circles and yelling.
And you can’t even make out everything he’s saying, and you’re sure he’s using a bunch of made-up words. Now you’re starting to wonder just what in the world possessed you to babysit this kid in the first place. But you grit your teeth and resolve to run out the clock, because it looks like he’s almost done playing, and hopefully his parents will be back to pick him up any minute now.
And then you look at the clock and realize you have to watch him for another whole hour.
You try to calm him down, but you can barely follow him at this point. Besides, Michael is way past the point of slowing down. And even worse, he’s getting into your stuff now, and you’re quickly losing the energy to keep up with him. Now he’s gotten all the pots and pans out of your kitchen, and he’s banging them together while screaming at the top of his lungs. Plus, you think that at some point it he turned on your stereo, turned up the volume, and set it on a bad alternative rock station, because you keep hearing snippets of terrible music in-between all the other noise.
You’re at the end of your rope, but there’s nothing you can do—at this point you’re so exhausted from trying to keep up with him that you can’t even stop him from hitting you in the head with a frying pan while kicking you in the shins, screaming some nonsense in your ear about dinosaurs and robots and cars and spaceships and the CIA, and none if it makes any sense at all. And then he says that girls are stupid, and didn’t you know that all Chinese people know Kung Fu, and to prove it, he kicks you again.
He’s gone full Tasmanian Devil now, spinning around your place like some kind of nightmare whirling dervish, punching holes in the walls and screaming nonsense words and phrases like he’s demon-possessed. And all you can do is collapse on the couch and pray that Michael’s parents will be here to get him soon, and promise yourself that never, ever, ever will you babysit this insane, demented child, ever again. And at this point he’s hit you in the head so many times with the frying pan that you think you may have a concussion, because you’re definitely not thinking clearly anymore, and is he really breaking all your stuff with robot dinosaurs? It kind of looks like it, but there’s so much chaos and noise that you can’t be sure of anything you’re seeing—plus you think he may have started a fire, because there’s a lot of smoke, and things are getting very hot and uncomfortable, and is that the alarm blaring in the background? It’s kind of hard to tell, because everything sort of sounds like you’re underwater, due to the blood leaking out of your ears. You just hope your brain isn’t melting.
You have to check your clock again, because Michael’s parents swore they’d be back to get him in three hours, but it feels like it’s been at least three times that long. As a matter of fact, it feels like you’ve never known a life apart from the chaos that is Michael—like he’s trapped you in some kind of endless time loop, and he’s slowly driving you past the brink of insanity. And all you want to do is make it stop, oh God please make it stop, and Michael just laughs at you and jumps in your lap and puts his face inches away from yours and snarls in a deep, guttural voice, “God will not help you. What kind of God do you think would allow me to exist?”
This is it, you realize. This is the end. This kid is the Antichrist, and he’s going to kill you. You’ve made the worst and last mistake of your life. But maybe, just maybe, death wouldn’t be so bad, because it would mean an end to this nightmare. But then, finally, mercifully, after what feels like a lifetime, the nightmare ends itself. It’s finally ten o’clock, and Michael’s parents are here to pick him up. Your house is a wreck, and they don’t you for babysitting, but you don’t care as long as they just take him away, and promise that you’ll never have to see him again. And all you can do is collapse, exhausted, in a heap on the floor, and wonder about your life choices, hoping that maybe your brain will somehow black out this night in a self-protective reflex, and maybe you can get on with the rest of your life in the morning.