Tag Archives: Transformers

Beyond The Twins: Another look at Revenge Of The Fallen’s Character Flaws

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

fallentwins1

“It’s done in fun. I don’t know if it’s stereotypes — they are robots, by the way. These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it.”
Michael Bay, as quoted by the Associated Press

This argument is, of course, sophistry. Bullsh-t, if you prefer. As was discussed over the weekend, Revenge Of The Fallen brought out the worst in Bay and writers Ehren Kruger, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. And the “twins,” Skids and Mudflap, have only become a joke. As you read above, Michael Bay was content to throw voice actors Tom Kenny and Reno Wilson under the bus for the uproar they’ve caused. And let’s not forget, this film just flat-out sucks.

fallenposter1 But in this story, it’s alleged that Bay had a heavier hand in making the twins “fan-friendly.” It’s also been explained in the novelization of the film that their inability to read extends only to ancient Cybertronian, rather than contemporary language. In the Film School Rejects story, Wilson, who is black, offered this slightly more plausible explanation for Mudflap’s behavior:

“It’s an alien who uploaded information from the Internet and put together the conglomeration and formed this cadence, way of speaking and body language that was accumulated over X amount of years of information and that’s what came out … If he had uploaded country music, he would have come out like that.”

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Open Thread: Transformers and Race

by Latoya Peterson

Okay, I lied. This isn’t a real open thread as much as it is an announcement.

We’re going to do something on Transformers. Arturo plans to hit the film this weekend, he’ll have a fresh post up early next week.

So thanks for all the tips – we will talk about it officially after Arturo sees the film.

(As an aside, who knew so many Transformers fans read the blog?)

Here’s a quick summary from Yahoo (“Jive-talking twin Transformers raise race issues”)to get the convo rolling for those of you who have seen it or want to comment:

Harmless comic characters or racist robots? The buzz over the summer blockbuster “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” only grew Wednesday as some said two jive-talking Chevy characters were racial caricatures. Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact hatchbacks, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They’re forced to acknowledge that they can’t read. One has a gold tooth.

As good guys, they fight alongside the Autobots and are intended to provide comic relief. But their traits raise the specter of stereotypes most notably seen when Jar Jar Binks, the clumsy, broken-English speaking alien from “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” was criticized as a caricature.