Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen | Rated PG-13 | starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez | directed by Michael Bay | 2:20 mins

Ready for his first year in college, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) finds a shard of the AllSpark that he promptly hands off to his girlfriend (Megan Fox). Now located, the shard plays into a Decepticon plot to return to Earth and rule over the planet if they can stop the last in the line of Prime’s. That would be Optimus, now working with the rest of the Autobots as part of a secret black ops military team to rid the world of hidden Decepticons.

While Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not nearly as fresh, fun and exciting as the 2007 original – and in several ways is a lot worse – I can’t help but wonder how genuine the critical dogpiling on top of it is also. Critics harbor obvious resentment for movies like this and armchair internet critics claim to hate anything with hot babes and “CGI” (quoted due to the frequent ridiculous mis-use of the phrase online). They were blindsighted by Michael Bay’s purely entertaining summer blockbuster Transformers. Pulling a movie like that from a toy line and a cheesy cartoon is a blood-from-a-turnip feat, not to mention it was a very, very different alien invasion movie. Now, 3 years later, built up hostility from the embarassment of their walk of shame out of  the theater last time, a sequel is upon us and armed with the “sequels suck” addage unleash hell on Revenge which, while a pretty bad movie, is far from the worst movie of the year (for my money, that title goes to The Hills Run Red, Bride Wars or Whiteout – movies with nothing going for them) or the worst movie ever (Whipped, Manos: The Hands of Fate anyone?)

The truth is, that if you liked the first film there is enough giant robot smashup chase scene to hold interest. To state an obvious that usually isn’t: water is wet and Transformers works as eye candy. Its those yammering humans that will have you reaching for a mute button. It’s when Bay gets away from Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee and The Fallen (I want to see more of the Tranformer homeworld now) and starts taking license with his own Transformers is when things fall apart quickly. We get two jive-talking twins (the original joke that the Transformers learn how to behave from the internet really should have been re-stated here, without it there is an ugly racial stink on these characters), an elderly Decepticon rebel with a cane, Devestator’s testicles and Bay really breaks the rules of the Tranformers universe by having one of them turn into a human.

The real crater-sized deathblow to the movie is that Bay and screenwriters Ehren Kruger and Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (of the superior TV series Fringe) somewhere along the way decided that Transformers works best as a comedy. Bay has always been known for his tacky sense of humor and Revenge is Bay at his tackiest. Leading the obnixous comic charge is Ramon Rodriguez as LaBeouf’s college roommate/internet conspiracy theoriest. Rodriguez spews bad one-liners as if a bomb attached to his ankle will go off if he doesn’t. Right behind that are the Transformers themselves, who Kurtzman and Orci have stripped of their alien attitudes by letting them curse and crack topical jokes. Then there are Witwicky’s parents (Julie White & Kevin Dunn) who are given a bigger role here and from pot jokes to “your my son, I’m not leaving you” delcarations are like nails on a chalkboard in their every appearance. The rest of the cast are determined “favorites” brought back to bark their lines too (sorry Anthony Anderson) and as in all of Bay’s big movies, they all have token, parced out “moments”.

Finally, the story is a mess. It starts out based on coincidences and builds to a mashup of ideas pulled out at the last minute. In the first film we learned that the aliens had been here before, captured in Sector 7. In this film we learn the Transformers have been here much longer, contributed to the building of the pyramids and hyroglyphics. It’s a convoluted backpeddling to try to get the movie to a resolution that feels somewhat circular.  Stuff that is set up to matter doesn’t and stuff that hasn’t been set up means everything. A super battle between Optimus and The Fallen is not so super at all and then, after all this, the movie doesn’t really end. It just stops. Cue the Linkin Park.

So yeah, Revenge of the Fallen is pretty bad. A bad sequel, an ok action movie and a terrible comedy. It’s tacky, stupid, mind-numbing and Bay hides many of his action scenes in quick edits or behind trees and walls. You’ll wonder why trees are blocking your view of a major fight scene. But anyone that thinks this is the worst movie ever made needs to see more movies.

1 thought on “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

  1. I’d agree with most that was said here, terrible flick, but not the worst. Honestly, I just saw nothing here to like, it was too long, no interest in the plot, the action was hardly worth it, the new characters were racist and annoying, and the humor was immature at best. That said, I felt nearly the same about the first film, only they had decency to end it a tad sooner.

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