MOVIE REVIEW – ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’

Written by J.T. Johnson

1-star

DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Ben Seresin
WRITERS: Ehren Kruger, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
MUSIC: Steve Jablonsky, Linkin Park, Hans Zimmer

The Transformers return in the sequel to the financially successful 2007 film with more special effects but an even weaker story in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. This time, Sam, played once again by Shia LaBeouf, is on his way to college when he finds a piece of the Allspark stuck in his old shirt. When he holds the shard up, it sends information into his brain and he is suddenly hit with strange visions and symbols about the Transformers’ past.

Meanwhile, the Autobots are living in secret on the planet helping out a new special operations team known as NEST. Their job is to hunt down the remaining Decepticons still hiding out on Earth. Eventually, they learn about a new enemy known as the Fallen who wants the information that Sam now possesses in his head.

This last part leads to my first problem with the film. The Autobots are living here secretly? I know that my suspension of disbelief is already in play due to the fact that I am watching a film about robots that can transform into almost anything. However, I cannot accept that in the information age, the military could still manage to keep them covered up after all the mayhem caused in the first movie.

I was getting tired every time Sam tried to cover up something that was done by the Transformers with some lame ass lie. Although, I will say that in regards to the suspension of disbelief, I do believe more in the robots in this film than I do about the humans. Anyway, on we go.

The best part about this film is the action. The scenes are choreographed and shot beautifully by Michael Bay, who proves once again that he is a skilled filmmaker when it comes to action. One of my biggest complaints about the first film was that the action was too close to where the audience couldn’t decipher what was going on. Here, Bay does pulls back the camera so that you can see the action in all of its glory.

As a matter of fact, I don’t have any problems with Bay’s direction in this film except for one scene where the camera keeps swerving around Megan Fox and LaBeouf while they are having a little heart-to-heart. If it’s not an action scene, then keep the damn camera still. Once again, it is the story itself that keeps this film from becoming something better.

Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Ehren Kruger have written a script that is too bogged down with unnecessary moments and way too much comedic relief along with humans that are more machine like than the Transformers. Some examples include an unnecessary and annoying college roommate who spends the whole time complaining about the unfolding events instead of doing anything to help the situation.

Then there are the Twins, two identical Autobots that only have one real good moment in the film when they are fighting Devastator. They also sound like stereotypical 90’s gangstas. So, on top of being annoying, they’re also extremely racist.

And then there is the humping. Oh my God, the humping. Dogs are humping, humans are humping. Even the damn robots are humping. I won’t go into greater detail about that but if you see the film, you will know what I am talking about.

Maybe the writers of this film should have spent more time focused on the Autobots that were introduced in the first film and less time on these unfunny and unnecessary characters instead. The audience does not even get to see the original Autobots that much, such as Ironhide (few scenes, little dialogue), Ratchet (blink and you’ll miss him) and Bumblebee. The only time you see them is when they are a part of the scene’s backdrop and occasional scenes featuring action.

Even Optimus Prime isn’t in the movie that long. The film is called “Transformers”, so do me a favor… Focus more on the damn robots!

Beyond the old Transformers, even new Transformers don’t get much screen time or development. Arcee is almost never seen and you better not look away or you will never see Jolt or Sideswipe around. The only ones with any substantial screen time are the aforementioned Twins.

One new Transformer that really bothered the hell out of me was in the form of a human woman. Yeah, that’s right. The film turns into a fucking Terminator film while she tries to kill Sam and company. Like too many scenes and characters in this film, she is unnecessary and worse, she is a complete rip-off of both “Terminator” and “Species” (Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that she has a really long and deadly tongue that she uses to try and kill Sam after trying to seduce him).

The story about the Fallen and why he is trying to wreak havoc on Earth is fine, but I stress this one last time, the film is bogged down too much with unnecessary crap. I bitched about the editor of the first film not cutting out unnecessary scenes that would have made the story tighter and all-around better. This time, if he had cut out the useless scenes and some of the crappy comedic relief, he wouldn’t have had much of a film to work with.

I got a film that was worse than the first movie and one that I genuinely disliked. Beyond the action, the story here absolutely kills the film from being one of the greatest action films of the year and one I just cannot recommend to audiences.

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