Movie Review – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Plot: The Autobots remain on Earth to help the Government search and destroy Decepticons.  Eventually they learn of an ancient enemy leader that plans to arrive on Earth and is in search of an energy source in which Sam Witwicky holds the key to finding.

When I walk into a Michael Bay film, I understand that the basic elements of plot and character development are flushed down the toilet, but one thing I don’t expect is to be completely and utterly bored out of my mind.  That’s what happened when I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  The first movie is decent.  It’s solid action and the humor was tolerable and even sometimes funny.  But this sequel…it’s just atrocious.  It’s elementary school humor, it’s cluttered with robots, but the worst part is that it moves so damn slow!  I wanted to take a nap.

So what made the first Transformers work?  The robots were handled very well.  They were eased into the story and we get a sense of who they are.  There are a few choice Autobots and Decepticons and we accepted them as an audience.  This made us appreciate the battles.  In this one, it’s just a complete mess of robots from each side and I don’t even know what the hell is going on.  Who’s fighting who?!  The only one I know for sure who I’m looking at is Optimus Prime, the Autobot leader.  So as good as the battles are in this movie, it doesn’t matter because I had to focus all my energy concentrating on who everyone was.  This is a Michael Bay movie, stop making me think.

Another major problem are the damn jokes.  I’m serious, it gets close to Batman & Robin territory.  What also made the first movie acceptable was that the robots didn’t talk that much except for Optimus Prime, who should talk a lot.  And their voices are so annoying.  Especially annoying are these twin characters that are bright green and red.  They are nothing but stereotypes, and they weren’t even the worst robots for me.  That prize goes to an ancient Decepticon who talks in kind of a British accent.  There is this scene where he just rambles on and on, and you have no idea what he’s saying while the human characters are just screaming back incoherently.  I felt like I was at the damn dentist.  I hated this character.  The only reason he’s not worse than Jar Jar Binks is because he doesn’t have many scenes.

As far as the human characters go, they are tolerable.  But really, all they do is run around screaming: “Optimus!!!!!!!!!!” “Sam!!!!!!!!” “Bumblebee!!!!!!!!”  Oy vey.  I like Shia LaBeouff.  I think he’s a good actor, I just wish he would do better movies.  I also think Megan Fox in the first movie was more than just eye candy and actually showed potential, but in this movie, yeah, she’s just eye candy.  There isn’t one human character I can say I liked, but I didn’t hate any of them.  I guess that’s somewhat of a positive.

The prime issue with this film is the pacing.  The first half was passable.  It was stupid, but I wasn’t bored and was somewhat entertained.  The second half was horrible.  You have no clue what’s going on.  At one point it’s just Shia LaBeouff’s character Sam Witwicky running for forty-five minutes shouting “Optimus” while the over the top and horrible score blasts in your ears.  You can’t even see any fighting as the screen is covered with sand and explosions.  It’s so grueling to get to the big final fight that we’re all waiting for, but even that was a huge letdown!  It’s like Michael Bay said, “Oooops.  I guess I ran out of budget.”  Unbelievable.

Well, was there anything I liked?  There was one fight early on in the forest that was pretty cool.  Why was it cool?  It was set in an area where you could clearly see what was going on.  Also, it was a clear one-on-two battle, so you knew who was fighting and why.  That was enjoyable.  I am impressed with the robot special effects.  These are big giant machines, but they don’t look too fake and are interwoven pretty well into the film.  Also, there is a scene where one of the Decepticon leaders ties Sam Witwicky down to a car that got kind of dark and had some good voice acting.  I’m actually pissed because the teaser trailer gave me the impression that they were going to go a bit dark in this one and step it up from the previous entry.  Boy, was I wrong.

So all in all, for a movie about robots fighting, it’s excruciatingly boring.  If they cut forty-five minutes to an hour, it would have been decent entertainment.  A lot people gave X-Men Origins: Wolverine a hard time, but that was an okay film for two reasons: First, it moved at a quick pace.  Secondly, it never hampered down into juvenile humor territory like this one did.

So please, stay away from this one, and don’t fuel its success.

Rating. 3.5 out of 10.


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