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    « Public Enemies | Main | Terminator Salvation »

    'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' (with spoilers)

    Try to imagine you’re at the best theme park in the world. Now try to imagine that there is a roller coaster which is so colossally huge that the track wraps all the way around the entire rest of the park (and it’s a very big one so the ride is going to last two and a half hours). Now not only does the track go all the way around the park but it dips and dives and rises and tunnels through all the other, lesser, rides as well. You’re waiting in line and you can see the track ahead of you. You’re excited; you’re going to get the all the thrills of a hundred smaller scale rides in one. You finally get strapped into your seat on the coaster and brace yourself for the most awesome ride of your life.

    Then the ride starts and something goes horribly wrong. It travels so fast that not only can you not actually focus your eyes on the spectacle around you but your seat starts to vibrate and shake frenetically, making it impossible to see anything. To top all of that, every other seat on the ride is occupied by loud, obnoxious jerks who are having a ‘who can be the most annoying’ competition. Eventually it becomes such hard work trying to use your eyes that you feel the need to just close them and endure the noise around you until the ride finally stops and you stumble out of your seat. You feel drained, ripped off and wondering how it all went so wrong.

    That’s what ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ is. A roller coaster that’s so pre-occupied with being fast and throwing stuff at you that it forgets to be entertaining, coherent or still enough to let you drink in the eye candy you’re being served. I gave up trying to enjoy it very early on because the film wouldn’t let me.

    But let’s talk about the good things first. Optimus Prime is still the epitome of awesomeness and the filmmakers treat the character with the respect it deserves. His voice opens and closes the film once again. His character is the only Autobot to receive a proper entrance. He actually saves the day and beats up the bad guys at the end single handed this time. The one good action sequence in the film (meaning the only one where you can vaguely make out what is going on) features Optimus taking on three Decepticons in a forest by himself. He’s the only good thing about the movie and the only likable character; the only one that talks properly.

    Which brings me onto the bad things. Normal people don’t exist in Michael Bay’s universe. In Transformers 1 it was just his portrayal of black people that I found offensive. The way that every single one of them talked like this:





    And so on. In this film though, everybody is like that. We have Shia LaBeouf being implanted with Cybertronian imagery which he feels the need to doodle everywhere while being generally dorky and panicky (which he clearly wasn’t enough of in the first one). Megan Fox, who I thought did a good job in the first film, either can’t act or chooses not to since Bay is treating her like a porn star the entire running time. There’s a scene where she takes off all her clothes and changes into skimpier ones halfway through a conversation with Sam for literally no reason. We have the least convincing mother in the world courtesy of Mrs Whitwicky whose main contribution to the film is to eat a pot brownie right after she helps Sam move into college and then parade around campus tackling people. We have a psychotic college lecturer that has to be seen to be believed. We have Jon Turturro back from the first film but now working in a New York deli ( and if you don’t think he has his abusive mother work there too…’re sadly mistaken).

    You have to spend two and half hours with these retards and you’re paying for the privilege.

    You’re going to hear a lot of disgust hurled at these two Autobot twin characters that are supposed to be the comic relief and talk in that pathetic way that ghetto people speak as written by white guys who have absolutely no idea how such people actually do talk. Well they are pretty repulsive (one of them even has a good tooth which might have made a cheeky gag if just a blink and you’ll miss it throwaway but is actually displayed prominently during all the character’s scenes - just to make sure we spot it and get the joke I suppose), as is this one little mini Decepticon who has a whiny Chicago gangster wiseguy voice. For my money though, the most annoying character is Sam’s Hispanic college roommate. 80% of his dialogue was unintelligible, 100% of it involved shouting and talking quickly. He was like a super annoyer created from the most irritating parts of all the characters from the last film. From the second he appeared on screen, I wanted Megatron to rip his jugular out. I figured he was just going to be in a couple of scenes before the Autobots pick Sam up and head off on their adventure. Imagine my horror when this fucker gets to come along for the whole show. I was actually yearning for Jon Voight to come back.

    I suppose I could live with this stuff if the robot vs. robot action was impressive enough but it isn’t. Most of it is shot in close up. No single shot lasts more than three seconds. With the exception of that one awesome shot of the big wheel Decepticon smashing through the road bridge and Optimus with it (which was in the trailer) there isn’t a single action shot that I can remember.

    Finally, I would like to say that calling this film ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ or anything of the Fallen is tantamount to consumer fraud. The Fallen is in the film for ten minutes tops and gets taken out like such a punk at the end that I was in disbelief. I figured the plot would involve the Decepticons searching to find and revive the Fallen but actually he’s already awake and hiding on a spaceship on the moon. He wants to find some kind of deus ex machina hidden inside a pyramid which will destroy our sun and turn it into energon for the Decepticons to suck up. For some reason, he can only get off his arse and join in the action in the last ten minutes once the machine has been uncovered in Egypt, at which point we have had so much exposition and build up to both the Fallen and the machine that we expect an awesome ‘save the world’ finale.

    As it happens, Optimus shows up, blows the machine up with one shot from his gun (we don’t even see it fire into the sun), fights Megatron for thirty seconds, fights the Fallen for twenty seconds and kills him with minimal effort. I won’t divulge the complete context of the scene but it was so unsatisfying for me that I did feel my money had been stolen.

    To conclude, if you’ve already made up your mind to see the film (as I did) then I cannot dissuade you but if any of you are on the fence about it right now, take it from someone who knows. This film is not worth your time or your money.


    By the way, did I mention there is a scene near the end where Sam dies, goes to heaven and some old dead robots talk him out of being dead because the film needs him in order to end? If that doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will.

    Reader Comments (4)

    Good review.....This is very dissappointing I'm gonna go see this, but I will definitely go in w/ low expectations.

    ......and " Sam dies, goes to heaven and some old dead robots talk him " WTH?!?!?!?!?

    06-20-2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Keith

    Thanks a lot; that's the best thing to do. I knew what I was getting myself in for but I thought the film would be entertaining at the very least. It wasn't.

    I doubt many people will bring that scene up in their reviews actually. It happens very close to the end of the film by which point you're just tossing and turning in your seat, begging it to end.

    06-21-2009 | Registered CommenterPhil Gee

    This movies been out for a while and I'm still debating to see it or not, Your review was hilarious and awesome,,,I'll wait for it to come out on video or hit the cheap theatre

    08-11-2009 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

    The film had so much potential when it was announced I was hoping it could be greater and better than the first one (which i love) but it didn't, everything happened so fast and there was no depth nothing, Megan was there just to look hot and eliminate sales of Sildenafil Citrate...

    10-15-2010 | Unregistered CommenterOliver

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