Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

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Published on: 2009.06.28

Thinking of going to see Transformers 2? (Also known as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.)

Think again.

After two-and-a-half hours of mayhem, crude jokes, boob shots, and confusing robot fight scenes, I came away with an okay feeling. Just okay.

But, after a movie has been hyped this much, and that cost this much (reportedly $200 million), you’d think I would have been blown away.

Not quite.

This second Michael Bay excursion into the world of transformers didn’t disappoint when it came to action scenes, romantic lighting, sunset silhouettes, slow motion walks away from explosions, camera angles rotating around a stationary subject, and all the other clichéd moves that we’ve come to expect from Bay.

I’m one of the few that actually love this style of filming — that’s why I keep going to see Michael Bay movies. But even I’m having to admit that they’re becoming a tired cliché.

The action scenes, especially one midway through where Optimus Prime defends Shia LeBeouf’s character against several Decepticons, and the climax battle scenes at the end were pretty well done. My only complaint would be that all the Decepticons are a uniform shade of silver and looked pretty much alike (while the good robots are brightly colored and easily distinguishable).

But aside from the battle scenes, the movie fell flat for me. Here’s why:
(** attention: spoiler alert **)

1) It took too long to get to the action.
The last half of the movie is almost non-stop fighting, but the first half was pretty slow, and punctuated with long stretches of crap that should have been cut without second thought.

2) The whole “college scene.”
As you know from the previews, there’s a whole scene in the movie where LeBeouf’s character goes to college. What the previews don’t tell you is that these scenes are like something out of a Tom Green movie, replete with low-brow sex-humor and a completely unnecessary scene where the Mom character gets high by accident and wanders around the campus stoned.

3) Dogs humping.
Dogs humping are never a good idea in a movie. Never. Not even in a Tom Green movie. But especially in a blockbuster sci-fi action flick. Twice in five minutes we see a chihuaha humping a bulldog. Incidentally, there’s also a scene where a small robot humps Megan Fox’s leg. While I can assume that many movie-goers actually want to do this, I doubt that any of them want to see a CGI robot do it.

4) Language.
Don’t get me wrong; I like Pulp Fiction, which uses the “F-word” over 200 times. Things like that don’t bother me. What bothered me is that the first hour of Transformers 2 is packed with unnecessary foul language from the mother, robots, roommates, and others. Yes, it’s PG13, so we knew going in that there would be language. But it was really poorly written, and felt gratuitous, especially coming from Julie White’s character.

5) Robot Testicles.
For some odd reason, the giant enemy robot near the end of the film has two huge wrecking balls hanging underneath his massive body. And of course, one of the characters has to point this out audibly, in case anyone in the theater missed the swinging balls.

There are other problems, but these are the main ones.

The movie is flashy, at times powerful and romantic, and it’s difficult to ignore the intrinsic beauty of someone like Megan Fox, or the feel-good humor in Shia LeBeouf screaming like a little girl as he runs from a robot that had almost killed him.

But it just doesn’t stand up to the hype.

IMDb: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Wikipedia: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Rating: PG13
(intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material)
Length: 150 min (2:30)
Director: Michael Bay
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
My Rating: 6 of 10
Family Friendly: Not as much as you’d think
Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Isabel Lucas

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