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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

PG-13 150 minutes

Directed by Michael Bay
Written by Ehren Kruger Roberto Orci Alex Kurtzman

 · Shia LaBeouf Megan Fox Isabel Lucas Josh Duhamel Tyrese Gibson Hugo Weaving (voice) Peter Cullen (voice)

Review by Philter

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is arguably the most anticipated movie of the year. It is also one of the most frustrating movies of the year. Where sequels typically learn from the mistakes of its original, Fallen adds more to the list. Fallen does feature amazing special effects. It's too bad Michael Bay couldn't pull the camera back and hold it still for us to appreciate. There are only three fight scenes in this movie and they all look like a camera was mounted to an Autobot or a Decepticon. The movie is only 6 minutes longer than its 2007 predecessor, but due to a ludicrously unbalanced "script" the movie feels twice as long. I can live with extreme close up battle sequences, but when they are separated by over an hour of contrived, meaningless garbage I find myself asking "What is redeemable about this movie?" The answer, sadly, is nothing. As a Michael Bay movie all hopes for an original, cohesive story go out the window but it used to be a safe bet to get a fun, action packed picture. Now, with Fallen, it seems we can't count on that either.




Revenge of the Fallen had all the right ingredients to make a truly badass action flick. Introducing characters like Sideswipe, Arcee, and Jolt should have solved the problem the first movie had, which was not enough robot action. Like the first movie, the army of Autobots are practically no where to be seen for the vast majority of the movie. Two of the three major battles occur within the first 45 minutes, saving the third for the last 20. Unfortunately the journey from the second fight to the finale is plagued by uninspired, unoriginal, unintelligent forced garbage that has no idea where it's going, literally. At one point the four main characters are in the Smithsonian Museum of aviation (Washington D.C.) when a robot tears down a wall they are suddenly in the Tucson aircraft bone-yard. How can you spend $200 million making a movie and not catch that?

The supposed comedic elements were the stake through the heart of this movie. Take away Wheelie, Jetfire, Skids and Mudflap, John Tuturo's banana hammock, random humping dogs, and magic brownie trips, and this movie would have been at least as good as the original. Wheelie is a worthless, pointless character whose entire point in the movie is to hump Megan Fox's leg... After that shot, he literally disappears from the movie. Jetfire uses his landing gear as a cane. I assume this was a failed attempt at humor because it certainly wasn't a decision made logically or intelligently. Apparently Megatron can chill in the frozen arctic for a 1000 years and the deepest abyss for 2 years and still manage to rip apart Autobots, but Jetfire sits in a museum for 40 years and he has arthritis. Speaking of unintelligent, let's talk about Skids and Mudflap. They are literally the worst characters I have ever seen in a movie. It pains me to think that people will find them funny. They are the robot incarnations of Epic and Disaster Movie.




If there's one thing to take away from Fallen as you walk out of the theater, it is that Michael Bay really is in love with himself. He recycles outer space settings and asteroid sequences from Armageddon, aircraft carrier destruction from Pearl Harbor, and even tastelessly plastered a Bad Boys II poster in college dorm room. However, seeing as those movies--like all Bay movies--aren't exactly overflowing with plot or character development, they turned to other movies to "borrow" story elements from. One scene was taken almost directly from a Star Wars movie. The only thing missing was Megatron screaming "Noooooooooooooo!" very loudly. It left me screaming, so Megatron didn't have to.



Revenge of the Fallen represents everything that is wrong with the film industry today, sacrifising anything resembling plot or character development for flashy, mindless action. Fallen takes it a step further by trimming the action to an absolute minimum, leaving the audience braindead and bored. If you want to see a movie with robots and great action go see Terminator: Salvation. I would never recommend this movie to anyone when movies like Star Trek, Up, and The Hangover are still out. In fact you could catch the first two fights in this movie, go watch Up or The Hangover, refill your beverage, then be back in time for the finale and not have missed a single thing. At least that way you'll see a real movie with real comedy in between poorly executed fight scenes.

768 Words Published: 26 June 2009

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