Saturday, June 27, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Film: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Dir: Michael Bay
Rating: *1/2 out of 5 stars

I was never a fan of the first film - it was a narrative mess, completely boring, and the visual effects were disappointing. Sure enough, the sequel is bigger, louder, and dumber than its predecessor. It even manages to be offensive this time around. Kudos, Mr. Bay, for digging yourself deeper and deeper into a position of ridicule.

Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is moving away to college now, and has put all that Transformers business behind him (except for the living Camaro in his garage). While going through old clothing, he unwittingly finds a shard of the Allspark, which in turn fills his head with Cybertronian symbols that evidently hint toward the location of a weapon that can destroy worlds. An exiled Decepticon known simply as "The Fallen" plots to find Sam, activate the weapon, and have his revenge upon Earth. The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are back again to defend humankind, while the now-resurrected Megatron is hunting Sam.

Despite what you may think, I dig Transformers mythology. Cars turning into giant robots and fighting each other is fucking badass, there is no denying that. And Peter Cullen's voice still gives me chills. So when an adaptation like this leaves me numb, I am twice as pissed off. The human characters are worthless and uninteresting. John Turturro is back to humiliate himself again, unfortunately. Like in the first film, Optimus and Bumblebee are the only worthwhile bots, as the others are barely seen, poorly done, or - in the case of Mudflap and Skids - completely racist and irritating.

The script is yet another jumble of crap involving Egypt, aliens, the military, and blah blah blah. While the FX are slightly better this time around, I still found it difficult to make out what was going on in most of the action sequences. And the final showdown between Optimus and The Fallen lasts all of ten seconds and is complete bullshit. Epic fail.

I was so bored with Revenge of the Fallen that within the first five minutes, I started timing the length of Michael Bay's shots just for fun. I don't think a single shot exceeded five seconds in the opening sequence. He also managed to work in that 360-degree pan he loves so much - during a kissing scene, no less. Sigh. Oh, Michael, you continue to out-shame yourself. Can you just go back to slapping American history in the face (ala Pearl Harbor) and stop raping our childhoods. Please?


Johnny Vengeance said...

I think you were generous with your 1.5 stars, but great review. It was a total abortion of what these two films should have been. It was so bad I was tempted to go back and watch Robot Jox, which sadly is actually a better film than either of the Transformers films. Sigh. Fuck you Mr. Bay.

Hitmandj said...

wow you really hate this film...I still think optimus is a bad ass...and I thought the transformers action was better then in the first one, or I should say more follow-able. However, Bay's directing was worse then ever...which says a lot. His fast shots drove me crazy, including the aforementioned spin shot around kissing...kissing! Michael Bay should go to the film making school by Alfonso Cuaron(so his shots last longer than 5 seconds each).

Rick "The Hat" Bman said...

Whoa... Did someone just bring up Robot Jox... man I had forgotten about that movie.

So, I guess I won't be wasting my time at the theater seeing this one.