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Movie: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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Imagine, if you will, that somewhere in Hollywood a mad scientist has managed to splice the DNA of Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg. Now imagine that from this unholy union not one, but two beings are formed: One an elite, super fit, film-maker, with the ability to tell powerful, beautifully depicted and emotionally rich stories that examine the human condition. The other is Danny Devito… and he directed TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

While my ‘Twins’ analogy is flawed, it’s my way of saying that since teaming up with Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay is learning from the best. It’s hard to argue against the notion that Spielberg is one of the greatest film-makers of our time. The problem is that Bay seems to be only taking on the worst of Spielberg – I’m not saying that I expected Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen [T2:ROTF] to be SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, but I sure would have liked it more if it hadn’t been so damn ANIMANIACS.

Things explode in this movie, just as they should. Michael Bay gets a fairly substantial ribbing for his apparent desire to see all things explode in a fiery death. But lets be completely honest. We all get off, at least a little, on watching Bay do that very thing, because he’s just so damn good at it! And in that sense, T2:ROTF is a massive success. The action is intense and thrilling… and giant robots beat the hell out of other giant robots – Can I get a HELL YEAH?!

But this movie has the worst of Spielberg rubbed all over it. There are the *gremlins*: A mass of small annoying robots which transform out of kitchen appliances and take over Sam’s (Shia LaBeouf) house. One of which has the nerve to hang around for the rest of the movie.

There are new side-kick characters: The Twins. Complete with cornball dialogue and slap-stick comedy. While the characters themselves may not be out of the Steven Spielberg handbook, they are used in much the same way as the gophers and monkeys were in the latest INDIANA JONES offering. And time that could have been spent giving us a reason to care about Mikaela (Megan Fox) and Sam is wasted on sight gags involving a Deceptacon getting caught in a mouse trap or our Transformer side-kicks jostling with each other.

As I’ve said in the past, it’s my opinion that, when it comes to science fiction or fantasy, Spielberg seems to be afraid to get too dark and resorts to silly comedy to lighten the mood. Sure, you can argue that this is a movie based on HASBRO toys, therefore is a kids movie and Bay was right to follow Spielberg’s lead… Ok, so if it’s a kids movie why am I being shown dogs humping? And how many testicle/scrotum jokes are you allowed before it’s no longer a movie fit for children? Or, for that matter, just how far up her ass do Megan Fox’s cut off jeans have to be before I’m old enough to not need my hand held by silly gold-toothed, big-eared robots during the action scenes?

At his best Michael Bay is the Arnold Schwarzenegger half of the genetic experiment. Especially when we’re talking about action movies. I really enjoyed the first Transformers film, even though it had some of the very elements that frustrated me in the sequel. The difference is that this time around these distractions are to the detriment of the movie.

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12 Comments

    Megan Fox… you had me at ‘hand held’…

  • The transformers really took a back seat in this film, except for Optimus and to an extent Bumblebee (who seemed to have nothing to do this entire film)

    While I’m not saying take away the human characterisations, add a little more to the robots – I could have felt a bit more when a certain blue and red autobot went down midway through the film (Although to be honest, it was head and heels over Jazz’s death in the first film)

    Enjoyable film though. I want a Jetfire toy, complete with landing gear walking stick.

  • Isabel Lucas, Megan Fox…so what I’m hearing you say is that this is the best movie ever?

  • Helloo!!! How about the spoiler alert for those of us who haven’t quite gotten there yet????

  • Erm? Spoiler? where?

  • I think i’ll give it a miss and go and watch Robot Jox instead.

  • Transformers 3 TO DO:
    – No Gremlins
    – No stupid shit turning into Gremlin Transformers (I really want to emphasise this one)
    – No dead things coming back to life
    – Kill the “twins” – wtf is up with those guys? Seriously.
    – Gratutious Megan Fox naked scene of some description
    – Isabel Lucas clone army

    The only thing I REALLY don’t get in both Transformers movies is why doesn’t Megatron grab the fucking Allspark off Sam (first one) and why can’t big mother fucking robots kill Sam and whoever else is running away from them (definitely second one).

  • G has wept to read this review. Seeing a grown nerd cry…pitiful.

  • Why did G cry? I’m the one who had to watch this garbage… or was he just appalled by my savage mistreatment of the english language once again?

  • Oh, you attribute too much scholarly depth to my G. He’s just a heartbroken nerd who wanted an enjoyable night out at the movies, but trusts your judgement (i know, i know, i asked the same question), so is saving his pennies. AND he missed the Star Trek (which he wants to hate but fears he will love). Very sad.

  • I miss the old transformers cartoon and when I seen this film I was reminded why I wasn’t a fan of the first one. Let me make a few suggestions to Michael Bay when/if there is a transformers 3. Firstly Cut the crap filler! Robots caugh in mouse traps and blenders turning into robots is stupid and reminds me of a film called “Batteries Not Included” a great film when you are 9 but not when you are in your late 20’s. Secondly Starscream! Bad ass with high aspirations in the cartoon. Bring it back. Why is Bumble Bee missing through out half the movie? Lastely More gratuitas ass shots of Megan Fox. Because explaining to my 8 yra old cousin what “Flossing with her Jeans” ment was the best part of my movie going experience.

  • I thought the movie was enjoyable, but it was way too long. Partly because of the comedy-filler. But also because some of the transformation scenes seem to just go on and on. The movie could have done with an editor who wasn’t too scared to upset Spielberg. And there was too much spinning camera work.