Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I hated Michael Bay's first Transformers, and this second installment is more of the same only longer, louder, sleazier, and (if possible) dumber.

Part Deux is filled with lazy humor, cheap gags (such as multiple shots of humping dogs and robots), a confusing and ridiculous plot (which is so inane characters twice have to stop and explain it not only to us but each other), big, though not too impressive, special effects, and little else. It's obvious that Bay and screenwriters Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman love robots (wait, it took three of you to write this movie?). What isn't obvious is if they give two shits about Transformers, or their fans.

Once again we're given a plot which has more to do with Sam (Shia LaBeouf) learning a life-lesson and Megan Fox looking hot than Autobots or Decepticons. In fact the Decepticons aren't even the big baddie here, it's the Fallen. What is the Fallen? Well, you see, he's one of a race of seven Primes, ancient Transformer brothers... (the sound you just heard was me dying a little inside).

Let me stop for a second and offer a note to perspective screenwriters: When your plot makes Highlander 2: The Quickening sound plausible by comparison chances are you've taken a wrong turn somewhere. And Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen takes many, many wrong turns.

The one improvement made from the original is to increase both the role and of Optimus Prime (the only robot in the film who is more than a special effect) and his ability to kick ass in a fight. Now Prime can take on multiple other Decepticons at once and hold his own. However now so can Bumblebee. Um, what? Did the Autobots go through some training course between films or have the Decepticons all simply become big pussies? Seriously, when you get taken down in seconds by Bumblebee you need to slink off and see if you can get a job as an extra in a Gobots movie.


I could spend another thousand words discussing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and its long list of other many obvious failings (the Cylon sexbot, the pitiful version of Jetfire, the Decepticon in a box, the racist-bots, the wide variation in number and strength of Transformers over the course of the film, the brownie scene, Bumblebee's water spray gags, and, oh, so much more). Then again, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I've got one that sums up my feelings:

Congratulations Mr. Bay, you've now distinguished yourself as a serial rapist of my childhood. You've somehow outdone your last attempt at transforming a once-beloved franchise into a preposterous exercise of "cool" which amounts to loud explosions, shots of Megan Fox's ass, and robot porn for sad lonely men who are still blogging incessantly complaining that Birds of Prey was taken off the air.

As you can see on the scale below, in relations to all things Transformers, the new film rates rather low. Finding itself snuggled at the extremely un-awesome side of the scale between Seaspray and Gears, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen isn't worth even a fraction of its 150 minute running time.


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