Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
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Release date: 24 June 2009 (USA)
Director: Michael Bay
Budget: 20 crores USD
Box office: 83.65 crores USD
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Film Flex
Adapted from: Transformers
Written by Erhan Kruger & Roberto Orci
Starring – Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Ramon Rodriguez, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Isabel Lucas and John Turturro


OVERVIEW – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Fact: If you enjoyed the first ‘Transformers’ film and found it to be a fun summer action film then you will most likely enjoy the sequel ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’. With that out of the way let this review commence.

‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ is a summer action movie in the purest sense. It’s not meant to be art; it’s meant to entertain people of all ages and backgrounds. What it attempts to do is provide escapist fun for two-and-half hours. It seeks to make audiences forget about their problems in the real world while they watch giant space robots kick the crap out of one another and revel in CGI robot pornography.

Picking up two years after the previous film, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ brings back all the familiar faces of the first film and immediately we are shown where those characters are in life now. Optimus Prime and the Autoboots have joined forces with Master Sergeant Epps (Tyrese) and Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel) who lead the newly formed military faction NEST. With the help of the Autoboots, NEST hunts down rogue Decepticon that are still in hiding and flush them out.

The Autoboot team has several new additions to its roster since the first film. Jolt (a Chevrolet Volt), Sideswipe (a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept car), Arce (a hive mind set of three Japanese motorcycles) and the now infamous Skids and Mud flap (each is a Chevrolet Beat). Combining with the Autoboots from the first film, this is the new team of Autoboots that is responsible for defending Earth.

He’s faced with many things to take care of before he heads east. Mainly, how to not lose his super-hot girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox), and what to do about the alien robot that lives in his garage and watches over his family.

Sam’s parents, Ron and Judy Witwicky (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) are now aware of the alien living in their garage and sworn to secrecy by the United State government. (It almost goes without saying that Kevin Dunn and Julie White as Sam’s parents were easily one of the best things about the first film and they are a major standout of this one).

The plot setup for ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is paper-thin, as should be the plot setup for any ‘Transformers’ film. The plot of this film gives enough basis and justification to start a chain-reaction of plot device events that are needed to get certain characters into place throughout the film

Michael Bay goes so far as to blatantly disregard geography in order to advance the story. One scene in particular features Sam, Mikaela, Agent Simmons and Leo awakening the ancient Transformers Jeffie at the Smithsonian Air & Space museum.

This marks the first appearance in the franchise of fan-favorite Decepticon character, Soundwave who is an orbiting satellite in the film (and not a giant boom box as he first appeared in the 80’s TV series). Soundwave might be a point of contention for hardcore fans, but his role in the film is in line with the character of Soundwave.

Also making their first appearance are the Constructicon. A group of Deceptions that appear as construction vehicles that eventually combines into the monstrous robot colossus Devastator. The Constructicon are incredibly interesting to see onscreen since they do not have conventional robot forms like the majority of the Transformers do. The biggest problem with the Constructions being introduced in the this film is that they have no individual personalities and only serve as a way to introduce their combined mode of Devastator.

While there are only a few new Autoboots that make their debut in this film, there are many Deception’s that make their first appearance in ‘Revenge of the Fallen’. There are needless other Decepticon introduced in the film, in fact so many are being thrown at the audience by the end of the film it’s hard to keep track of who any of them are. Their basic purpose is for cannon fodder in the climatic battle at the end of the film.

There is a lot going on in this film. It’s frantic and even chaotic at times. This never lessened my enjoyment of the film. The biggest problem with this film that universally everyone will agree about is the twins, Skids and Mud flap.

While audiences of all kinds seem to be eating up everything about the twins, I feel that they’re one watermelon-patch joke away from being an Amos and Andy parody. One character has a gold tooth and both admit they can’t read. Every line of dialogue uttered by these two characters is cringe-worthy. Undoubtedly Skids and were created by some marketing person who thought these two characters would score with the urban demographic and, sadly, they seem to be right.

It definitely wasn’t the most responsible creative choice to include these characters as any relating jokes pander to the lowest common denominator. These characters don’t serve or impact the story by any means whatsoever. Yet audiences aren’t the ones wanting someone’s head on a spike for their creation- it’s the reviewers. For me, Skids and Mud flap were embarrassing additions to the Autoboots roster but they sure as hell will sell a lot of action figures.

Another noticeable problem with ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is it’s unnecessarily long. Although I enjoyed almost every minute of the massive amounts of explosions, robot CGI shots and the now signature Michael Bay showcasing of military hardware shots, it’s perfectly understandable .

Revenge of the Fallen’ isn’t superior to the first film in regards to the plot, but it’s a worthy follow-up and exceeds the first film when it comes to big action set pieces. This film is packed with so many Transformers that you can’t keep track of them. While some character development for certain Autoboots and Decepticon characters would have been nice, I loved the amount of new characters that are thrown on screen even if they weren’t named or given a backstory. Michael Bay is pulling new Transformers designs out of the toy box and throwing them at the audience left and right. Every time a new Transformers character makes their appearance I just want to see more of them.

One of the best scenes of the film features Optimus rolling out of the back of a C1-30 cargo plane and transforming midair before he tackles a rampaging Constructicon. It was a scene that made the fanboy inside me squeal with glee. There are many scenes like this in ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ and that’s exactly the type of entertainment I would want out of a Transformers sequel.

I’m not a devoted Michael Bay fan, but I am a fan of his films (‘Bad Boys 2’ being the glaring exception). Sometimes I’m a Michael Bay apologist but not in the case of the ‘Transformers’ series. This is a franchise that is meant to be big, loud, hyper-realistic and in your face with action and style. ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is a flawed film where geography and continuity are concerned, but these things never lessened my enjoyment of the film. They will also never make the ‘Transformers’ movie as hardcore as fans might want. I am perfectly okay with that the ‘Transformers’ movie franchise is in its current incarnation.

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