Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Running Time: 2 hrs. 30 min.

Release Date: June 24th, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Michael Bay Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Isabel Lucas, Ramon Rodriguez

 


 

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ransformers: Revenge of the Fallen” has a lot of flaws. Some are easier to overlook than others, especially with the nearly indescribable amount of mayhem exploding across the screen. While the CG effects have virtually perfected giant robots destroying everything in sight, the story department seems to have deteriorated into conjuring up outlandish situations that require even more preposterous solutions. Similar to the creation of Kryptonite to offset the invulnerability of Superman, several plot devices are devised as a way to counterbalance overly invincible Transformers – themselves created just to compete with the power of Autobot leader Optimus Prime. But of course, story isn’t likely the primary reason to go see this film. On an action scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is an aircraft carrier colliding with a nuclear submarine, “Revenge of the Fallen” rates about an 11.

Two years after the harrowing events of the first Decepticon attack on Earth, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) attempts to lead the normal life of a college student. But contending with overbearing parents, conspiracy-obsessed roommates, and a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) can be stressful. And it gives way to fending off lethally aggressive girls, alien symbol-induced mental breakdowns, and once again saving the world from transforming robots intent on destroying the universe.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” certainly proves that bigger is not better. In its attempt to outdo the first film with louder sound effects, more destructive explosions, bulkier robots, and grander comedy relief, it fails to square off against the appeal of its predecessor: originality. The transformations, the battles, the firepower, and the obnoxious amount of side characters are just too familiar; nothing about this sequel boasts an increase in creativity – just a boost in excess.

This plays into the use of plot contrivances – those pesky solutions to the random problems that are pointlessly devised to keep the story complex and always changing. While most are so unusually unpredictable that knowing about them would ruin the surprise, the plot suffers from a lack of rules. Since the limits of almost everything surrounding the Transformers are never clearly defined, “Revenge of the Fallen” runs amok creating new origins, lore, abilities, characters, and boundaries of mortality, with little rhyme, reason, or concern. When a space bridge is introduced for brief teleportation, it’s both unnecessary and completely unconvincing. And that’s a problem in a movie about alien creatures that camouflage themselves as mechanical vehicles – which starts with little basis in reality in the first place.

Almost the entire cast of the original returns, with even more new characters thrown into the mix; much of their involvement is for a few extra laughs that add nothing but running time. The witty banter between father, mother, and son is almost too much to bear, the racial stereotype Transformers (Mudflap and Skids) are like Jar Jar Binks at best, and Megan Fox remains spotlessly clean no matter how many explosions she gets thrown from or the number of times she rolls around in the dirt. And design elements from “The Matrix,” “Species,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” and more make their way into this lengthy continuation. Despite the spectacular special effects and insanely monstrous new enemies, “Revenge of the Fallen” can’t offer enough truly fresh material to warrant this overlong, mind-bogglingly destructive summer blockbuster. It did, however, introduce twin Transformers.

– The Massie Twins

  • 5/10