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‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ is Galaxies Away From its Predecessor

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Average: 3.4 (17 votes)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – There are often many reasons sequels should not be made. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is one of them.

Seeking that “Allspark” exhilaration pumped into many of us from the original “Transformers,” moviegoers will flock to the sequel with anticipation. The first 20 minutes or so (skipping the ridiculous introduction) will feel like preparation for lift-off.

Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox, left) and Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf, right) are once again caught up in a battle between the Autobots and Decepticons in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Photo credit: Jaimie Trueblood, DW Studios, Paramount Pictures

Sam (Shia LaBeouf) and Bumblebee (voice by Mark Ryan) reappear in two familiar scenes, Mr. and Mrs. Witwicky (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) return with their well-executed bicker-banter and Mikaela (Megan Fox) remains with all the assets she brings to the screen.

We’re introduced to our first three Decepticons and they’re all impressive. From a ferocious tiger-looking beast to a beautiful and all-too-eager temptress (Isabel Lucas), the Decepticons are assembling a vicious team.

Then, before the audience even leaves the ground, alarms sound, the foundation shakes and this invigorating shuttle ride is cancelled. The audience is herded into what feels like a two-hour Segway tour, as we’re led where we don’t want to be and forced to wear goofy helmets of boredom.

Optimus Prime in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The Autobot Optimus Prime once again does battle with the Decepticons in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Photo credit: DW Studios, Paramount Pictures

The plot is – sigh – difficult to piece out of this rubble.

While Sam is packing to leave for college, he discovers that a piece of “The Cube” (which was thrust into Megatron’s chest at the end of the previous film) is lodged in his well-worn sweatshirt. Coming into contact with this fragment transfers its energy into his brain and soon he’s spewing codes and symbols.

From a satellite-like set-up, the leader of the Decepticons (known as “The Fallen”) is watching and waiting. The Fallen has been on a mission since the Stone Age to take over the planet Earth and destroy its sun in order to energize his troops.

The codes locked in Sam’s brain are of an ancient Decepticon language and contain the secret location of a machine The Fallen needs to complete his mission. This machine is activated by a hidden key known as the “Matrix of Leadership” and the Autobot team is soon in competition with the Decepticons to locate both of these things.

Megan Fox in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Megan Fox in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Photo credit: Jaimie Trueblood, DW Studios, Paramount Pictures

This is where the “crash and burn” begins.

Recognizing that the very act of watching a sci-fi movie requires one to believe beyond reality, a major failure of this film is that it’s unbelievable within the universe it creates.

As moviegoers, we agree to join in to this world where large “transforming” vehicles exist and protect our planet. No problem. But when, for example, a large garbage disposal of a monster appears and sucks up everything in its sight (including vans, trees, etc.) yet two of our small human heroes are still standing, the audience begins to feel just a bit of disgust.

Sam’s team meets up with a Decepticon convert who is able to “beam them up” and into Egypt within seconds. It takes the entire army of Decepticons who are hunting Sam, though, almost 48 hours to catch up with him.

Not only are the action sequences plenty ridiculous (and endless) but the script (written by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) is riddled with disappointingly laughable lines. From references to Barack Obama to supposedly serious battle cries of “let’s win this like we always have with a coordinated military strategy,” one is tired simply from groaning by the end of the film.

Optimus Prime in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The Autobot Optimus Prime returns to battle the Decepticons in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”.
Photo credit: DW Studios, Paramount Pictures

Though Shia LaBeouf does what he can with the material he was given, Megan Fox’s performance will do little but get her a spot on Brett Michaels’ next season of “Rock of Love”. From the straddling of a motorcycle with her daisy-duke framed and exposed butt to the countless scenes in which Mikaela’s nothing more than a running, slow-motion, breast-bouncing bimbo, directors certainly took their cue from big-hair rock videos of the 1980s.

Those not offended by the obvious sexist tones in the film will surely feel offense from the blatant racism. New to the sequel are the Autobot “twins”: a pair of slang-slapping, “ghetto-fabulous” geek bots complete with gold “grills” and derived entirely from racial stigma. As if the target wasn’t obvious enough, when asked to translate symbols from their native language the twins exclaim (as though it should be obvious to those around them) “we can’t read!”.

Though not without its achievements in special effects, one knows there is a problem when something so colorful, complex and noisy leaves you slumped in your seat. Certain scenes – such as a Decepticon discussion on top of a skyscraper – are reminiscent of TV’s costumed “Power Rangers”. Most often, the creature at the end result of the “transformation” has too many parts to have come from its original form.

RELATED CONTENT
StarRead our interview with the “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” visual effects supervisor.

StarRead more film reviews from critic Elizabeth Oppriecht.

Comically, if adults still seek to aggravate themselves by purchasing a ticket to this film, here’s a survival tip: make the film into a drinking game and down one can of beer per testicular reference. Since the writers clearly turned to AC/DC’s “Big Balls” for inspiration each time they were blocked, one will leave with a pleasant buzz.

Galaxies away from its predecessor, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” does nothing but taint positive memories from the original film. Utterly embarrassing to the sci-fi genre, seek out some episodes of “The Jetsons” instead as even the cartooned “Rosie” is a more intriguing and complicated robot character.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Rainn Wilson, John Turturro, the voice of Hugo Weaving, the voice of Peter Cullen and Tyrese Gibson, opened everywhere on June 24, 2009. The film is rated “PG-13” for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material and brief drug material.

Elizabeth Oppriecht

By ELIZABETH OPPRIECHT
HollywoodChicago.com
elizabeth@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2009 Elizabeth Oppriecht, HollywoodChicago.com

Anonymous's picture

couldn't agree anymore!!!!!

From start to finish this review is spot on!!!!!!!!!! Please for the love of anything don’t see this movie!!!!! K?

Anonymous's picture

hey i think the movie

i think the movie transformers is very nice and the graphics used in the movie are good too.

Anonymous's picture

the movie at first was

the movie at first was BBBBBBBAAAAAAADDDDDDD!!!! but i watched in theaters with my cousin 2 more times with friends and as i payed more attention and watched it, it started to make more sense. but,there were some things that still had me thinking. here is a mind-boggler example. when the robots went under water to revive megatron, they took one of their robot companions apart. thus, killing him, to revive megatron. later in the movie, this same robot was seen in his vehicle mode combining into devastator.

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