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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

June 25, 2009

Naaaaw, this could have been so good too. The first Transformers had a nice mix of plot and action (for a Michael Bay flick) and the characters, both human or robot alien, were an entertaining bunch. What happened here then? The action is technically better and the special effects are amazing but the whole thing feels so…. lifeless and looooong. The story is similar to the first; Autobots vs Decepticons in the search for a powerful artefact that will destroy/save the world or something. Shia is a at college and touches some magic rock thing and goes all crazy like in the head which leads him and The Gang into a globe trotting adventure. Sounds fun.

The problem is it takes about an hour to get anywhere, after several characterless (or lame) action sequences the proper story finally begins but the initial action scenes don’t really work without any emotional involvement or interesting characters. Hey Michael Bay, I don’t care if a giant cat robot sneaks a tiny robot into an army base to steal some piece of magic rock, and I surely don’t care about the nameless army thugs who are being exploded during this sequence. I don’t care that Shia accidentally turned his kitchen appliances into robots, that’s not funny, that’s fucking lame. Once the adventure properly starts things pick up but this could have been a great action flick if the writers knew how to edit their screen play or Bay didn’t feel the need to make this film clock in at two and a half hours.

Shia is good in the lead, again playing the awkward geeky guy that yells funny stuff out during the action. This time he has a sidekick who has a few good lines too even if he is just playing an exaggerated version of Shia’s Sam. Megan Fox looks pretty good but doesn’t do anything else. Optimus Prime is awesome but not around nearly enough, and the remainder of the Autobots are practically ignored besides the radical Bumblebee and these two horrible twins who just wouldn’t die. I bet Bay thought they were hilarious.

I can just imagine Bay making this film while cranking some Linkin Park and Green Day on set, drinking an energy drink and waving an American flag; “Who the fuck cares where these ancient landmarks are in the real world bros? Let’s just blow shit up”. It is sort of sad to see all this work being put into such a visually spectacular film that is ultimately let down by an uneven script. Bay uses scale better than in the first letting us see how big these Transformers really are and occasionally he even allows for some fantastic long shots instead of his usual twenty shots in one minute style. When the action is good, it is really good. Once it hits its stride Transformers 2 is a good action film but it just takes too long to get all the players involved and you’ll be shifting in your seat by the end of it.


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