Review of 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen'

2nd film in the 'Transformers' series

TF2 IMAX 1-Sht Yeah, another big action flick from mister action himself: Michael Bay. I have to admit, I was a fan of the original Transformers movie though I suppose this was largely nostalgia for a mis-spent youth watching the animated television studios and curiosity as to how this would translate into the big screen and with live action. I was not entirely disappointed but felt that it could have had more shots of the robots. This sequel to the original does not disappoint on that…Robots, this has them in spades!

The human focus of the first movie, Sam, returns in the second as he heads off to college. He is leaving behind both Mikaela and his Autobot protector Bumblebee (the “loveable” camero-transforming robot from the first film). Things are not right in the world though with the Autobots helping the humans track down and destroy the remaining Decepticons. A remaining fragment of the “all-spark” (supposedly destroyed in the first movie) imparts knowledge critical to the survival of the human race in the brain of Sam. The Decepticons want this information and will go to any length to get it…Including demolishing cities and the best part of Egypt's famous landmarks in the process.

The geeky side of me actually did like the story though it did take some concentration to figure it out and, of course, the popcorn chewing side of me liked the eye candy all over the screen. But, I was not overwhelmed. Sure, lots of robots, lots of action, etc., but not a lot else. I guess it did not help that it sort of came across as an advertisement for the American military and make no mistake – Lots of soldiers and fancy war machines here. Hurray for the Americans coming to save the rest of the world! Though it was nice to see they did their bit for foreign relations by inviting the local air force in Egypt for help – of course the two aircraft that do show up are promptly shot down but, thankfully, the Americans are there to save us, hurray again! Sorry, just being cynical. Not sure if it is old age but I do seem to want more from a movie nowadays.

When a key Autobot gets shot down (no names, PLEASE) who in the audience honestly believes he will not, somehow, return to the fight? Come on, seriously…

There are some light (if rather bizarre) moments throughout. The two new “twin” Autobots are quite entertaining (if a bit difficult to understand) and the tiny Decepticon Mikaela captures also helps add a bit of fun to the proceedings though it should be noted for parents and younger viewers that the swearing is certainly present in this movie as well as numerous sexual references – including, rather oddly, a reoccurring theme of “humping” – though I will provide no further details for those who do not understand. In a way the swearing and ramped-up violence does add a bit more reality that seemed to be missing in the sanitised first installment (do you honestly believe that a battle-hardened soldier running for his life from a maniacal robot erupting from the sand will be shouting “damn”?). Right, it does mean that it is no longer suitable for kids, but do you want to take your kids to such a show (keeping in mind the 2 1/2 hour running time)? Some 6 year old sitting next to me in the cinema certainly did not find it all that enjoyable…I imagine their parents would be struggling to explain to them what was going on and/or what certain things meant….Might be interesting to listen in on that conversation…Bottom line: NOT a kids movie, really.

I am annoyed that the sense of fun and adventure in the first movie is largely absent from this follow-up. It doesn't seem fun any-more. Lots of effects: Check. Lots of guns: Check. Lots of robot on robot action: Check. Yawns, unfortunately: Check. I am bit sad about that…(sigh)

Rating: “Average, but who wants to be average?”

Review Date: 2009-06-21

Directed by: Michael Bay

Studio: Dreamworks

Year: 2009

Length: 150 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films in the 'Transformers' series:

Other reviewed films by Michael Bay: