Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Movie Review
A motion picture has the power to inform, educate, enlighten or simply be a needed escape. No one type of film serves that last purpose better than summer blockbusters. What is it about the season of rejuvenation that makes us want to soak up the sun and then enter a dark theater to see things explode? Whatever it is, it’s a formula that’s worked for years. But now that the spectacle of the “movie house” has to compete with that of the home entertainment system and on-demand access, can a summer blockbuster serve a similar purpose as loud exploding home entertainment? I attempted just that with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Although I missed the film during its initial theatrical run as I spent a month in the hospital recovering from global pandemic known as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I did have certain expectations from being caught up in nationwide Transfever. While most reviews were overwhelmingly negative, even by “Directed by Michael Bay” standards, my friends went out in droves. The most vocal response was that of my white friends, who thought the film was “Racist.” The second most vocal was that of my black friends, who thought it was “Awesome.” Moviegoer opinions aside, I had nothing but positive things to say about the tremendous promotional tie-in with Burger King whose delectable “Double Stackticon” sandwich based on the movie remains the single greatest movie-based sandwich since the “Rodeo Burger” from 1999’s Small Soldiers. Not unlike the “Rodeo Burger,” the “Double Stackticon” was flame-broiled and delicious. Too bad the movie wasn’t nearly as satisfying.
There aren’t enough profanities in existence to describe how I felt watching this two-and-a-half hour long toy commercial/sitcom hybrid. From the needlessly dizzying opening credits to the “who cares” conclusion, watching this convoluted hodgepodge of lights and sounds felt like some sort of penance. A person I’ve wronged flashed in front of my eyes every time Megan Fox “attempted” “acting.” I heard my mother cry every time a evil robot was revealed. By the time the credits rolled, I looked down and saw my palms bleeding. This isn’t so much a movie as a propaganda piece sent to Earth from a superior species to convince us that we don’t deserve dominion over such a majestic planet and will hand these galactic overlords the wheel without so much as a protest or a plea. I did not like this motion picture.
I’m sure some of you are wondering “how could a sequel to a movie nobody really liked about trucks that turn into robot aliens really not deliver what it promised?” Well, as someone who enjoyed the precursor more than most, let me count the ways. First of all, in a film franchise it’s the role of the sequel to answer questions the previous film left open while improving upon its mistakes and added new elements to keep the viewer interested enough for another installment. Here, despite complaints that the first Transformers film was too long and focused too much on the Shia LaBeouf-Megan Fox love story, we have an even longer film that focuses even more so on the only two leading characters who can’t turn into trucks. LaBeouf has surprisingly become quite the actor, which makes it all the more frustrating that in a film where hordes of giant violent robots are fighting over the secrets of their own origin buried in his head, he’s saddled with a painfully unfunny subplot about entering college life with an irritating conspiracy nut roommate.
But the biggest issue with the original was Bay’s direction of the fight scenes where the camera comes so close, you can’t tell what’s happening on screen. While the sequel does, instead, borrow heavily from the Japanese style of shooting-giant-fighting-monsters movies, most of the action occurs in an uninhabited desert. How massive are these robots? We can’t tell because, with nothing to contrast size with, we’re left with history’s loudest most expensive particularly obnoxious episode of “Battlebots” ever. Did I mention the addition of two jive-talkin’ bug eyed gold-toothed robots? A failure on every conceivable level, this is one case where I have to update the old adage and say, honestly, the burger was better.
We give Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a 1 Out of 5
Until next time, let’s agree to agree!