The above poster just about sums the whole movie: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has more alien robots, bigger explosions, and much more Megan Fox.
But does the excess of those three elements contribute to a better movie than the very enjoyable first film?
I have heard everything from my friends, from the cool effects to the non-existent plot, from Optimus Prime kicking ass to Megan Fox’s ass; I guess that’s what I get for being sick during the premier, but as I was sitting down in the cinema today waiting in anticipation of the live action version of my beloved cartoon series, my head was filled with different perspectives and view points.
What to expect?
Will I like it?
Well, the answer to the first question is very clear-cut. Michael Bay’s creations are all about the boom boom pow, the action, the bigger the explosion, the better. Bay was never known for his subtlety, and in the midst of the impressive Devastator and the other epic fight-scenes, a little discretion would have been helpful, and this issue leads me to the second question.
In short, the movie could have been much much better. Two and a half hours later (that’s the duration of this insanely long film), I found myself surprised by the utter drag-iness of this summer blockbuster. Revenge of the Fallen is driven by the Autobots and the Decepticons and the Cybertronian War, but for a movie to span this long, it needs a good solid plot. Alas, the plot is as non-existent as Megan Fox’s clothes.
First of all, what’s up with the Fallen? The Grandpa of all Decepticons? And sorry to say, Megatron bows to no one, let alone call him master.
Some scenes and characters were utterly unnecessary. Did we really need to see Sam’s mum high on pot running around campus tackling football players? Was it paramount to put so much spotlight on the Twins? And finally, why hasn’t Ratchet fixed Bumblebee’s voicebox? It’s been freaking two years!?
But kudos for bringing back Soundwave, one of the coolest Generation 1 (G1) Decepticons, but I am still waiting for Bay to reintroduce the Dinobots. Grimmlock like!
Revenge of the Fallen takes place two years after the initial battle royale between the Cybertronian brothers, and now the Autobots are working with a Major Lennox-led special ops team who search the world to destroy the rest of the Decepticons. And in the span of these two years, new robots have come to Earth since Optimus Prime’s open invitation to our green planet at the tail-end of the previous movie.
In the more human side of things, Sam, played by Shia LaBeouf, is going to college, leaving his parents and Fox’s character Mikaela at home. This is where the storyline breaks down for me, while the first movie succeeded in introducing the pair in easy-to-bear doses, the college scene took so much time which leads to the Fallen. While Energon cubes were non-entities in the first movie, they are essential in the G1 series, and now the Fallen is searching for the location for the tool that can make Energon cubes which incidentally only Sam knows after a freakish accident.
So yes, everyone is out to get Sam, and mayhem ensues.
Sure this sequel looks more larger than life in comparison to its predecessor with the introduction of so many new Autobots and Decepticons, but most of them come and go as fast as the movie’s flat jokes, and one cannot help but wonder if Hasbro was behind this ridiculous plan in order to make more action figures. The Autobots you were so close to in the first movie are mere pawns in this over-elaborated special effects extravaganza; they lack the human touch and emotion and character as most of them are just there to be killed.
Revenge of the Fallen is big on bang; while the original 2007 movie struck a balance between a whimsical storyline and true blue robot-on-robot action, the 2009 version is very top-heavy as the ending was rushed and unassuming while the beginning was skip-able and ultimately too long. Once the cool factor of the transformations and robots goes away, you are left with a long-drawn and messy wreckage which is nothing more than Fox-y robot fluff eye-candy.
Excuse me while I go find solace with the 1986 classic cartoon movie. Now, that’s awesome Transformers goodness.
PS: And yes people, that thing Optimus is holding is what the Matrix is supposed to look like.
PPS: Seriously, go dig out the 1986 cartoon feature; it is awesome beyond compare. Classic retro 80’s goodness at its pinnacle.
PPPS: And the whole cliched ‘One shall stand and one shall fall’ crap is actually taken from the 1986 animated movie as well when Optimus was facing Megatron in a titanic battle. The 1986 movie also introduced actual robot killings in comparison to the G1 cartoon series, where anybody rarely died and the guns just don’t target well.