Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Brian Austin Green was here… Yeah, I went there.

Golden Mug

Sound (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson)

Theatrical Release Date: 06/24/2009
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro

Before we get into “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, feel free to read Ian’s review of the previous installment of “Transformers”. He gave it mediocre to good reviews with most of his reservations falling on the shards of his childhood memories and sacrifices to make it a blockbuster-type production.

All the same pieces are there from the first movie (minus Jon Voight and Bernie Mac). Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, and the true star that is computer generated graphics with weird, metal lips that have the magical power of both annunciating and creeping you out.

So, what do you get for your admission? Lots of explosions, robots, juvenile humor, and a thin story … Oh yeah, more robots and more explosions. Basically, it’s a formulaic summer blockbuster much like the last one. It’s as simple as that. If that’s what you’re looking for, then “Revenge of the Fallen” is a sure bet for you.

Me personally? Because of the love I share with Ian about the Transformers (the 1980’s cartoon and toy line) I want to like the movie franchise. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a movie I’d ever need to see again. I like my story tight, my acting solid, my production well done, and my CG well integrated throughout.

Some Transformers geekery … I was happy to see Jetfire (my favorite Transformer as a child) as a SR-71 Blackbird (my favorite plane as a child). Megatron is no longer a plane as he was in the first movie. The Constructicons seemed weird and not as cool as I’d hoped. There was an Audi R8 based Decepticon, but he was killed within the first few minutes. So despite GM not being able to pay, it is full-on GM fest. But back to the movie …

The acting was completely superficial from punch line to punch line. There isn’t anything Razzie-worthy, but there isn’t anything noteworthy in a good way either. This isn’t a portfolio piece for anyone that would increase their stock if I had anything to say about it.

After remembering the first movie, the story isn’t compelling at all. It’s pretty much the same cast trying to do the same thing (save the world) with the same villains. There are a few minor character additions, but not really. J.J. Abrams would have added time travel into the plot (a la “Star Trek” and “Lost”), but Mr. Bay followed his plume of flowing hair to produce the same movie all over again.

The production is what you’d expect. That much money being spent on a film increases the chances of amazing production value, and it was ok, but nothing cinematically brilliant. I think the sound was a little over the top, but who am I to judge what an alien race of robots would sound like.

What could have made it better? A few things …

First, there should have been more urban action scenes. The opening action scene was in China, but most of the action took place in the latter part of the movie, which was within ruins and desert. The scale of destruction within urban action of giant robot combat is more relative to human existence in a city than in a giant sandbox.

The second and most important criticism of the film is that there should have been more comedy from humans and less from robots. The first movie had the Bernie Mac comic relief, but this movie has a few robots responsible for most the comedy. John Turturro does offer some comic relief, but not enough.

It is what it is … It’s a robot, shoot-em-up that any teenage boy would love. The farther away you are from a juvenile boy, the less chance you’ll have of liking the film whatsoever. And don’t worry, they opening weekend alone made it impossible for there not to be a third Transformers installment if not more. It’s an average film that I’ll give the benefit of the doubt by giving it a 3 out of 5.