View Full Version : [Movie] Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

06-25-2009, 09:15 AM
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a Michael Bay film about the famous robots in disguise, here on Earth fighting their evil foes, the Decepticons. It is a sequel to 2007's money-making hit Transformers. It cost $250,000,000 dollars to make (http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/TFRM2.php). This puts it right behind Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for most expensive film ever made (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_films). Does it stack up? Will your jaw hit the floor?

It certainly will. Probably not for the reasons you think it will.


This review will contain some minor spoilers, but nothing that really has to do with any big surprises in the movie. If there is I will mark it inside tags. DO NOT click on them if you don't want spoilers. Some of them are kind of mind-blowingly hilarious if you see it for the first time on screen.

Let me preface all of this with the disclaimer that I havenít seen much of the Transformers television show or original movie, only the Michael Bay franchise. I did play with many of the toys but I donít know the history. Let me also say that, while this review might sound negative, I enjoyed watching this movie. You might, tooóbut you NEED to have your expectations tweaked a little before sitting down.

The Transformers have been around for much longer than the first movie would indicate. They came to Earth tens of thousands of years ago looking for energy sources, although why they actually came to Earth to do it is never ever explained, because the energy sources they are looking for are actually suns. But they came to Earth anyway, because it's a neat place to be when you're planning to blow up the sun even if you're totally capable of flying through outer space or just hanging around, because you're a giant robot. So they came to Earth. Then there was a big robot civil war, because the Autobots' ancestors made it abundantly clear that they would never take away the sun of a living planet, but then one of them turned evil and decided to harvest it anyway, because it's a mean thing to do.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/Transformers_Revenge_of_the_Fallen_Decepticon_and_ Sam.jpg

The other robots, particularly the Prime family, banded together and locked away the key to the sun-destroying machine in a tomb made of their bodies. Somehow in spite of the Primes all doing this, their lineage continued, because only a Prime can stop the leader of this evil regime. Which is fortunate, because in the present day, Optimus Prime is on Earth all of a sudden, even though he admits during the film to have absolutely no idea of ANY of this history, although it seems to be common knowledge amongst the Decepticons when one tiny robot that Megan Fox kidnaps explains most of it to them. (Side note: This occurs after the characters were inside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., then step outside and are in the middle of a desert for some reason.)

Meanwhile, the All Spark from the first movie has left a small sliver of itself tucked away in Shia LaBeouf's jacket. Although I can't quite remember from the first film, it didn't seem to have this ability, but the shard, upon being touched, suddenly links to a clue to the energy source left on Earth thousands of years ago. All of the Decepticons are already aware that this phenomenon will take place. Shia and Megan any many of the Transformers from the first movie need to find this energy source before the Decepticons do, or else they will continue their millenia-long goal of blowing up the Earth's sun, because without sun energy they cannot stay alive, and only the Earth's sun will do.

Shia LaBeouf plays Sam Witwicky, who is just about to go off to college. The beginning of the film deals a lot with this transition. He says good-bye to his girlfriend, gives her a bunch of stuff to contact him with, tells Bumblebee that he isnít allowed to have a car freshman year, and moves to the college dorm. He starts seeing symbols in the ancient Transformer language (from touching the All Spark shard from earlier) which cause him to have a breakdown in the middle of the most ridiculous ĎAstronomyí class imaginable and rush back to his room to draw the symbols on everything, including posters of other Michael Bay movies.

Suddenly a random hot girl from his college comes into his room and knocks him flat on his bed, then turns into the T-X from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and (according to one of Samís lines) pushes her tongue down his throat and into his stomach, which tastes like diesel fuel. This doesnít deter Sam one bit until his girlfriend shows up at his door, at which point he fumbles to tell her something, but she leaves, upset. The T-X wraps her tongue around his neck and starts throwing him around the room. He survives, and the noise makes Megan Fox check out whatís going on just to be sure her boyfriend isnít making out in his room like presumably a pinball would, slamming into walls and televisions and windows. She sees the T-X and runs, Sam escapes somehow, and then the T-X mysteriously explodes to death, taking Samís room with him, meaning the movie has to start getting a move on. He does more throughout the movie, but weíll get to that.

Megan Fox plays Samís Girlfriend, who has a name but the movie obviously only cares about getting her into sexy positions. I mean itóthere is literally not a single shot in the entire film of Megan Fox that isnít pointed directly down her shirt. Towards the end of the film there are four slow-motion shots of her and Sam running in a row, which, while Shia is obviously the important character in the scene, he is ultimately forgettable as Megan Fox is directly in the center of the frame for all of these shots. The first time we see her she is curled up like a panter or something on top of a motorcycle while spraypainting a logo onto it, because obviously the most comfortable way to spraypaint things is on all fours with your butt pointed at the camera.

Quick aside: If Megan Foxís name was Megan Bernstein, nobody would care at all who she is. She isnít hot. She canít act. Itís all in the power of suggestion because her last name is Fox.


Ramon Rodriguez plays Samís Roommate/Perpetual Coward. At one point he states that he has only been at college for two days, but when we first meet him he has set up an entire technological business of running a website out of his dorm room. He is obsessed with the conspiracy about the first film, whereupon people were evidently expected to believe that the destruction of L.A. wasnít Transformers. His website hosts videos people take of mysterious acts that may or may not be Transformer footage, and also he sells calendars with kittens on them. Heís pretty standoffish, but this doesnít last, because the instant he sets foot off campus he becomes a drag-along coward for the entire movie, but is consistently brought with everyone else even though they arenít sure why either. He gets tased at one point and everyone in our audience cheeredÖ and subsequently wondered why they didnít pitch his body out of the car at that point.

There are many, many Transformers in this movie, and as I havenít seen much of their old show, I canít name them allóbut rest assured they are probably in there. They act much as you would expect Transformers to do, except for two of the most astounding racial stereotypes Iíve ever seen. Mudflap and Skids, two robots that sound like hip-hop wannabes, complete with gold teeth and an inability to read, set back black characters in action films almost as much as a guy we meet working for John Turturroís ex-Sector 7 agent. A dialogue occurs that goes like this, and Iím not making this up:

JOHN TURTURRO: Keep working or you wonít get your Christmas bonus! You want to be able to afford those new teeth you saw in Skymall, right?

This is the perfect place to segue into the filmís writing. This filmís production started right before the Writersí Guild of America went on strike. And when I say right before, I mean that Michael Bay locked the filmís writers in a room for two weeks to crank out a treatment (which means usually a one-to-five page plot summary), handed in to him the night before the strike happened. He then himself expanded the treatment into a 60-page Ďscriptmentí (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformers:_Revenge_of_the_Fallen#Development), which isnít a word but Wikipedia uses it anyway.

This shows. A lot. Many of the jokes are funny because they are things no one in their right mind would ever say even if they had brain damage, let alone write down as a plausible line of dialogue. It flows, to be sure, miraculously, but there are parts of the movie (more than one) where a character literally has the line ďJust shut up and tell me the plotĒ or ďI donít know whatís going on but we need to [fill in the blank]Ē or ďWhy are we doing this? Because some kid thinks it will workĒ. John Turturro actually has the line near the end of the film, and I swear I am not making this up because the second he said it I programmed it into my phone to never forget:

JOHN TURTURRO: (on the side of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, speaking to nobody) The machine is inside this pyramid! If they turn it on it will blow up the sun! Not on my watch! Not on my watch!


Finally I will talk about the movieís cinematography. The scenes where robots transform are visually interesting (although Iíd swear in the shows they did it slowly enough that you could see each step as they grew closer to the alternate form), and the moment they start to fight you tend to lose all track of whatís going on. They stab each other, mostly, but for most of the fights you canít tell who is being stabbed by what (or anything else thatís going on) until the fight stops and one of the robots is lying on the ground. To work around this, most of the time a fight ends with a robot ripping the other robotís face in half, so that you can actually see who is losing the battle.

There are a few scenes of dialogue that Michael Bay must have been worried would be too boring for the audience, so they occur at the top of a tall building, and the camera spins around them at a ridiculous speed the entire time. In more than one direction. I havenít seen camera work this silly since the scene in The Bourne Ultimatum where the characters are drinking coffee and the camera shakes like thereís an earthquake under the cameramanís feet. If the action scenes werenít long and loud and hard to follow enough to give you a headache, you might want to avert your eyes from the screen during these scenes or you may throw up.

I almost forgot to mention that while Transformers tend to come around when the All Spark touches something, they are also evidently bred in sacs of blue goo, where they start out small, and they also age to grow beards and walk with a cane. How they are bred is a mystery, although towards the end there is a shot of John Turturro wondering why heís still in the movie because he has to look up directly at a giant pair of robot balls. Maybe that explains it?

Donít click this unless you want to be spoiled.
[spoiler:2fhbgo4a]Also apparently there is Transformer Heaven. At one point Sam flies a short distance and is knocked unconscious, although every character in the film thinks he is dead and even perform an electrocardiogram on him to revive him, but hopefully heís just passed out and dreaming because not only is he temporarily in Heaven but IT IS FULL OF ROBOTS. He is NOT IN PEOPLE HEAVEN. The robots there donít think this is odd in any way and talk to him for a moment before he suddenly wakes up. WHAT?![/spoiler:2fhbgo4a]

I absolutely donít recommend this film to anyone except die-hard Transformers fans who can block out every scene with humans in the movie, and people who can go see this movie in a large group of friends who are aware of how intensely flawed the film is beforehand. I had a great time, because I went with twelve people who were all very interested in seeing it after reading the awful critical reception. We werenít disappointed. It was hilarious.


Things Michael Bay has evidently never done:
Been anywhere near the vicinity of someone who has had pot
Been to college
Attended a college class
Taken astronomy
Learned about satellite communications
Looked at a chart of time zones, or thought about how in some places it is daytime while in other places it is nighttime
Gotten his hands dirty while jumping from rooftops in a desert
Met a black person
Written a movie

06-25-2009, 05:01 PM
I thought the movie was great personally. But I went in expecting nothing more then giant robots beating the crap out of each other. I ignored the plot for most of the movie and as such, enjoyed it more then the first one. Its exactly what bay wanted it to be, a summer popcorn movie.

on a side note: Megan Fox is pretty hot in my opinion, and as for the comment about her name, my buddy thought her name was Megan Good (Another actress) and thought she was hot still. But I think thats aside from your point.

And the college scene with the pot brownies was a little overdone.

06-26-2009, 12:50 AM
I wish I could take this review everywhere I go and shove it in peoples' faces when they start telling me Transformers 2 is the greatest movie ever made EVER.

Sigh. I questioned a lot of what is right and wrong after I saw that movie.

Good review. Glad people are questioning the logic and writing/directing/anything-ing of Michael Bay.

06-26-2009, 06:25 AM
Quick aside: If Megan Foxís name was Megan Bernstein, nobody would care at all who she is. She isnít hot. She canít act. Itís all in the power of suggestion because her last name is Fox.


Toe thumbs. :shock:

06-26-2009, 11:11 AM
Omg Rust. :shock: Maybe that's her trick. Maybe if you say she isn't hot she shows you her toe thumbs and gives you nightmares forever...

06-26-2009, 11:47 AM
Well I was gonna see it when I got bored, but I change my mind lol. Very nice review, Phil