Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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Review

Genre:  Science-fiction, action

Director:  Michael Bay

Running Time:  147 mins

Budget:  $200 million

Released:  24 June 2009 (South Africa)

Plot: Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle.

Transformers 2 perhaps one of the most anticipated and hyped films of 2009 and a film I had been waiting for with much anticipation myself.  Having loved the first film, I found the second installment to be disappointing.

The film contains more Autobots, Decepticons (a lot more), locations and destruction and yet it lacks something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  I wouldn’t say that the novelty of watching transforming robots has worn off as I’ve watched the first film countless times, in fact I watched the first installment the day before watching the sequel, but perhaps it was the way in which the Transformers were presented.  The opening sequence of the first film, where Blackout transforms for the first time was breathtaking (it’s the scene I watch over and over) but there was absolutely nothing special about Revenge of the Fallen’s opening, it was short and uninspired.  The first Decepticon that the Autobots face is a huge crane thing that transformed into a gigantic wheeled creature that looked like a confusing mess.

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All the familiar faces from Transformers return as well as a host of new Autobots and Decepticons that basically kick the shit out of each other for two and a half hours, which in theory is great, but becomes repetitive after a while as there isn’t really a moment that shines or stands out from the rest.  All the sequences are treated with the same level of CGI excellence and polish that the film doesn’t really contain any notable sections that you’ll be selecting on the DVD chapter menu for repeat viewing.  The lack of jaw-dropping moments that I had anticipated was a big disappointment for me.

The inclusion of Mudflap and Skids, useless ‘comic relief’ characters, annoyed me to no end.  These two Autobot rejects were stupid and unnecessary (like Jar Jar Binks) and served only to infuriate me.  Who thought that their inclusion would be a good idea?  Only fifteen year old kids and below may find them entertaining.  I did not.

Here’s a question, one character named Alice, played by Isabel Lucas is a Pretender capable of transforming into a human shell, logically, a Decepticon capable of human transformation would make the ultimate infiltrator as they could just infiltrate the various levels of power and government in the world in order to fulfill their goals, so why transform into vehicles at all?  I mean I know the vehicle transformations are awesome and all but seriously.  Was it really necessary to include her, I mean it was never established in the previous film or in Revenge of the Fallen that Pretenders were present or that they even existed in the movie-version of the franchise and suddenly she just pops up, imagine my annoyance, I guess the creators were going for ‘surprise’.

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But fear not, Revenge of the Fallen has it’s moments (the forest scene was pretty cool) and it does contain more action than the first film with plenty of Autobots and Decepticons kicking ass, it just lacks the ‘wow factor’.  Where the film excels is in its humour, Revenge of the Fallen is pretty damn funny at times, with the human cast (mainly Sam’s mother) getting themselves into funny situations or making funny comments.  Overall though, it’s a well-polished CGI wet-dream that appeals to the senses, I can really see where the budget went I just feel that in this case Michael Bay’s latest work is lackluster.  Such a shame really, I guess we’ll have to wait till 2012 (I believe) to see what the third installment brings.  So would I watch it again?  Yes, perhaps I’ll enjoy it more after repeat viewing, such as I did with V for Vendetta.

Score 3/5

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