Transformers 2 Still Attracting the Teens
Another KPBS Teen Critic Falls for Revenge of the Fallen
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the new movie, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." The skepticism revolved around whether the sequel could live up to its predecessor, "Transformers" from 2007. When I walked into the movie theater, I expected an action packed thriller with a simple, yet effective storyline - and I think I got what I expected.
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" starts off explaining a little Transformers history from back in 17,000 B.C. and you are informed of who The Fallen actually is - in case you were not a big fan of "Transformers" from the beginning. Then it zooms to the present, where the Autobots are on a mission in China along with NEST, a military organization with American and British troops. The Autobots are threatened and warned of The Fallen returning for revenge. Cut to across the ocean in America, and Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) packing up for college. He finds a piece of the AllSpark, a life source for the Transformers, and is given the knowledge it contains.
Just before he leaves for college, he informs Bumblebee (his pet Autobot so to speak) that its duties as guardian have been relieved. So Sam takes off for college and meets a new tag-along friend named Leo Spitz. Elsewhere, the Decepticons (bad bots) hack into a satellite and soon resurrect Megatron (big bad bot). The Fallen -- now risen and out for revenge as the title implies -- orders a full-scale invasion. Learning of this threat, Sam, Mikaela, Leo, and some Transformers seek help from Leo's online rival "RoboWarrior," which turns out to be former Sector Seven agent Simmons (played again by John Tuturro). Simmons proves to be a big help as he leads them to an old Decepticon by the name of JetFire. JetFire tells Sam and the group why The Fallen plans to take his revenge. After this, the Autobots and humans engage in an intense battle with the Decepticons leaving Sam in the middle of the action.
One word that can definitely describe this movie is "surprising." There are a lot of unexpected things that occur, which, for the most part, are great additions. The movie provides more good, but not over the top, humor than the original "Transformers" movie. At times, though, it seem like the movie tries too hard to make you laugh instead of being funny naturally. The visual effects are a true highlight as director Michael Bay wants to show the Transformers up close. These stunning visuals are mixed with the great choreographed battles to provide for great entertainment. But the choreography in the Transformer battle scenes sometimes seems like free candy at a store. It's great for a while, but then you feel stuffed and want something different. You will also notice that there are a great deal more Transformers revealed in the movie, and it may throw you off as they are just thrown at you without any kind of introduction.
The storyline seems to be simplistic enough for a younger audience to understand it, but complex enough so as not to seem boring for older viewers. It also leaves enough storyline space for a "Transformers 3." The movie makes a rough transition from the first "Transformers" by using a sequence that comes chronologically before the first movie, and then jumps to a scene that comes out of nowhere and occurs two years after the first movie. In other words, it becomes frustrating at the beginning to understand what's going on.
Overall, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material) kept me at the edge of my seat because, in all honesty, the average person will not take all the tiny critiques into consideration when they are already drawn into a movie as epic as this one. I give this movie a 4 stars out of 5, just because some scenes angered me, but in a good way.
--Raymond Mai is a Junior at Mount Miguel High School. As a MMHS former football player, he now credits himself by making short films for his crew RM Productions, making rap music, and even doing some choreographed dancing as his new hobbies. During his free time, he loves to watch movies and always comes out of a movie theater critiquing and reviewing the movie all the way home.