Transformers: The Revenge of the Over-Long, Over-Bloated Action Film
Teen Critic Likes Megan Fox But Not Much Else
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Oh dear lord. Look, I'm just going to start out my review by saying that what I say and what any other critic in the world says, I know that it really doesn't matter. You've already made up your mind about "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (opening June 24 throughout San Diego), , you're either waiting with your ticket in hand or you're sitting around contemplating the deplorable state of modern film and entertainment. And, to be frank, if this movie were to represent all of modern film, the latter group would be absolutely entitled to their ramblings. This is a loud, mind-numbing, cliche-ridden, gorgeous looking, 2 1/2 hour long train ride with Michael Bay (famous for filming explosions featuring people near them) as your conductor. There were so many times I turned to my friend sitting next to me only to see the exact look of "what the hell is this?" mirrored in his face. Really, this movie was just awful. But, you know what, I went into this movie mildly excited. I didn't really like, but rather accepted, the first film; I thought it had some cool sequences and a few genuinely inspired ideas, mixed with Shia LeBeouf, who I consider to be an extremely likable and naturally gifted performer, oh and there was MEGAN FOX. So, knowing full well that at least some of what I liked in the first film would be in there, I was interested; but even the film at its best times barely rises above mediocrity.
To try to describe the plot of this film feels like such a pointless endeavor, so I'll try to make sense of it as best I can. There's Sam (LeBeouf), the dorky-cute hero of the first film, now going off to college, which puts some stress on his relationship with Megan Fox (I really don't feel the need to give a character name for her) and his parents, not to mention Bumblebee, Sam's Autobot guardian living in the garage. Since the first movie, the Autobots and humans have formed a mutual alliance working together with the U.S. military in an organization known as "Nest" (no explanation why it's called this), but the Decepticons return to revive Megatron (the bad robot from first movie), who they need to kill Optimus Prime (the most important good robot) so an ancient Decepticon known as the Fallen can return to destroy the Earth with a machine that harvests some kind of energy that act s as the life force for the Transformers. However, the directions to said machine are locked in a fragment of the All-Spark (giant robot cube), which gets transfers to Sam's brain after he touches it, causing him to lose his marbles in college, not to mention be hunted down by a human Decepticon, in the guise of the other hot girl in the movie played by Isabel Lucas (yet for some reason, after she's gone, there are no other Transformers as humans, a tactic that would probably be more effective than hiding as cars). Oh, and there's the two soldiers from the first movie (Josh Duhmel and Tyrese Gibson) sans any character development, an old robot called Jetfire who basically serves to explain most of what I just said up there, a sequence where Shia's mom gets high on pot brownies, two of the worst negative racial stereotypes in robot form that give Jar Jar a run for his money, a mind-blowingly awful sequence where one of the film's characters almost dies and ends up in some sort of "heaven" with 5 Transformers, and John Turturro is back just for the hell of it, although he does have my favorite line in the movie where he essentially screams at Jetfire to stop wasting time and deliver straight exposition, something to the effect of "beginning, middle, end, now!" If only this movie were so simple.
A major problem is that, for the entire 150 minute run time, this movie is filled with so many inconsequential moments, where after 10 or 15 minutes of high drama or action, the characters just walk it off into the next scene. This causes the action sequences -- and let's face it that's what we came to see (and Megan Fox) -- to lack any sense of immediacy. I found myself sitting in the theater just bored, watching everything that was happening, and it certainly looked nice, but I just didn't care in the slightest what was happening. To be fair, Shia LeBeouf does his best with what he's got; you really can see him trying, but it's all in vain. There's also a mildly amusing cameo from "The Office's" Rainn Wilson as Shia's college professor. There are just so many bad things I could keep on saying about this film, and the worst part about it is the insane amount of money that went into making this movie. But you know something, I have a feeling that it'll make back every penny and then some...
I just have one more thing to say about "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,", see it in IMAX. I did, and believe me, if you're going solely to watch the action scenes (or to see Megan Fox run in slow-motion), this is how to see it. Every million dollar check the studio wrote for this movie is on full display, so it's the certainly the most for your money.
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material.
----Michael Shymon just graduated from The Bishop's School. He has had an avid passion for film since he was about 5. He enjoys acting, writing, watching movies, as well as making his own films. He will be attending NYU Tisch Film School next year and hopes that all this movie watching will one day pay off.