Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2009-07-01 08:34
 
Transformers 2

What it’s about:


An evil alien race, the Decepticons, lays siege to the Earth and their ancient enemies, the Autobots, once again as they attempt to capture an ultra-scarce resource that allows them to reproduce. Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) becomes inextricably involved in the battle when he begins to experience revelations in an ancient language.

What we thought:

Transformers is regarded as a well-loved blockbuster success. Movie cynics begrudgingly applauded its slick action set-pieces and teasing one-liners, and as for the so-called "masses", well, we absolutely loved it, didn’t we?

Now, two years later, we have Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. As far as sequels go, this apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The explosions, chases and extra large robot-pummelings of the first film are intact, making this a must-see for action-junkies.

In fact, in the shallow waters of action comedy, Revenge of the Fallen stands a few feet taller than the original. Thanks to a stunning blend of animation and choreography, the melee between the Autobots and the Decepticons is exceptionably watchable. Optimus Prime in particular, looks like a nuts-and-bolts version of Jet Li when kicking ass. These fights get bigger and bigger as the movie reaches its conclusion, by which time we’ve reached a scale that can only be described as 'stupendiculous'.

Added to the visceral details of war are a cheeky string of gags, shared mostly by Sam’s parents and the lesser figures in both robot armies. Revenge of the Fallen aims just a little below the belt, managing two separate humping gags and a good old marijuana cookie incident among its jocular achievements. Dirty, offensive humour: who said robots couldn’t do American Pie?

There is an intricate backstory to Autobot-Decepticon conflict, we are meant to believe. But only the truly devout will be strung along by as unconvincing and confused a plot as this. Every fresh detail of the ancient war is less interesting than the last, each scripted ploy to keep the (inevitable) trilogy rolling tacked on and careless. Worst of all, the titular Fallen, a menace that threatens the very fate of the Earth, turns out to be a bit of a dud. Many fans, you suspect, would gladly jettison the filler in favour of another gear-grinding brawl between the great machine rivals of the franchise, Optimus Prime and Megatron.

Shia LaBeouf plays a solid lead role as the reluctant hero Sam. LaBeouf is refreshingly normal-looking for a Hollywood darling, and gets sufficient empathy from his performance as a Regular Joe drawn into interplanetary conflict. Not so normal-looking is Megan Fox, who has already set tongues wagging just by showing up to the movie’s premiere. While not disgracing herself, the starlet’s performance is all pout. As an aside, she might have asked the director why her character is never allowed to run without being led by the hand of a (presumably faster) male character. If gender stereotypes get your blood boiling, wait until you see the illiterate, buck-toothed, African-American flavoured robot duo called the Twins. They’re hapless, they’re funny, but they’re also bound to get someone in trouble with the Rev. Jessie Jackson.

Don’t get the wrong idea. If you have the time and the inclination to switch off for two hours to a non-stop chorus of exploding buildings and robot fart jokes, you’ve just found yourself a film for tonight. Transformers isn’t everybody’s idea of fun, but it’s great fun for anyone who’s ever wished their toaster would come alive and attack them more often. Oops, spoiler.


Transformers 2 improves on the rough-and-tumble of the first film, while running out of ideas to keep its robot cast interesting. There’s plenty of thrills for those with an appetite for destruction, though.

What to read next: Buy: Transformers (2 Discs)

Sean 2009/06/25 8:47 AM
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Niel Bekker, you if you don't enjoy these type of films, please do not review them! This is the third movie that you have given your horrible opinion!! "Transformers 2 improves on the first film, while running out of ideas to keep its robot cast interesting" Giving bad comments like that does not make you a good movie critic. This movie was brilliant, the characters were excellent, and the plucky comedy relief was perfectly done! Getting to see more than 30 Transformers fighting on screen was amazing, NOT BORING, or "running out of ideas" Michael Bay has done a brilliant job, nuff said!!
AP 2009/06/25 9:03 AM
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Whatever Sean, Niel it's a great review and I agree with everything you said. I went to see it last night and was too afraid to drive home because a) the people in the movie applauded, shouted and laughed at the most awkward instances and b) I was convinced the cars in the road in front of me will turn into some machine any minute now. So I would suggest taking a taxi after seeing the movie.
Mark 2009/06/25 9:30 AM
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Well firstly i've never before sat through a 2 and a half hour film before totally absorbed, on the edge of my seat and laughing my guts out! Secondly i went to see Transformers Revenge of the Fallen with my girlfriend. I think she enjoyed it more than I did! Its trully a Mega-Blockbuster...
Warren 2009/06/25 10:04 AM
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I have to agree with Sean and Mark on this one... the movie was made for the fans of transformers and I have no doubt that the fans will be very pleased with this movie as I know that I am. One needs to take into account the reason anyone goes to the watch a movie.... I want to switch off for two hours or so and just be taken into another world that is not my own and that is just what Transformers 2 did for me. Fight Scenes - Brilliant, Action - Brilliant, Cast - Brilliant, and the fact that there were so many more Transformers is just the best thing EVER!!!! Go watch the movie as soon as you can!!!
Tom 2009/06/25 10:49 AM
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Saw it last night, what a freeken awesome movie, non-stop action for 2 1/2 hours. Very well done to Michael Bay for directing and its definitely a worthy sequel. The robots and characters were great and it was fantastic to see the robots had a lot more personality than just the hard core fighting side. It was so good, think I will go and see it again.
sarah 2009/06/25 12:19 PM
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ill have to agree withsean,,, i loved the first one and will love the second one too,,,you are a bit grumpy and negative
Hugo 2009/06/25 1:09 PM
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I saw it last night.... I am very unhappy with Micheal Bay. Transformers 1 ; the Dark Night and Iron Man just became to dam boring to watch. this movie just became the best action Adventure to date!!!!! wel done!
trailertrash 2009/06/25 1:53 PM
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I took the 1st transformers out on DVD for my son it blew my mind away. I was particularly drawn to optimus prime. We never go to the cinema as it is a luxuary we cannot afford right now but i have promised we are going to transformers 2. Ps this is going to sound weired but something about optimus prime's character is quite attractive to a woman despite him being a autobot. I must be going nuts and bolts!!
UNLEASHED 2009/06/25 8:53 PM
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Dude, stop smoking whatever you are smoking and get a life. I DON'T beleive the reveiew I just read, are you freaking kidding me....???? Transformers 2 Revenge Of The Fallen is FREAKING AWESOME....."AND THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE"
Dave 2009/06/25 9:29 PM
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As a huge fan of the first movie (and the whole franchise) I went into this one expecting at least as much class and wit. But I was sadly let down. It's just become so much cruder, like a teenage sex comedy with a few robot fights thrown in-between. What on earth are robot fart jokes and leg-humping doing in a movie of this class? The Twins were quite frankly embarrassing. I am so sad that Bay has turned what could have been an all-time classic series into this drivel served up for the masses.
preshen govender 2009/06/26 11:47 AM
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Megan Fox,what blood rushed from one head to the other. . .I feel a a little light-headed!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
joker 2009/06/29 12:42 PM
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Mind blowing action sequences, on the largest scale to date. Over the top music. Stunning cinematography.Even the jokes weren't that bad. I think that more than compensates for the childish plot. It's not the best movie I've ever seen, but it has to be one of the most entertainment. Saw it on imax, and if there was ever a movie made for the imax screen this is it.
c0ld 2009/07/01 12:36 PM
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Take note. Toilet humour, indistiguishable robots (Decepticons in particular), poor story line with complete lack of depth, no charachter development, plot holes you could drive Optimus Prime through, racist stereotypes, glorification of the US armed forces (the soldiers had more screen time than most of the transformers, fer cryin out loud), etc. But hey, it had a hot female lead and plenty of explosions! It really is sad to see the type of movies people enjoy these days.
syd 2009/07/01 1:38 PM
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Best movie I've seen in years. Could have sat in the cinema and watched i again. Great job by the entire cast. cant wait for the next one to come out!
R 2009/07/02 6:05 PM
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I absolutely agree with Dave.No story,just loud explosions & music throughout the whole movie.New robots were kinda cool tho'
Jay 2009/07/09 11:21 AM
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Enjoyed this movie a lot!!!
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