Anthony's Film Review

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

You will like the second Transformers movie if all you're looking for is high-octane explosive action...

For the most part, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen presents the same kind of movie as its 2007 predecessor. You have a sci-fi action movie with giant alien robots and lots (and I mean LOTS) of explosions. The main human characters are a young boy and girl who clearly fit more in a raunchy teen comedy than a sci-fi movie. Because the two types of movies seem to clash, there can be some awkward moments while watching the movie. The plot and characters are developed just enough to exist. After all, the movie's sole purpose is to deliver eye candy. This is not to say that the two Transformers movies are identical. This second one does have a few unique things about it.

As you might expect, the first scene of the movie is an action scene. It illustrates how director Michael Bay just loves to have destruction occupying at least half of the screen each second. One thing becomes clear. The good robots called the Autobots are now allies of the human military, both vowing to destroy the evil Decepticons. During this sequence, the Autobot leader Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen, who also voiced Prime in the original Transformers cartoon on TV) is narrating. This is cool, because Cullen provides an awesome voice that fits Prime's firm but caring nature.

Then there's the human plotline that seems to belong in another movie. Even though there are moments that connect these scenes to the robot plotline, you still have to sit through some awkward and somewhat unbearable moments. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is moving out of the house to go to college. His father is pushing him out while his mother is in hysterics because she can't bear to see her son move away. The problem with the mother is that she gets annoying very quickly and continues this antic even as she steps onto Sam's college campus. Meanwhile, Sam's love interest Mikala (Megan Fox) is going away (though not for long) and meets a hyperactive college roommate named Leo (Ramon Rodriguez).

Going back to the main story, the plot involves the Decepticons stealing a heavily guarded fragment of the Allspark, which can turn inanimate machines into autonomous robots. Obviously, the Decepticons gain power very quickly from this. One thing I found interesting are the forms that the Decepticons take. Aside from fighter jets, there's a Decepticon toy remote-controlled truck, Decepticon construction vehicles called Constructicons, and even a Decepticon satellite. Oh, and there's one scene where Sam encounters a Decepticon taking on a very unexpected form. It somewhat took me by surprise.

As for the Autobots, the familiar ones are back, including Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. There are also a couple of new Autobots, including Autobot motorcycles and an Autobot pickup truck named Ironhide. At this point, it's worth mentioning that moments of awkwardness, which I had hoped would be limited to the human plotline in the beginning of the movie, also appear with some of the robots. Believe it or not, the movie has racial stereotypes in the form of two ebonic-speaking Autobots. There's also a scene where a little robot is humping Megan Fox's leg. In both cases, the same question comes to mind: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!

The last thing I want to mention is where the action is concentrated. The movie is structured such that there are plenty of action scenes in a row for the first half of the movie. This is followed by a relatively quiet portion where the plot moves along. Then there's the final action scene, which seems to stretch for 20 minutes. The total length isn't the issue. Rather, it's the last part of the action climax. Basically, so much time and effort was devoted to explosions and gunfire in the first 18 minutes that the final two minutes of action seem somewhat rushed, as if the whole sequence got exhausted. Had those last two minutes been filled with a greater concentration of action than the preceding 18 minutes, then the climax would feel more like a real climax. Even the post-climax scene to end the movie seems rushed.

For the reasons above, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has a lot of what the first movie has, but other things get in the way. Therefore, I cannot rate it as high as the first movie. Did I hate this movie? Not really, so I can't rate it negatively. Naturally, it falls in the marginally positive spot on my rating scale. Just remember that this is an action movie for the purposes of watching action. And remember that Michael Bay directed this one. Super high-octane action seems to be his trademark.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, visit the Internet Movie Database.

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