Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


If there’s one thing this film proves, it’s that Shia LeBeouf is a fantastic performer. I’d forgotten that he was the main reason that the first Transformers was so watchable. There are no two ways about it – he’s a natural when it comes to conversing with giant CGI robots. Seriously, this guy is perfectly believable in such an unbelievable setting, and – more importantly – delivering such horrid lines as ‘Megatron wants what’s inside my mind!’. This screenplay plumbs new depths of idiocy, but everyone, including the filmmakers, seem to think that this doesn’t matter. It’s kind of like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise – it didn’t matter how dull/muddled/moronic the dialogue became, everyone apparently just wanted to see Johnny Depp say ‘Arrgh!’. In this case giant battling robots stand in for Depp’s piratey cry.

The robot special effects are pretty much the same as last time around. Yeah, so it’s cool that each robot has a gazillion moving parts, but it’s not much use when they’re in the middle of an action scene.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen By making the robots so much more ‘realistic’ than your average anime mech you lose all sense of shape and proportion. So many of the action scenes are wasted – nothing more than millions of pieces of metal rearranging themselves.

Michael Bay’s hard-on for military hardware is apparent more than ever here – this is definitely one of those films that had the cooperation of the armed forces. It’s practically one long recruitment commercial. There’s even some stock aircraft carrier footage thrown in the mix.

This sequel is a mess. Whilst not entirely unwatchable it certainly does no favours for the franchise. The plot is whisper thin, which wouldn’t normally be a problem, except that the film GOES ON FOREVER. The inexorable nature of this flick is astounding. More than once I realised that I had no idea what was going on. Robots were fighting each other and blowing shit up, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what anyone’s intentions were. Heaps of new robotic characters are introduced, but they enter and beat the crap out of each other and exit so quickly that it’s impossible to remember who they are and – in some cases – which side they were on.

And then there’s the potty humour. I’ve only seen the previous film once, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t include farting robots. Uhuh, it’s that crass. The first half hour barrages the viewer with toilet humour, and whilst it peters out after a while the lame jokes keep popping up. The script even manages to be blatantly racist too, which was genuinely shocking. Those crows in Dumbo had nothing on Transformers 2.

LaBeouf is the only reason to watch this. Megan Fox spends all her time posing for FHM, whilst Australian Isabel Lucas’ Hollywood debut is disappointingly shallow and all too brief. Michael Bay has excelled himself this time round. This is a stupid robot movie that doesn’t even have cool robot action. It’s the kind of stupid robot movie that makes you realise we don’t have any need for stupid robot movies.

Rating: 1 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 27th June 2009
Hoopla Factor: 1.5 stars

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