To avoid spoiling those that haven’t seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen this post is hidden after the jump:
After movies like Bad Boys, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys 2 and The Island, I can’t believe I’m asking this question, but, Micheal Bay – could you be more full of yourself? Don’t get me wrong, this is not your typical “Michael Bay has ruined cinema” post. With the exception of The Island I have seen the aforementioned movies at the very least 10 times a piece (and I’m being modest) and enjoyed them. The new Transformers, um, not so much.
Transformers’ just released sequel takes you beyond summer movie fun and into are you freaking kidding me? A movie written by the same team that penned Star Trek, with a solid story line to work from from it’s predecessor, was seriously corrupted by it’s director and his tendency to focus more on special effects than his actors or plot.
Junkie 1 is getting ready to write a rebuttal as we speak, so I’ll keep this short to what didn’t work for me:
- The length: Anything longer than 90 minutes for action/comedy movies is usually known as a kiss of death. I was actually excited to hear Transformers was going to be 2 hours and 30 minutes long, as I often leave movies wishing they were a tad longer. Now I understand why they say to always keep them wanting more – around the 2 hour mark of Revenge of the Fallen I was thinking about how glad I was I didn’t try to attend the midnight screening.
- The Plot: If a movie is going to go over 90 minutes, you need to focus on the plot. Revenge of the Fallen jumped all over the place and was incredibly choppy – even more so than other Bay helmed flicks. I felt as if Fallen could have been broken down into 2 movies – 1 about the Decepticons trying to revive Megatron while the government tries to send the Autobots home, and the second about the resurrection of Optimus and the Fallen out to steal the sun. Instead we were left with snippets of stories/backstories and a feeling of “well that was rather easy to accomplish” as every conflict had a solution immediately available. Revenge of the Fallen is nothing more than a combination of vignettes each with a minimum of 100 explosions, 50 “empathetic” close ups, 20 helicopters flying in the sun set, and one angled up shot of the hero getting out of a car or his shirt blowing by the wind caused by a jet flying over head. Bottom line, nearly everything introduced in Revenge of the Fallen could’ve been explored more.
- The Characters: The only complaint I had of the first film was there were a lot of characters that weren’t integral to the story and took from those who were; mainly Rachel Taylor, Jon Voight, and don’t even get me started on Anthony Anderson. This time around we have parents that won’t stay home, a college roommate that leaves the room, stunt casting borrowed from Juno and a hottie of a Decepticon with absolutely no back story. While two of the four added comedy they overstayed their welcome for roughly two hours and 20 minutes. If you aren’t going to focus on your actors Mr. Bay, why do you keep adding more?
- The Robots: A complaint I heard after the first was that the robot’s presence was overshadowed by new comer Megan Fox, and a movie called Transformers should actually focus on the Transformers. This time around they fix that problem by not focusing on the Transformers introduced in the first flick – but by adding incredibly annoying robots. I’m sorry, but robot twins that have a gold tooth, speak in ebonics and don’t read? One that uses a cane and sounds as though he’s smoked for the past 300 years? And did the child’s toy truck have to hump her leg? To steal from MSN reporter James Rocchi, “I have an inner child, [s]hes’s just not an inner idiot”.
Final Verdict: If you liked the first one or have any interest in Transformers, see it on the big screen for the experience itself. Just don’t expect any more than a mash up of stories that allows Bay to blow something up every 4 minutes.
Check out Junkie1’s response to this post: WTF Friday: Where is the Love?