Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Lifeless and unrealistic, yes, Megan Fox is back

Two years after saving the world with the Autobots, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is away at college when an ancient Decepticon named "The Fallen" returns to Earth on a mission of vengeance. With the Allspark destroyed, the Autobots lose all hope of returning to their home planet of Cybertron, and begin working with an elite military known as NEST to hunt down any remaining Decepticons. Meanwhile, a series of inexplicable visions leaves Sam convinced that the struggle between good and evil is far from over, especially since the Decepticons have just discovered that Sam is the one human who possesses the ability to tip the balance of power to the Autobots' advantage, and they're determined to gain the upper hand by dispensing with him once and for all. Now, as Sam and Mikaela unearth a secret about the Transformers that alters the entire course of human history, the Decepticon known as The Fallen prepares to return -- and reclaim the plant once and for all

This film manages to boast a very large amount of brand new unnamed Transformers all throughout, but none of them barely have any screentime to develop as character's for us to care about, or even to speak lines, so that when Michael Bay chooses to kill off many of the new Autobots, it just leaves you feeling empty and thinking that they were there for no reason other than to die. Surely in a film that runs for almost 2 hours and a half, they'd have spent some time making us care for these new characters, and that's another problem with the movie, it runs for far too long at 149 minutes, yet manages to give us lots of pointless scenes that feel out of place and are nothing more than a waste of time. 

Many attempts are made all throughout the film to try and bring humour to this movie, and every attempt spectacularly fails. The worst of the attempted humour comes from the lowest crude humour, put in for the lowest denominator of human beings to find funny, including two scenes of dogs humping, a robot farting out a parachute and the infamous giant robot testicles. But I would have to say that the scene of Sam's mom running around the campus high comes in at a very close second for worst attempt at comedy.

The cast manage to range from awful to unspectacular. It is especially disappointing to see Shia LeBeouf forced to act so cringeworthy after showing so much promise back in Holes. Megan Fox continues to sleepwalk through the movie, delivering nothing on the acting front, but Michael Bay tries to make up for this by putting in many pervy shots showcasing Fox's body, as if he believes his entire audience are horny 13 year old virgins. The dialogue, also, is horrendously cliched, basic and cringy, with my prime example being Optimus' line for when he defeats a villian, which is "Give me your face", which I believe ranks among the worst lines from a movie.

Sam is showcased as a pretty unlikable character, acting like a jerk to his girlfriend and his alien robot car. Leon, Sam's roommate, is a character who if you took out all trace of him from the film, not only would it not impact the story in any way, it would actually improve the film. Ramon Rodriguez is unfortunate to play the role of the worst character in this entire film, to play a role that Seth Rogen wisely chose to step away from. As for Skids and Mudflaps, the jive-talking twin Autobots that have been hailed as this generation's Jar Jar Binks, all I can say about them is that I would bet good money that they were modelled after Dane Cook and Pauly Shore.

Megan Fox running in slow motion? Why wasn't this in 3D?

The relationship between Starscream and Megatron really managed to weaken Starscream, as he was turned from a character who harbored a desire to become leader of the Decepticons to a grovelling weakling who took beatings from Megatron and referred to him as 'Master'. Also, knowing that the Decepticon leader was actually the apprentice for The Fallen takes a bit of the menace away from the iconic villain of the franchise.

What really feels like a kick in the face for fans is how Megatron, Optimus and Sam are all revived so easily, as if their deaths meant nothing, and with Optimus, it especially feels pointless and just like his death was only there for shock value. I also did not like how Bumblebee was not able to talk again, ignoring the ending to the first Transformers movie, especially by saying his voice broke off-screen.

This isn't a 100% disaster of a film, though. If there is one thing that the Transformers movies have consistently manages to do well, it's the computer generated work that has gone into creating the Transformers themselves, managing to be quite the marvel upon the eyes. Say what you want about Michael Bay, but the man knows his stuff when it comes to directing action sequences between giant robots. For all those who found Sam's parents and Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) to be annoying, I actually did not mind them, I felt they delivered some great moments. Plus, Simmons must be commended for tasering Leon.

As the film's main villian, The Fallen was not as utilized as he should have been, and this manages to take some of the menace from his character, but the legendary Tony Todd's voice work upon this character manages to bring back some of the menace, and I felt his character had the coolest looking design out of all of the Transformers. I also enjoyed the film's soundtrack, even if it did feel a little too much like it was just there for the teenage crowd alone. I also enjoyed the link to the animated Transformers movie, as the Matrix of Leadership made an appearance, despite sporting a new look and shape.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not the type of film that has you expecting an Oscar-standard script, or pretty much anything more than Giant CG Robots beating the hell out of each other and causing destruction all around, but the disappointing acting, the awful and annoying characters, the overlong running time and the lack of any attempt to make you care for these characters will have you leaving this film a little empty inside.


ParanoidCreep97 said…
Great review, this was a giant piece of shit
AdamMoody said…
Awesome review man. I am not a fan of any these.
HarleyQuinn said…
Excellent review James! I actually went half a star lower than you did. The only performance I enjoyed was that of Josh Duhamel because he was the least annoying of all the characters. Plus, all the close-up porn shots of Megan Fox do not interest me because I am a straight female. The special effects, however good they are, are also overused and it gives the film a detached feel that does not work in its favour. I agree with you about the running time, and not enough happens to justify the two-and-a-half hour running time. Plus, robot balls, racist robots, and all the rest of the shit this movie has to offer...well..I can't count all of this film's numerous crimes against cinema.
Jesse P said…
It was okay - To me it was just that. It was entertaning and had an okay story but some things did piss me off, but the idea was pretty good.

Dark of the Moon was pretty good but better... Nice Review!
Tommy Durbin said…
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen and I have seen some horrible stuff in my time. Great review though!