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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


*** Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Science fiction, action/adventure.

Directed by: Michael Bay.
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez


We watched this at the theater on post last night.

Briefly, it could have used a good editing.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is off to college... by which I mean Hollywood's version of college, which has 30-year-old college freshmen, bullying that seems more like a junior high boarding school, non-stop wild parties, and a plethora of incredibly gorgeous young women fighting to throw themselves at the young innocent nerd-boy.

And the parent's are also a Hollywood cliche--mom (Julie White) is sobbing and carrying around Sam's baby shoes (which she's calling "booties" for some reason), while his father (Kevin Dunn) acts like he doesn't care, but we see that deep down he really does.

Sam's girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) doubts a long-distance relationship will work, but it's kind of hard for her to get any acting in what with all the posing she has to do. Any scene with Mikaela in it has to pause periodically for her to pose, back arched, lips pouting--presumably so they can use the movie stills for a poster... I was going to say for teenage boys, but my teenage boys would be offended.

A shard from the cube (from the last movie--it brings Transformers to life, I think) falls out of Sam's... heck, I don't know what it fell out of or why it hadn't been discovered until now. Anyway, it falls through his floor into the kitchen and turns all the kitchen appliances into Transformers. This would be a really cute sequence, but it goes on way too long, to the point where it became boring. This is a theme throughout the movie, by the way.

Sam's new roommate Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) has a conspiracy website (like The Lone Gunmen, but not as cool), but his enthusiasm for the transforming aliens dims considerably when he gets caught up in a real-life battle.

Hmmm. The Decepticons are back, and they want this key that's hidden in Egypt to revive "The Fallen," so the Autobots, with help from Sam, Leo, Mikaela, and Agent Simmons (John Turturro) have to find it first. And somewhere in there, the Decepticons want to destroy the sun for the energy. Uh, okay.

In the meantime, there's a Smarmy Government Officialâ„¢ who wants all the Autobots off Earth, and is generally a pain in Major Lennox's (Josh Duhamel) ass.

The directions to find the key are cryptic, as if this is trying to be National Treasure or Angels and Demons. And we go to the Smithsonian, but only one thing comes to life, darn it.

In between all this are interminable battles. And hundreds of explosions. Well, it's Michael Bay, we expected that. The battles went on so long even Carl and Camden got bored with them, and they, being male, have much greater tolerance for such things than I. As Camden said afterward, it'll be a good movie to watch on DVD, with a remote so you can fast-forward.

Making it even more frustrating, I could only understand perhaps one word in three of anything any of the Transformers said. All of their dialogue was accompanied by machinery-noise--so you could tell they were machines, maybe--but it made it like listening to someone with a really thick accent. You have to listen very carefully to understand it.

I didn't like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as well as Transformers. The plot was weaker, and there was less story and more explosions. The special effects were by far the best part of the movie, even better than the first, I think. And there were some genuinely funny parts--how Major Lennox dealt with the SGO, for example, hence the three stars instead of one or two.

But for storytellers of any sort, there's a good lesson here: no matter how exciting a scene may seem, if you draw it out long enough, it's going to get boring.


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Comments:
I've seen the first Transformers and enjoy it. I was hoping part 2 would be better. It doesn't sound like it was for you, Darla. But I hope I would see that differently teehehee. Enjoy your review on this movie, Darla :)
 
Well, a friend of Carl's who saw it the same time we did was all enthusiastic, so maybe you will be too. :)

Honestly, I didn't HATE it, but I would really have loved to have a remote control so I could fast forward through some of those drawn-out scenes!
 
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