Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Benjamin Hickey, Ramon Rodriguez, Isabel Lucas, John Turturro
RunTime: 2 hrs 27 mins
Released By: UIP
Official Website: http://www.transformersmovie.com/
Opening Day: 24 June 2009
In the highly-anticipated "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," debuting June 24, 2009, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) again joins with the Autobots® against their sworn enemies, the Decepticons®. Michael Bay directs from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman.
If you are not a fan of the first Transformers, I doubt Revenge of the Fallen will impress you either. On the contrary if you crave for more attention on the robots and more stunning action sequences than the first then please spend a little more time to read on.
Continuing where the original has left off, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is off to university while her hot babe girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox) remains as always a hot babe, no just kidding, becomes a hot sexy mechanic. Capt. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson), the two heroic soldiers on the other hand are now members of an elite squad called NEST which team up with the Autobots to track down and destroy rogue Decepticons across the globe over a period of two years.
The screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who scribed the first and also one of this year summer blockbusters, Star Trek) tries to add a backstory to the origins of the war. It is believed that the robots already came down to earth to harvest solar energy way back in the 17,000 BC and the conflict involves an age old Decepticon named the Fallen with a few of the respected Primes over the existence of human beings. At least the writers did try to form a coherent motive for the battle.
I’m not going to delve deep into any meaningless arguments that Transformers is such a darn stupid movie whatsoever because not every movie has to possess the intelligence of The Dark Knight or equalivant. Sure there are plotholes the size of a real-life Optimus Prime and Bumblebee but Michael Bay employing his usual trademark ‘bayhem’ and the clever technical team at ILM unleashes an almost 150 minutes of loud and I mean really loud action set pieces one after another strictly to please the fanboys crowd and the easy-going movie audience demographics.
Any fanboy will tell you that we need Megatron back and Michael Bay despite his arrogances wouldn’t dare not to. The nasty maniac leader of the Decepticons which was so called frozen in the deep oceanic seabed earlier is revived in a form of a crazy tumbling tanker and to address the issue of 'we could have more allies to the Autobots' (and to the sheer delight of toymaker, Hasbro), we had Mudflap and Skids (voiced by the guy who did Spongebob), a pair of goofy twins that served primarily as the movie’s comic relief in addition to Simmons (John Turturro), the once government top secret agent who now works as a butcher in his mama’s shop and of course the Witwickys. Bay even includes some cheesy sexual innuendoes for example if you can believe Devastator aka the Constructicons possess a scrotum and some really horny humping doggies!
The first Transformers took up 20 Terabytes of disk space to render, this one took up a massive 145 Terabytes, not that I’m trying to cough out these numbers to impress you, the result is apparent on the big screen especially the forest fight sequence where you see Optimus tussled with the Decepticons. I can’t imagine the rich details if view in IMAX. ILM who lost the best visual effects trophy in 2008 to a less than whelming movie called The Golden Compass deserved more credits than anyone else involved here given the mammoth task of convincingly transforming those properties that belonged to the Pentagon and GM. This time round, the action is far more frenetic and the noise level certainly went up the roof though Bay unfortunately fails to improve on the slow-mos and the irritable close-ups during the fights.
To cater to the increase of more robots and mini bots as well, the screentime of our favourite metallic protagonists, Prime, Ratchet, Ironhide and Bumblebee is significantly reduced. Newcomers such as Sideswipe, Arcee are basically left as caricatures and the movie is populated with plenty of blink-and-miss Decepticons as well. The perhaps sole positive thing is the ongoing animosity between Megatron and Starscream which is given a slight shed. The various human characters with the exception of Shia LaBeouf have even lesser characterizations or dialogues to spout. Megan Fox, the busty foxy lady still looks incredibly sexy running on the Egyptian deserts in the movie’s finale.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen belongs to those formulaic big-budget tentpoles but with bigger dosage of big-bam-boom and supersize firepower. You know with Bay touches (which Bay detractors will strongly protest), the larger than life characters are brought effectively to the big screen. In other words, this is the perfect cure to this year’s lukewarm summer line-up. Warning: Those who detest loud noises kindly bring along your earplugs or best avoid this at all cost.
(Readers, get ready to roll out to the cinemas on 24 June!)
Review by Linus Tee