Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving
[Insert entire review about how Michael Bay's films aren't "high art," but they're entertaining and T: ROTF is no different. Mention that this was more robot-centric than the first one, so if readers are into seeing 46 Transformers battling it out they're going to have a great time. Also say that it was a little too long, and some of the shots were nearly incomprehensible (but clarify by saying that particular problem could have been due to the fact that I saw it in IMAX and wasn't sitting in the back). Oh, and don't forget to bring up the fact that Revenge of the Fallen rips off elements of a bunch of different movies, including but not limited to Live Free or Die Hard, Alien Vs. Predator, Terminator 3, The Matrix, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Finally, recommend readers pick up a copy of Green Day's newest album, since that's clearly what this movie is trying to suggest by featuring "21 Guns" at least three times.]
For a spoiler-filled run through my top five best and worst aspects of this movie, read on. If you haven't seen the flick yet, don't ruin it for yourself.
Top Five Worst Aspects of ROTF
5. The length. It felt like two different movies - a college-based flick and a desert/Egypt flick. Shorten it up and pick one or the other.
4. Too many Transformers. I realize this may be sacrilege to some of you, but this is a main reason why I enjoyed the first one. A lot of the robots look very similar and when gnashing metal is flying across the screen in close up form, it's tough to figure out who the heck you're watching. They could have added more than the 14 that were featured in the first one, sure - but going up to 46? That's ridiculous.
3. Isabel Lucas. Come on, a female Transformer who takes the form of some hot girl? Terminator 3, much? This was just stupid. If you're a Decepticon (whose ultimate goal is to harvest the sun, wiping out Earth's population, mind you), why the heck would you even bother to go through the whole disguise thing with Sam? Turn into a freakin' robot and take what you want by force, secrecy be damned. What's the point in sneaking around? [Yes. I realize this is a movie about talking alien robots. I'm not REALLY that upset about this particular point. I'm just shedding some light on it.] Plus, she was a terrible actress. Almost as bad as Megan Fox.
2. The parents. Keep them out of it. The Decepticons made a big point of "release the trap!" and it was dropping Sam's parents into the middle of the desert battle? What good did that serve them? How did that "trap" anyone, or anything? It was a poor excuse for the writers to bring the parents back together with Sam, and they were already walking on thin ice from that reefer brownie incident. Get a grip, Kurtzman and Orci - have some self respect.
1. The racist sidekick robots, Mudflap and Skids. I can't believe they got away with putting those guys in there. Ape-like in appearance, clearly "black" robots, one with a gold buck tooth, they can't read, and they speak with some jive lingo? Who approves this kind of thing?
Top Five Best Aspects of ROTF
5. The IMAX sequences. They definitely added to the movie, but it was slightly annoying that entire scenes weren't shot on IMAX cameras like they were in The Dark Knight. Bay seemed to cut back and forth between standard widescreen and IMAX shots without thinking of the final outcome. Like I said - it wasn't too jarring, but just more of an annoyance. Those IMAX shots looked gorgeous, though.
4. Slow motion close up with helicopter going in the background? Check. Largest explosion ever committed to film with actors present? Check. Spinning camera shot around lovers until people almost vomit? Check. That's a wrap.
3. All right - I'll admit it. It was pretty awesome when Optimus put on Old Man Jetfire's equipment at the end and turned into Super Optimus Prime with Jetpack (TM).
2. Michael Bay. I freakin' love that guy.