Thursday, June 25, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Before my brain turned to tapioca pudding during the 2 1/2 hour visual onslaught that is Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, I managed to learn or confirm the following tidbits:
  1. Giants robots fighting each other = Awesome
  2. Everything else = not so much
There's been a lot of talk that REVENGE OF THE FALLEN was conceived and plotted out during the Writer's Strike, which makes a lot of sense when you try to follow what little story there is. Apparently the Transformers (as they're called in the movie - which sounds really awkward when you hear it come out of people's mouths) have been on Earth before, and they built a machine that generates their Energon cubes by blowing up the Sun. An old, evil Decepticon known as the Fallen wants to do just that so he can repopulate the Decepticon Race. The problem is, he needs the information in Sam Witwicky's head, which got there because a shard from the Allspark was stuck in his jacket and he touched it and...and...and...

Forget it. I'm already confused and I only saw the movie an hour ago. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox return as the only humans who know what's going on, and although they both sell the story as best they can, it's incredibly distracting because Bay can't film them without rotating the camera around like it's a Aerosmith video. It's a shame - LaBeouf's got charm to spare in everything he does, and Megan Fox gives the impression of having more than just the body of a goddess to sell as an actress, but that's not the kind of thing Bay's interested in. He just wants explosions, and unlike the first film, which did (I think) a fairly good job at balancing the human drama with the technological overkill, this time his human cast members are relegated to being damsels in distress for the machines or convenient plot exposition to rescue.

So if that were the only problem, things would be fine. I mean, stuff DOES blow up real good, and when you can understand the fighting (like the incredible fight scene in a forest), it's, well... breathtaking. But apparently Bay and his cadre of writers wanted to be sure they injected enough sophomoric humor that everyone's IQ would diminish just a little bit more. It was hard enough to swallow Jazz's break dance move from the first movie - here we have, among other offenders in poor taste:
  1. A tiny, Joe Pesci robot that humps legs
  2. An evil appliance transformer that shoots bullets out of an erect phallus equal in size to his height
  3. Two good robots who are either in black face or doing a really bad ghetto stereotype
  4. A robot with massive testicles, and finally...
  5. Multiple robots farting
All this being said, I can't find it in my heart to work up the vitriol for TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN other reviewers have expressed. Yes, it's extremely stupid, a lot of it's in bad taste, and the story/script is barer than Megan Fox's mid-drift. But none of it seems to have been done with any forethought of malice, and like I said, them robots blow things up REAL GOOD.

Make of that what you will. And now, because I can...

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