Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) – Michael Bay

Hasbro and Michael Bay bring the Autobots and Decepticons to the screen for a second outing, as I continue my time with the Transformers in the Sci-Fi Chronicles book. This one took a lot of flak for its racist stereotypes illustrated throughout the film even as our heroes both human and robot fight to save the Earth (again).

Bay’s affection for explosions and lack of story is completely in evidence here even as poor Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) gets pulled into another adventure, even as Mikeala (Megan Fox) is sidelined a bit as Sam gets ready to go to college.

If the story in the first felt inane and incredibly inept, this one is even worse. With action sequences thrown atop each other, and robots being created out of everything Optimus (Peter Cullen) the leader of the Autobots has his robotic hands full.

As the Decepticons recover a piece of the All Spark cube from the first film in an effort to restore Megatron (Hugo Weaving) who was deep-sixed in the ocean, Optimus, Sam, and other familiar faces from the first film, Lennox (Josh Duhamel), Epps (Tyrese Gibson) and Simmons (John Turturro)have to take up the fight again. This time around the Decepticons have an even grander scheme.

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And the audience has to sit through more nausea-inducing cuts, a moronic story, juvenile humour, as well as sexism and racism. Yay Transformer movies.

It feels like it wants to be glossy and slick like a Tony Scott movie, but with the rapid cuts, complete lack of a reasonable story, what we’re left with is a film filled with explosions and robot on robot violence that may be enough for some, but for anyone with really discerning taste, they want something with a little more substance to it.

Despite the film’s phenomenal body count, the events don’t cost our heroes much of anything except for some visually dramatic cuts and bruises. The story doesn’t cost them anything, even a major death (or two) in the film isn’t permanent, and the collateral damage of humans are simply backdrop for popcorn imagery death. They aren’t even used as a plot point but are reduced to nothing more than an entertainment factor.

Unfortunately as long as these movies keep making money, they are going to keep making sequels, no matter how banal the script-writing and how dizzying the editing style is. There are currently two more to watch for the blog and there are more in production and pre-production.

Someone please take Michael Bay away from the director’s chair, lets find ourselves a solid story, maybe wait until the computer-generated images can be a more life-like and make a real Transformers movie.

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