So, there are sixty-odd robots in Revenge of the Fallen. There’s also one new character of the human variety – at least, one that’s given any substantial screen time. Which should tell you how important the human part of the Transformers sequel is to director Michael Bay.
It’s bad enough that we meet a millennia-old Decepticon called The Fallen [in what has to be the clumsiest retcon I’ve ever seen]; what’s worse is that he’s The Emperor to Megatron’s Darth Vader. Then there’s a shot where a tomb is entered that looks a lot like a shot in Alien, where we first see the alien astronaut with its stomach blown out [though there’s nothing that unsettling in this film – except the thundering bass that seems to be turned up to eleven throughout]. There are a few other quotes/homages/riffs/rip-offs, but they’re not enough to give Revenge of the Fallen a brain.
While our old friend, Sam Witwicky [Shia LaBeouf] heads off to college, we get a crash course on the first time alien robots came to Earth. In fact, we get a lot of robot stuff and next to no human stuff [at least that doesn’t involve humourless gags, overly melodramatic worrying and… well… that’s about it.
We also get robot $#!+, piss, fart and belch jokes. Then there are the new robots – a curmudgeonly [?] Decepticon-turned-Autobot named Jetfire [who perpetrates the aforementioned gags]; a pair of identical robots referred to as “The Twins” who are too busy bickering to get anything done [until the climactic battle of course… duh!], and a female Decepticon you will just have to see to believe [though you should probably save yourself ten bucks and stay home]! And that’s just for starters.
There are more cute evil bots that sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks and a huge Decepticon called Devastator that would be cool if it wasn’t dumber than the proverbial sack of hammers. Oh, and there’s a noticeable lack of something called a plot – and it’s all delivered at a frantic page, though not frantic enough to feel anything other than way too long [it’s only six minutes longer than the first one, but it still takes forever to get to the closing credits].
Apparently, Executive Producer Steven Spielberg wasn’t watching over the shoulders of writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and Ehren Kruger [who?] – or maybe they turned in a perfectly fine script and Bay ripped the heart out of it during filming. Either way, Revenge of the Fallen is a huge disappointment [I really loved the first one]. The result is a movie that is so completely soulless; so completely chaotic; so completely dependent on blowing stuff up, that we don’t have anyone to really identify with. Even Sam is turned into a repository of Cybertronic plot points.
How bad is Revenge of the Fallen? Not only did I not feel Megan Fox; not only did I not care about the Witwickys; not only did I not enjoy the pompous narration, I walked out of the theater with my ears ringing like they haven’t done since I saw Pink Floyd live several decades ago [and yes, they were louder than Ted Nugent – a lot louder]. There aren’t even any memorable lines.
This movie is robot poop.
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Eclipse Review by Sheldon Wiebe
Posted on June 24, 2009