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Transformers: Less than meets the eyePosted Thursday, June 25, 2009, at 7:09 PM
If talking semis, a GMC pickup and a pair of jive-talking Chevy twins are your thing, you'll love Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. If you like a film that has a resemblance of a cohesive storyline and quality acting, I suggest going for something else.
Transformers is definitely bigger and badder, with multitudes of awesome explosions and great special effects, but the movie lacks in most ever other areas.
Once again, Michael Bay shows that he can direct the heck out of an action sequence. Unfortunately, he also displays his shortcomings. At times, it's obviously Bay's direction flying through and around explosions, then he steals a little from Tony Scott and leaves us almost ill with a circling shot around the two stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.
Revenge of the Fallen is two flicks in one, or at least attempts to be. First ,it is a hang-on-to-your-seat special effects thrill ride, the other is a budding love story. One, the film pulls off pretty well; the other, well -- not so much.
Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) is by far the star of the movie. A digital creation, he by far out acts any of his human counterparts. The best action sequences -- Optimus, the most emotional scenes -- Prime. The biggest let down -- most every thing else.
Being an optimist by nature, it's hard for me not to find redeeming factors about even the worst films. Transformers has its share of good things to offer, but they are things that don't really matter. For all the good it gives, it can't overcome the moments of shear ridiculousness.
Bumblebee (Mark Ryan) crying windshield wiper fluid, household appliances coming to life and humping dogs (repeatedly). I'm telling you, cinematic gold folks, cinematic gold.
Another area where the film shoots itself in the foot is with its use of humor. Some scenes will leave you laughing heartily, but to what cost? As the film picks up steam and drives full bore toward its logical ending, the humor comes back to bite it.
At crucial moments in the last quarter of the movie, audience goers were snickering and giggling when they should have been grieving and tensely awaiting the outcome.
The action, or more to the point, the dialog of the Transformers disturbed me the most. Obviously a film catering to geeks in their 20s, 30s and even beyond, the film is going to catch the eye of youngsters, but I would recommend keeping them out of the theater for this film. The robots cuss almost as much as the humans and the mention of certain parts of the male anatomy are not needed.
Bay, LaBeouf and Fox do little to improve upon the first installment of the franchise and seem content with idling along and letting the Transformers take the bulk of the acting duties. Also with a run time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, I highly recommend hitting the restroom before the film begins to roll.
Final Cut: Revenge of the Fallen is a stereotypical Michael Bay thrill-a-second flick. Massive explosions, spectacular effects, stiff acting and bad dialog -- it's all there. Hopefully Bay and company are just setting us up to knock our socks off in the third installment. Cross those fingers everyone.
2.5 out of 5 stars
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Ehren Kruger, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material and brief drug material
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