The more observant of you will know that Transformers was the first film I ever reviewed on this site. I would normally wax lyrical about how much I’m grown as a reviewer since then and pat my own back, but the fact that I haven’t really changed at all depresses me beyond all belief. I know what’ll take my mind off all that- giant robots knocking the shit out of each other! Whoo! Fuck yeah!
I’m sick of defending Michael Bay. I know he’s not exactly the best director in the world, I just admire his enthusiasm for blowing shit up. It’s way too easy to bash his directorial style and write page after page of scathing criticism decrying Bay for crimes against cinema. Personally, I think these people are snobs with nothing better to do than to take the piss out of less arty directors with haughty laughs and vitriolic derision. However, Revenge of the Fallen makes it very difficult to argue the case that Bay’s films aren’t all loud noises and shots of sunsets.
Following on from the first Transformers film, the good robots- the Autobots are here on Earth and have joined forces with the military to form NEST- a team created to find and destroy all the hidden baddies- the Decepticons. However, one of the Decepticons they catch warns about “The Fallen” returning before he buys the robo-farm. Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBoeuf) is off to college and struggling to keep his relationship going with Mikaela (Megan Fox). I liked the idea that the Autobots were working with the army an’ all that and I didn’t have a problem with Sam going off to college- it seems like a natural progression. I did have a problem with all the mythical bullshit surrounding The Fallen, however. I don’t know why it was so hard to accept, especially given the fact I had no problem with the fact that ALIEN ROBOTS have visited Earth, but I did. I got the feeling that the film was taking itself too seriously which is a fatal mistake when you have aforementioned extraterrestrial automatons arsing about on screen.
For some reason, Michael Bay decided that Transformers wasn’t annoying enough, so he beefed up the irritant factor for the sequel. In nearly every review you read you’ll come across a mention of “The Twins” – an incredibly irksome pair of metallic twats who do nothing but talk very fast, peppering the speech with liberal swearing. Oh, and they’re black stereotypes too. so they’re not only annoying but racist to boot. The annoyance doesn’t stop there as we have a considerably smaller Decepticon who also brought my blood to a boil. His name is Wheelie and for some reason, he talks like a stereotypical 1930’s gangster. He basically comes off as a cross between a robot Chihuahua and a bad Al Capone impersonator.
The action is good, don’t misunderstand me, but the sequel has even more “what the fuck is going on?” moments in the kinetic fight sequences due to the addition of more Transformers to pretty much the entire robotic cast of the first film. The only sequences I really enjoyed was Optimus Prime taking on some Decepticons in the forest and Bumblebee’s fight with… a bad robot. That’s the thing- I can’t remember who was fighting who and why, and I normally can recall a considerable amount about a film way after I’ve seen it.
Revenge of the Fallen is not as good as the original Transformers. Some of the charm has worn off and we have way too many robots dicking about on screen to actually get any sense of what’s going on. It’s also overlong, so you will be looking at your watch during the final 40 mins. Approach with expectations lowered and your brain disengaged and you may enjoy yourself. Just don’t come crying to me when you’ve ground your teeth into a fine powder out of sheer annoyance.