Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
dir Michael Bay
scr Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
with Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Ramon Rodriguez, John Benjamin Hickey, Isabel Lucas, Glenn Morshower, Rainn Wilson voices Hugo Weaving, Peter Cullen, Anthony Anderson, Mark Ryan
release UK 19.Jun.09, US 24.Jun.09
09/US DreamWorks 2h27
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Run for your life: Fox and LaBeouf

turturro duhamel gibson
See also:
Transformers (2007) Dark of the Moon (2011)

los angeles film fest

R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Michael Bay makes his loudest, most bombastic movie yet (which is saying a lot) with a bloated action sequel so packed with special effects that it's virtually a cartoon. The humans barely register on screen, but it does look pretty cool.

Two years after teenaged Sam (LaBeouf) helped the alien Autobots fight off the evil Decepticons, he's ready to leave for university and start a long-distance relationship with his hot girlfriend Mikaela (Fox). But the Fallen, the deposed Decepticon leader, has other plans. And since Sam is the key to reviving their destructive plan, he's sucked back into the chaos along with Mikaela, his parents (Dunn and White), his new roommate (Rodriguez) and ex-agent Simmons (Turturro). They suddenly find themselves in Egypt, where a massive battle's about to begin.

Bay is clearly uninterested in the plot, as he throws out all logical coherence in lieu of an orgy of smash-em-up mayhem. Each scene is a cacophony of grinding metal, mammoth explosions and epic destruction as the Decepticons try to put their nefarious plans into motion while the friendly Autobots work with mankind to stop them. Technically, this looks absolutely amazing, as the oversized effects seamlessly merge with constantly moving cinematography. Although it's so visually crazed that nothing looks remotely grounded in reality.

This is echoed in the fact that none of the characters have any real purpose. LaBeouf and pals just seem to run a lot and get roughly thrown around, never being seriously injured of course. Any glimpses of personality are limited to painfully contrived dialog that's packed with corny humour clearly designed to balance the metallic carnage. There's an attempt to give the main robots some personality, but this is even more simplistic than with the human cast, and their dialog consists mainly of silly plot exposition.

Sometimes a film this loudly insane can be good fun, but Bay's only goal seems to be to make things bigger. As a result, the biggest action scenes are busy but dull. Frankly, this much carnage is just boring. And it's so noisy that the actors have to scream each line at the top of their lungs. Meanwhile, the storyline is nonsensical, from the head-scratching sequence of events and ridiculous mythology to the wonky geography. Sure, it's flashy and whizzy and constantly in motion, but it's also utterly soulless.

cert 12 themes, language, violence, innuendo 12.Jun.09

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© 2009 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall