Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

It has been two years after the climactic battle in Mission City. The Autobots, with no reason to return to their now lost home, have chosen to remain on earth- collaborating with the military to police any further Decepticon activity. Sam Witwickey, meanwhile, longs for a simpler life away from the Autobots. But when his first day of college sees him slowly unraveling with a mind full of alien data- Sam must come to terms with the thought that maybe the battle is just beginning.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the best kind of blockbuster sequel. It takes everything from it's predecessor and does it bigger and better. Unfortunately, when your talking about a sequel of a Michael Bay film, that can be just as bad as it can be good. And though in the end I'd come away pleased with the '07 Transformers, I still had some major complaints. So going in I had one question: "What annoying stuff from the first movie has gotten rolled into this one?" I quickly received my answer. What was it you ask? Well I'll tell you.

They're still trying to convince us that Shia LaBeouf is in his teens. Look, I know this is what the industry does but still, give a break huh? Their still trying to convince us that Megan Fox is hot. She's not. Yes, the pacing is still wonky. Some of the scenes seem so rushed or trivial that you wonder why they were in there at all. And apparently the lubrication jokes from the first Transformers got a lot of laughs, because the toilet humor has been ramped up by a factor of three. I'm sorry but in my opinion one dry humping joke is too many... Revenge of the Fallen has two.
So yes, in a lot of ways it was as I'd feared, much of what annoyed me about the first movie was back for more in the second. But, and it's a BIG But, I also noticed that a funny thing had happened. Something that is a true rarity in the movie industry. They actually learned from their mistakes. You remember those major complaints about the first movie I mentioned? They fixed them. Well... made them better.
For one thing, almost all of the lead characters have been fleshed out; I say almost because the role of the mother, played by Julie White, was somehow left off the list when they sat down to adminiter the upgrades. This additional depth is best summed up with a look at the Decepticon characters. In the first movie they were more set pieces than characters, who's names were only ever said in pokemon-esque self referral. This time (the lead baddies at least) have personalities, goals, and the ability to talk amongst themselves. It's unfortunate that a lot of the background for their story is given in a terribly hokey scene driven by a conversation between Darth Vader... I mean Megatron... and RoTF's main villian. But progress is progress right?
And what would a movie with giant robots be without battles? Heck, that's why half the tickets will get sold right? Well good news, this is the strongest of all the improvements. All the battles are intense and choreographed full of "oh snap" moments. More than once I found myself cheering under my breath. If only in this, I assure you- you will be pleased.

And now a word for the fanboys; if that doesn't apply to you skip down to the next paragraph. Hey guys and gals (yes girls can be fanboys)! I know that many of you, and myself as well, were displeased with how Optimus Prime was portrayed two years ago. I've had many conversations where words like "wuss" and "heartbreak" came painfully to my lips. But I am here to tell you that you will definitely not feel that way this go-around. RoTF brings us a hero every inch the man, er 'bot, we knew and loved growing up.

So there it is. Turns out the new Michael Bay film is quintessentially a Michael Bay film. We all know what that means by now; a blockbuster heavy on special effects, action, comedic relief (or attempts at such), and shots where the glare from the sun hits the lens. But just like the first time, all the jeers seem to be more than balanced by the cheers. In fact, the cheers seem to be gaining strength with each instalment. Taken for what it's worth, I think this movie is a great ride. Some will hate it, and they won't necessarily be wrong. But I probably won't read their reviews cause I'll be busy watching it again.

Reel Deal Reccomends:

Eagle Eye for another enjoyable action/adventure with Shia LaBouf.
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People for a rather fitting Megan Fox experience.
Or you could just watch the 2007's Transformers and get 'em both in one fell swoop.

1 comment:

Watcher X said...

Again, no Watcher X?..... boo!!
I did cheer, not so secretly, in the theatre...
And if I could meet Sam Witwicky I would smack him for not realizing that his 'bot friends are pimpin'.... just saying he was taking them for granted.
Why wouldn't you just buy a special permit to bring your car, err Bubblebee, to college?? if you asked he could probably transform into a plane and take you home to see your overly tanned, and oddly greased up girlfriend [insert "if I only had a brain" song from the Wizard of Oz].