Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen--DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review (2009)

10/18/2009 Posted by Admin

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review
“Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen”

Directed by Michael Bay, written by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, 150 minutes, rated PG-13.

Although Paramount continues its stupid decision of refusing to give screeners to critics who gave negative reviews to the theatrical releases of their movies--as I and many others did with this baby--they can’t stop the press from getting the word out about how bad some of their movies are, so this review is based on the original theatrical review.

We are, after all, here to serve you, not them.

What director Michael Bay has created is a crowning achievement--the first English-language film that needs subtitles in order to understand it. The movie is a shoo-in for the Razzies--Worst Foreign Language Movie in a Non-Foreign Language. The film is a masterwork of banality, a champion of stupidity, one of the most over-sold wrecks of the year.

And yes, naturally, when it opened, it was the number-one movie in America.

Just why it took the top spot is easy to understand--the first film was good. It had a sense of humor, terrific special effects, nice jolts of action, and a story backed by characters we came to know and like. Mirroring that movie, this beauty also clocks in at 2.5 hours, but unlike the first film, you feel every stinking minute of it.

What happened along the way? Simple. Whereas the last movie was chaos and fun by way of the machine, this new movie is just chaos driving the machine. It’s such a relentless, over-the-top experience, a movie so determined to best the action in the previous film, that the screen can’t contain any of it, and so it spits it out.

Perhaps the best way to understand the experience of watching the movie is to stand in front of a front-loading washing machine. Pack it full with colorful clothing, toss in a few bras if you have them (something that would support, say, a woman with a figure like Megan Fox), and press start. Colors will begin to whirl, things will start to spin, you’ll recognize glimpses of what you’ve seen before, and then, if you’ve really overpacked the machine, really stuffed it full, it eventually will go off balance and shake the room until your fillings falls out. The end.

Here is a movie of two parts. On one hand, you can appreciate the special effects for the effort that went into achieving them. On the other hand, those same special effects are part of the problem. Just as the script is a muddy disaster that does nothing to inform the characters with new levels of interest, that muddiness also is reflected in the storyline, which goes something like this.

Reprising his role as Sam Witwicky is Shia LaBeouf, who is off to his first year at college when he realizes that etched into his brain are symbols the evil Decepticons need in order to harness a machine in one of Egypt’s pyramids in an effort to destroy the sun and thus all life on Earth. Oh, the Autobots are fully behind Sam, and so along with the Sam’s peeps--his love interest Mikaela Banes (Fox), Agent Simmons (John Turturro), Capt. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sgt. Epps (Tyrese Gibson)--they all fight the big fight in an effort to keep the Decepticons down.

While nobody will accuse the movie of being light on action, action alone isn’t the only ingredient necessary to pull off a successful action movie. There must be a connection to the characters. There has to be a level of cohesion to the storyline. Our best action films aren’t those in which you only are in awe of the special effects, but those that also leave you feeling genuine concern for the survival of the characters you’ve come to admire.

On that level, “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen” fails so spectacularly, it trips itself up from the get-go and it falls flat on its face.

Grade: D

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