Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


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Current Rating 7/10 | 7 Votes

Put aside for a moment "Transformers 2's" chimp-looking, jive-talking minstrel robots, complete with gold tooth. Put aside the silliness of giant robots fighting. Put aside the cynicism of soullessly cashing in on Gen X nostalgia. Put aside the objectified women with flawless skin and too much makeup. Put aside that this movie pretty much calls Barak Obama a giant pussy, by name. Put aside the rampant militarism and truck commercial patriotism. Put aside that director Michael Bay once again trots out suits and authority figures only to have them be completely wrong in the face of "people from the street."

All that you really need know about "Transfomers: Revenge of the Fallen" is that it runs 2 1/2 hours long. A good action movie should be like a well-oiled machine and "Transformers 2," despite all its quick-cutting and sound effects and twirling cameras and explosions is just plain disorganized. There's so much sound and fury and noise but it takes FOREVER to accomplish anything. I was so BORED. And then when we finally get to a big stunt sequence - a fight between giant robots - the robots are indistinguishable and blurry and lost in all the cutting and noise. (Speaking of noise, I think there were more sound effects just to put up the logos and the title of the film than in the entirety of "Andrei Rublev.")

Despite what you may have heard, "Transformers 2" does have a reasonably serviceable plot, but it's buried beneath too many useless characters, too many useless scenes, robot fights that aren't that special, and too much dialogue that doesn't go anywhere. Imagine a pack of 8-year-olds all trying to tell you a story at once, each vying for your attention at the cost of the others. At one point an exasperated character breaks down and yells at a robot "would you please just explain what's going on, with a beginning, a middle, and an end?!" My sentiments exactly. Every time a new character is trotted out he doesn't seem to really believe lives are in danger and instead rambles off with an unfunny comic aside.

That there's an adequate 90-minute B movie stuffed in here somewhere, if the screenwriters had just cleaned things up a bit, reminds of another movie from the Michael Bay / Jerry Bruckheimer universe, "Pirates of the Caribbean." Similarly overlong, those films partially redeemed themselves with inspired goofiness from Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy, and Naomie Harris. "Transformer" star Shia LaBouef (sp?) is a game young actor, and he gets some assistance from John Turturro, but they're not enough.

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