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Friday, 26 June 2009

Movie Review: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

I went to watch the second Transformers movie directed by Michael Bay last Wednesday. Naturally I was expecting a hell lot of explosions but I didn’t expect to see it in the first 10 minutes of the film. I did however expect it to all over the screen for the next 130 minutes and I was pretty much right. Even when there were scenes where there wasn’t any action, they didn’t last much longer than 7 minutes and were usually pretty well done. If those scenes weren’t exciting they did a lot for build up instead. All in all I thought it was a big improvement over the first movie and I wasn’t even anticipating it very much. If you don’t want to get spoiled on the details I suggest you skip over until you see the end of the spoiler line.


Here’s how the plot went; it’s been two years since the Autobots have arrived on earth and they have formed a special force with the American army to eliminate the Decepticons that arrive on earth. After taking care of two Decepticons that just arrived at Shanghai, they get a warning from one of the dying Decepticons that goes “The Fallen shall rise again”. The dying Decepticon was the huge wheel Decepticon from the trailers by the way. I think that’s how it went but the screen was SO big in the empire cinema and I was sitting in the middle seats too, so between the backlash from the spectacular bombardment of sound and lights and the need to remember a quote, the need to get ready for the next scenes was higher on my priorities. Seriously though, it’s the only choice.

So far that covers the first 10 minutes or so, we then go to Sam where he’s getting ready to leave for college and after a bit of comedy between the members of the witwicky family, Sam finds a shrapnel from the Cube from the last film in the jacket he wore from that time while talking to Michaella. It starts burning images into his head and while getting red hot enough for it to burn his fingers and the floor under him. While Sam tries to take care of the smoke in his room, the cube shrapnel creates a lot of small Decepticons and this leads to Bumblebee taking out the roof of the house along with most of the Decepticons. While the parents handle damage control, Sam talks to Bumblebee about not being able to bring him to college with him in a scene that made me realize Shia Labouf is a pretty talented actor for being able to do that scene as well as he did.

After that we go to the military where Optimus talks to a new prick about how they’re handling all these new Decepticon attacks. We’re then treated to Soundwave, who by the way has the most badass design in the movie, who sends a mini-jaguar bot to take the chunk of the cube that they were protecting at this island base. After taking it, they use it to revive Megatron sacrificing a smaller Decepticon to give him enough parts to swim up to the surface and into the stratosphere and all the way to Saturn I think where we get to see a ship just like from Transformers: Beast Wars. We find out that the Megatron answers to another robot called the Fallen trapped in a seal of some sort and that Starscream isn’t the scheming bastard from the original G1 series. A lot less scheming and a lot more spineless if you ask me. We find out they are also looking for an energon source to make their newborn Decepticons more likely to survive. Up till this point, I wasn’t sure what exactly they did with the stuff only that it powered them up after they ate it. By this point you’d think that the Autobots are seriously outnumbered but then you realize that they have a whole planet backing them up. Also they threw in scenes where Sam gets acquainted with his new college and Bumblebee pops in to bring him to Optimus in a good build up scene somewhere in there.

After that we get to see the last mini Decepticon try to get that cube shrapnel from Michaella but failing hilariously. We also see that Sam is turned into a crazy genius from his intake of cybertronian knowledge from the cube shrapnel leading to a female terminator Decepticon reaching first base with Sam and Michaella catches them in the act. Before we get the chance to be shown an annoying lover’s spat scene however, the terminator Decepticon starts tearing up the place leading to a series of action scenes with the lovers spat thrown in there without it being out of place. Sam then gets a literal brain scan by the Decepticons before being rescued by Optimus and Bumblebee. This leads to an awesome 3 on 1 battle between Optimus, Megatron, Starscream and an unnamed Decepticon. This brings up a point I have to praise the director for, Optimus is bloody BRUTAL in this movie. Even Megatron couldn’t compare to him in this and in the last movie. Not even in any of the series for that matter since Optimus kicks so much ass that I can only describe what I felt watching this scene as “HOLY%^^&&*@#@^@&^&@^&# FU*KING@#$%&*^%*&^&^%*&^%&^%&#$%*^ @#$#%#@$# YEAH!”. Seriously! We get to see that part in the trailer where Optimus pulls out twin flaming swords get elaborated so awesomely that all Transformers fans will forever remember it as Optimus’ most Kickass moment ever. I’m not even that much of a fan of the series but that was just so goddamn epic. It completely topped the brutality of the Sayid vs. Keamy fight from season 4 of lost a hundred times over. After that Megatron gets a sneak attack on him and cuts through his chest killing the last Prime in the universe freeing the Fallen. I was right about this happening since a character death usually makes for a good second movie. We don’t see him turn grey though. This the halfway point by the way leaving 70 minutes left.

We then see Sam and the Autobots with him discuss a plan of action while the Decepticons make an Ultimatum for Sam to the entire world. They then go to a butcher shop for help only to find Agent Simmons running the place. He then shows us how obsessed he is with aliens by revealing his stash of Sector 7 documents. My question is how oblivious his mom is since he managed to sneak in all that stuff under her nose. Anyway they begin taming the mini-Decepticon we now know as Wheelie who tells them of the remaining . This leads them to the Smithsonian Aerospace building where upon seeing a concorde I thought “They’re going to revive Silverbolt!” but as it turns out I was wrong and instead they revived this old codger of a Decepticon turned Autobot called Jetfire. At that moment, the leak I heard about Optimus and Jetfire going GATTAI! was pretty much confirmed along with Optimus’ revival as shown by this picture.

Anyway, it turns out Jetfire was one of the original transformers who was sent to earth to look for energon. He even made a joke about how a Decepticon changes sides to the Autobots which I’ve always thought to be a pretty overdramatic process. After telling what to do and teleporting them to Egypt, they went to look for the Matrix hidden by the original primes. When they do find it however, the thing turns to dust upon being touched. Sam believes that the dust was the key to reviving Optimus, who’s been transported to Egypt along with the other Autobots and a small force of the military so he gathers up the dust in a small pouch.

By this point we have 40 minutes left of action in the movie. From this point forward until the last five minutes, everything IS action. We get to see Devastator get formed by construction vehicles, Bumblebee take out two Decepticons out at once, brutally I might add, and also an air strike that actually kills a few of the Decepticons. We also get a scene that echoes Sam’s parents unwillingness to see their son grows up in reverse and also a point where it looks like Sam dies just as he’s about to get to Optimus which was pretty convincing until we’re shown that the original primes were talking to him in a near death vision and the Matrix gets reformed from the dust. Before the Revival of Optimus we get to see Simmons call up a freakin’ Railgun from the Navy and use it to shoot down Devastator, the Decepticon made of smaller Decepticons, who was remodeling the pyramid to reveal the star-eating energon making device which needed the matrix to be activated. A railgun by the way is a cannon using electromagnets to shoot a bullet supposedly at mach 7, 7 times the speed of sound that is. How powerful is that? One shot takes out devastator. That’s a freakin’ Railgun.

Now we’re at the last 15 minutes of the movie. Optimus gets revived when Sam plunges the matrix into his chest but the Fallen finally does something and snatches the matrix right after Optimus is resurrected. Optimus is still weak from just being revived so Jetfire who was fatally wounded sacrifices himself to give Optimus parts he needs to take out the Fallen. Okay, so it wasn’t so much a GATTAI! moment but more of an upgrade but Optimus still looked badass. Optimus proceeded to take off and blow up the Energon device with his new guns. At this point I was seriously expecting an aerial battle since they gave Optimus wings but it ended up as a ground battle between Megatron, Optimus and the Fallen that got resolved in 3 minutes. I think Starscream was in there too but Optimus basically crippled Megatron and literally skinned the Fallen’s face off killing him. The deformed Megatron survives to live another day and escapes with Starscream and Optimus ejects the Jetfire parts. We then roll to the end where Optimus and Sam stand on a ship while Optimus sends a message to space inviting more Autobots to come to earth. Credits roll but we don’t get an indication of the next movie but we all know that it’s coming anyway.


I must say that this was an excellent movie but there were still flaws in there. I’m glad Michael Bay decided to cut down on explosions that don’t make sense like in the last film where Megatron cut off a statue and it exploded for some reason but in exchange he seems to be making scenes even harder to follow. One really bad example of this was when Sam and Michaella were kissing earlier in the film and things were spinning so unnecessarily fast around them that I was actually impressed with how well the camera was focusing on the couple while everything else was blurred. The action was definitely spectacularly awesome and well done but at times it got so intense that I couldn’t figure out what was happening and who was involved. The soundtrack could have been better too since either there was a severe lack of great background music or the action overwhelmed anything to be heard. Also there’s a bit of retconning here since Optimus completely pawns everything else in the film including Megatron who was the one doing all the pawnage in the last film.

Then there’s the fact that the Decepticons are ridiculously timid in this film. Not exactly a flaw but it was really odd to see. They deliver an ultimatum but they don’t bother going on a rampage to pressure the humans even more and the Fallen doesn’t really do anything except give the ultimatum and snatch up the matrix. This incarnation of the Autobots are also the most brutal I’ve ever seen(Not that it was bad thing. In fact, it was awesome). They’re all “Fu*k them! They’re Decepticons!” and the humans codenamed their leader Big Buddha so you’d think the Autobots would be at least a little bit merciful to their enemies. Between getting sliced in half, skinned alive, torn apart, dismembered, blown to smithereens, nuked and getting shot by a freakin’ railgun, it’s hard not to feel sorry for the Decepticons. It’s like they decided to stop short of launching an actual nuke. It’s a little weird to see the “pacifists” act far more brutal than the “aggressors” but then again they did get the job done. Seriously, 3 Autobots died with one of them being revived and another being a self self-sacrifice while the Decepticons must have lost nearly 20 of them including all of the Devastator robots. The worst that any of the Decepticons did was stab a sword right through Optimus’ chest. Optimus on the other hand actually cut off Starscream’s arm and used it as a club on him.

Then there’s the final fight of the movie. While it was technically a small part of a big battle that lasted about 40 minutes, the fight felt somewhat anti-climactic considering we’ve been seeing even more awesome fights throughout the film, particularly Optimus vs 3 Decepticons, and this last fight got resolved by Optimus losing a wing, bombarding Megatron with a barrage of missiles and cannons and slamming the Fallen into walls and tearing his face off. That sounds awesome and I guess it was but it really wasn’t the best fight of the movie. “Save the best for last” is what they say.

That’s it for the flaws. Now is the time to tell you what I liked about the movie. Based on how much I’ve been mentioning it, it’s easy to see why I like the brutality of the movie despite how weird it was to see most of it come from the Autobots. The plot itself wasn’t outstanding and it was somewhat predictable but it was executed really well and felt like well put together. The first movie felt like a string of one-liners trying to one up the last one and failing while this one actually felt like a complete conversation with a beginning, a middle and an end. It might have been because the Autobots were actually having proper conversations this time around. One of them even gave out a line that I really liked, “This fool is terribly misunderstanding things”. At least that’s how I think it went, action scenes blur my memory.

Anyway, I really enjoyed myself watching this movie and unlike Dark Knight I might endure the 140 minute length and watch the entire thing all over again. Unlike Dark Knight which could earn a “Best Movie Ever!” only on the first time you watch it, Transformers 2 easily achieves an “Awesome!” every single time. My recommendation for those who have yet to watch the movie is to go out and buy tickets as soon as seats are available because people have actually booked 2 weeks in advance for the tickets. The hype was definitely worth the movie.

That’s it for now. I also have a review of the Fate Testarossa Harlaown Figma that I just picked up yesterday set up to be posted 3 days from now so please look forward to that. Apparently blogger allows timed posting. Here's a sneak peek.

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