Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Reviewed
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Move like a butterfly, sting like a Chevy- Wait, I thought they went broke. Why are the spending millions on cars for a movie where the only people who will care Bumblebee is a Camaro are 8 years old? Yes. The advertising in the Transformers films are shameless, and pathetically misguided. But that's sort of funny in it's own way.
Back to the review. I love Transformers. Being a mass media freak who has had his hand in almost all types of mass media ranging from film, to literature, to comics, to toy lines, I feel no shame in saying Transformers were a childhood favorite. As such, I loved this film to a fair reasonable degree. That's mostly cause I just get some of the background, and know many of the characters like Bumblebee and Jetfire. That said. This movie in retrospec, though I'll buy it and watch it again, isn't that good.
The first film was great. The creators realized how corny the idea was, and they played on it. They immersed the viewers so much we didn't even stop to think how ridiculous the scenario was. This movie doesn't do that so much.
One of the big problems is that it can't seem to decide on it's audience. In some ways, it's clearly a kid film with its corny scenes and one liners. In others, its a film for older viewers with VERY VERY heavy sexual innuendo and a LOT of cursing. I kind of laughed that everyone brought their kids XD. But this gives the film a broken feel. It constantly goes back in forth between the deep story and plot lines that will keep teens and adults entertained, and the shallow ones that a kid just accepts. It breaks the film, and keeps it from feeling proper at any time for any group. Thus the parents are like, "I brought my kids to this?" and teens are like "What the crap is this crap?"
That aside, there are a lot of great moments. The comedy is back, with some very clever and brilliant moments, and though the innuendo is not appropriate for younger audiences, for the old, you'll get a kick out of some of the jokes. I also like the way the battles went in this film. In the first film, the robots never felt as "big" as they were. In this one, the action scenes are fantastic, particularly the final battle and Optimus Prime soloing a bunch of bad guys. Most of these scenes were the most emersive of the film and it's high points. Nothing better than bot on bot fist fights with a few plasma cannons here and there.
I kind of like the way older characters have been included in the film. Bumblebee's return is a blast, as is the films opening and the return of Optimus Prime. Even better are some of the new faces; particularly the new version of Jetfire!
Sadly there's a downside, and in a way I blame it for a great deal in how the film turned out. New additions like Sideswipe and Arcee really took me. From their first appearance in the opening I'm thinking: Awesome! These two rock! But, then that's it. They both pretty much disappear for the rest of the film into nothing but wallpaper. The action is spoiled by two people. Skids and Mudflap; the most retarded duo to put in a film. These two characters are not entertaining, and will annoy anyone with at least 2 IQ points to death. I don't even care that they're stereotypes of Hip Hop Culture. In the style of Yahtzee. "I hate anyone who does nothing but curse and acts like a 5 year old every waking moment, whether they be black, white, or robot." Skids and Mudflap are horrible and I really wonder what the movie's makers were thinking. Not only are they annoying, but they do nothing throughout the entire film but be annoying! The film would have been exactly the same if every scene with the twins had been cut out; trust me no one would notice the difference.
This is a problem in the film. New additions and favorites have appeared; Jetfire, the Constructicons, and Soundwave. Other characters have been revamped into pure cool like Arcee and Sideswipe. These guys would have been great had they been expanded on. I wanted to see more of them. But no. I got Mudflap and Skids. Rather than expanding on characters most fans would have wanted to see we got a pair of nobodies no one cares about. Bad move.
This sort of ties into the whole film. It has some great moments and some great characters, but as a whole so much time is spent on other things, the primary conflict never builds up very much. Then when it comes you get this hallow feeling that leaves you wondering wtf is going on because it isn't initially clear. Some of the plot elements like the aforementioned twins are baffling as to why they were included. One character who died at the end of the first film, returns in the sequel with no explanation for why he's still alive, and then he just dies again. I sat there staring with the question "Hold on, how is he undead in the first place?"
I'm going to spoil it now because it was apparent in the previews. Megatron is in the film, but I have no idea why. Starscream almost always takes control when Megatron dies in Transformers media, but for some reason they brought him back and there really wasn't a need. Like Skids and Mudflap, Megatron could have been absent from the film and with a few changes it would have run the same way.
Overall I'd say the film is too derivative. Instead of playing off the first films events, it does a bunch of corny crap that all in all negates the first film from having any real consequence for the story line or characters. It never expands on itself well enough, and makes some bad choices in cast and presentation that make the experience mediocre. It never ties everything into a pure whole. It really felt like they tried to do too much in one film and nothing got done to a satisfactory level as a result. They made some poor decisions, focusing on characters who should have stayed dead, or who shouldn't have been present at all when much more interesting and cool folks were around. Almost all the big stuff, ends with what to me, felt like cop out. Rather than take a path and stick too it, they transition at the last second to something else thats either not well explained for people not familiar with the lore, or that was from the first film and is reintroduced in an unsatisfactory manner. Oh, and I love the Prime man, but his monologues, really unnecessary Michael.
I love Transformers, I liked the film, but everyone else out there who isn't an off the bat Transformers fan, probably won't share my endearment.
Oh, and parents, I'm serious. Be careful about taking your kids to this one. There really is a lot more than I feel is appropriate for anyone under 12, and I'd advise an advanced screening if you're touchy about what your kids watch.
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