‘Transformers 2’: Transformier

transformers2You are going to be thrilled by every action-packed minute of the latest explosive encounter within “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

No, wait. Let me rephrase that…

You are going to loathe every second of screen time “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” a monstrosity of mayhem that clings to the multiplex like a cyst on the name of all that is decent about film.

You see, I could begin this review either way, and it will not matter one iota in the grand scheme of things. Your mind is already made up about this sequel to “Transformers,” and certainly nothing within the film will do anything to change it, I assure you.

For the film is essentially more of the same, following the standard rules of summer sequels: more ammunition, more explosions, more carnage, more time, more headaches, more…more-ness. The only thing that still remains of the lighter side is character development, acting, story, etc. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

For those elements essentially serve as much purpose as spinning, glittery 22-inch rims on this oversized Escalade of a film.

Shia LeBoeff returns as Sam Witwicky, the beleaguered human boy whose in the middle of an auto-centric Armageddon between the Autobots and Decepticons. He’s off to Cliché College, in which all the women are centerfold-ready tramps on the only campus that appears to be bathed in mood lighting.

While there, he learns that the important Allspark has been stolen, a device that reignites an ancient battle and unearths a gargantuan hunk of ticked-off machinery bent on bringing down the Earth’s sun.

Beyond that, it is merely an impetus for Bay to flex his film school fetishes: the hypercut, the slow-motion battles, the runaway dolly shot and the camera groping of its female star Megan Fox.

There are epic bot-battles, there are lame attempts at humor (Mime jokes, guys? Really?), and plot expositions that essentially walk the slower members of the audience through the proceedings (at one point near the beginning of the film, the fallen Decepticon actually utters the line “Only a Prime can defeat me.” Hmmmm. And there just happens to be a lead good-guy robot named Optimus Prime. Foreshadow much?).

The addition of new characters run from offensive Jar Jar Binks-like stereotyping to merely awful, like the toy truck that turns into what can only be described as a cross between a Gremlin, and evil Johnny 5 from Short Circuit fathered by Joe Pesci.

Audiences will find that they, too, have fallen during he course of the film, into one of two categories:

  1. They will be convinced that Bay has sounded the first death knell of film as we knew it, detesting every eardrum-shattering second of its two-plus-hour length. Or,

  2. They will see this as a worthy addition to Bay’s sound-and-fury empire, where the mechanical orgy of destruction will not only feed their hunger for cinematic action, but further whet their whistle for future exploits.

It should be noted that the majority in the second category will be younger than 15,male, and/or have the attention span of a caffeinated hamster.

Personally, I gave the first film a pass, only because it delivered on its promise of pyrotechnics, even if it did little else. The problem is that since the Batman franchise has recently demonstrated that sequels can contain more, not just with action, but with a rich story, complex characters and intricate plotting and the audience will still accept it, dulls the impact of “Transformers” tremendously. People will actually pay to see a summer blockbuster that makes them think a little, so it’s hard to let this second “Transformers” film off that easily, as all it does is merely turn up the volume.

That said, one could argue that it is certainly fulfilling its promise to its target audience, by giving them exactly what they want, nothing more. But there is a difference between catering to an audience and pandering to them.

 Essentially, the film is critic-proof, and no words offered here will sway those in either camp, so I will merely offer this: for those who seek their summer cinema loud, frenzied and full of bombast, you will be rewarded. But if crave even the slightest bit more than mechanical-based mayhem, this is not the film that will transform you.

~ by usesoapfilm on June 23, 2009.

4 Responses to “‘Transformers 2’: Transformier”

  1. […] You are going to be thrilled by every action-packed minute of the latest explosive encounter within “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”No, wait. See original here: ‘Transformers 2′: Transformier […]

  2. The dumbest maybe but the most beautiful celeb for sure.

  3. I knew for a fact going in that this movie is not the next “Citizen Kane.” I mean I could have told you that before I went in the theater. The fact that it is presented “In Association with Hasbro” is all the Oscar committee needs to know. Oh yeah, and Michael Bay. But, I enjoyed it. It could have been about a half hour shorter. There was no need for all the running in Egypt. In my Intro to Film review of the 1st movie, I characterized the plot as that of a porno film. It’s basically there to keep things flowing. We all know why people saw the movie: giant robots that turn into cars. This one basically has the same premise. Is it a movie of the year contender? No, but it kept my attention the entire time, which is all you can ask of a movie.

    • I could say it kept my attention, but the same could be said about balls of wadded-up aluminum foil, too (at least for an hour or so). I do not have the hate the others have for this film, and I found it more comfortable with itself than, say, the new Terminator, but it’s not a film that I would want to add to my collection, nor does it have an re-watchability for me, like The Dark Knight. I saw it, I was diverted for a couple hours, move on…

      You are right about the porno, though. Not that I have ever seen one, but a friend told me.

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