Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) (part 6 of 6)
Inside the monument, Skids and Mudflap get into yet another Ebonics-related fight, and they accidentally create a hole in the wall that just happens to reveal the tomb of the Primes. Meaning the tomb was hidden behind a wall that’s maybe an inch thick at most. I really have to believe that archaeologists at some point would’ve done radar or sonar searches and discovered the tomb, but apparently not.
Sam finds the Matrix of Leadership, but it crumbles into dust as soon as he touches it. Luckily, he’s thinking ahead and scoops up all the dust and puts it in a dirty sock.
At this point, there’s about forty minutes left to the film. I mention this because there’s a lot that occurs in the next forty minutes, but only about five minutes of actual content. Seriously. We get lots of shots of people moving around, and military vehicles pulling into position, and shots being fired, and nothing important happens at all. I’ll do my best to describe it anyway.
The U.S. military arrives in what I will now call Jorgypt. They bring all sorts of tanks and planes and hovercraft, and make a sea landing near the Pyramids, which are also near the Sphinx and the Valley of the Kings and within walking distance of Petra. Though, at this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie showed the Space Needle near the Pyramids.
Also, there’s no mention of them asking the Jorgyptian government’s permission before making this landing. I believe they’ve accidentally invaded a country.
Now comes a fight, which is the penultimate fight in the movie. I don’t really have a lot to say about it. It’s pretty big and, as mentioned, happens over a long period of time. Much of it takes place in a small village where the U.S. military sets up camp, not bothering to ask the locals for permission, thus placing more civilians in danger.
At long last, we finally get the introduction of Devastator.
Devastator, for those who don’t know, is what’s called a Combiner. He’s a set of Transformers called Constructicons who, in addition to being robots in their own right, can merge into one larger robot, in this case Devastator.
In the original version of the character, he was just a big-ass robot, but in this movie he turns into something really, really big, that looks like a gorilla and has a large suction device that pulls in people, vehicles, and in one shining moment, either Skids or Mudflap (I can’t tell the difference). Sadly, Skids and/or Mudflap survives and deals what appears to be a mortal blow to Devastator.
As the big desert fight continues, we’re treated to about three seconds of screen time by fan favorite Arcee, the first-ever female Autobot. Now we can go around and around about the impossibility of gendered robots, but who cares? She was a cool, fun, and (to some) sexy character, and that’s what matters.
Lots of people, myself included, had been really looking forward to her appearing in this film, hoping that she might get to do something interesting. So what does she do here?
She gets almost one whole line, and then gets blown up.
That’s it. That’s her entire appearance. It’s an even more pointless death than the one Jazz had in the first film (you might remember him as the other caricature of a black person, and the only Autobot to die). What a fucking waste.
For unclear reasons, the military bombs the hell out of that village. In the resulting blast, Sam gets knocked ass-over-teakettle, and winds up apparently dying.
But wait! He goes to Silicon Heaven! It must exist. Why, if it didn’t, where would all the calculators go?
While dead, Sam sees three Primes talking to him, and one of them is voiced by Michael York. Oh, Michael. Are the jobs really this few and far between? You disappoint me, sir, you disappoint me. They tell Sam, “Well done! Here’s the Matrix, just stab it into Optimus and all will be well with the world.” Or something like that.
Sam comes back to life, and finally says “I love you” to Mikaela, who says the same to him, thus tying up that subplot.
The Matrix reassembles in his hand, and he uses it to stab Optimus Prime, bringing him back to life!
But then two minutes later, the Fallen teleports in and takes back the Matrix and mortally wounds Optimus. So it’s up to the nearly-dead Jetfire (who got about ten seconds of fight time, and then was taken down by freakin’ Scorponok!) to allow some of his parts to be used to make Optimus more optimal.
Meanwhile, the Fallen and Megatron are on one of the Jorgyptian pyramids. The top has been knocked off by Devastator, revealing the sun-destroying machine. So apparently, the pyramid was built to hide the machine. Why? I have no idea, but the Fallen has activated the machine. And naturally, to generate some forced suspense, it’s going to take a little while for it to charge up to firing strength.
Now fully functional, Optimus goes off to fight Devastator, the Fallen, Megatron, and coherent movie-making in an f/x extravaganza that leaves me feeling completely detached and uninterested.
Devastator is defeated by a rail gun shot while he’s busy demolishing the pyramid. And, ugh, I can’t help but notice, because the movie forces you to notice, that Devastator has two large wrecking balls dangling between his legs. In case you don’t get it, S7G actually reports that “I am directly below the enemy’s scrotum!”
I’m sure the crew who rendered that had a grand old time. Actually, there’s a rumor that rendering Devastator caused one of ILM’s computers to overheat and melt. So it’s a good thing they added completely necessary details like a pair of robot testicles.
Optimus fights the Fallen, and in the process destroys quite a lot of the ruins, thus continuing this movie’s jolly rape of Egyptian culture. Finally, he kills the Fallen, Megatron gets away, Devastator is destroyed, thousands of people worldwide are dead, and I… just… don’t… fucking… care. The end.
There are so many things wrong with this movie, and so many places where it could’ve been turned around. For starters, when the next film is inevitably made, the writers need to remember the franchise is called Transformers, not Humans. We don’t need to see the human characters running around doing stuff for most of the movie. We can see that in any movie. We want giant transforming robots.
I never thought it would be possible to describe a movie as being “aggressively dull”, but that’s exactly what Michael Bay has accomplished with this film. He’s made a movie that left me bored and uninterested and angry all at the same time. The parts where I sat up and paid attention consisted of about five minutes of screen time, but otherwise I was starting to feel like Jeddidiah Leland watching opera.
There’s still good material out there for a third movie. It’d be nice to see the Dinobots and to introduce characters like Ultra Magnus, Springer, Hot Rod, and Galvatron (ideally, with Leonard Nimoy doing the voice). And let’s perhaps move the story into space. Bring on Shockwave, Skywarp, and Thundercracker. Or even better, move the story to Cybertron. Bring out Unicron. Any of these things could help make the next movie better.
But ultimately, what will need to happen for the next film to be any good is for Michael Bay to take a hike. He’s already made some noise about two years not being enough time to make the next movie, so with any luck they’ll toss him and hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
All I want is for the next movie to not leave me disgusted and annoyed. Until that happens, I’ll just have to stick with my toys.