Apr 20, 2010
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) (part 1 of 6)
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The Cast of Characters:
Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). An annoying guy who was somewhat endearing in the first movie, and now just irritates whenever he’s on screen. Doesn’t do much aside from run around, scream, get blown up, and not tell his girlfriend he loves her.
Mikaela (Megan Fox). Sam’s insanely hot girlfriend. Her purpose in the movie is… is… actually, I’m not really sure. I know it’s something. Oh, wait. It’s standing around looking hot, and also possibly being a director stand-in for Michael Bay, which is disturbing on multiple levels.
Sam’s Parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White). Exist only to embarrass their son and generate cheap laughs. Somehow, even more stupid and annoying than they were in the first movie, and that’s saying something.
Leo (Ramon Rodriguez). Sam’s idiotic roommate. He runs a conspiracy theory website about how the alien robots are real, man, and they live among us! The truth is out there, dude! But mostly, he just irritates, too.
Seymour Simmons (John Tuturro). The Sector 7 jerk from the first movie, who’s now here to show off his hairy butt to the world. Also, one of roughly sixteen comic relief characters in the film.
Optimus Prime (Voice of Peter Cullen). Leader of the Autobots. He stands around and makes grand statements and speaks in noble sounding quotes, while reminding the viewer how much better the crappy animated version of Optimus was.
Megatron (Voice of Hugo Weaving, not that you’d notice). Leader of the Decepticons. Well, sort of. His boss in this movie seems to be a new character called the Fallen, so I’m not sure what Megatron’s job is anymore. Appears here despite being killed off in the last movie.
The Fallen (Voice of Tony Todd). Megatron’s boss. Yeah, it’s news to me that he had one. Galvatron had one, you know? In the animated film, which was way better than this movie? I hate Michael Bay so much.
Skids and Mudflap (Voices of Reno Wilson and Tom Kenny). Dese be a couple hard workin’ Autobots, yes, dey is! Dey’s gonna work mighty hard for you, massa! You don’t need to worry none about them bein’ uppity, and you ain’t gonna need to whup ‘em none, cause dey keeps to dey place!
The critics rave about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen!
“…Michael Bay’s latest bid to bludgeon audiences into dulled submission is the reductio ad absurdum of a summer blockbuster. It is loud (boom!), long (two and a half hours!), incoherent (poorly explained intergalactic warfare!), leering (Megan Fox in short shorts!), racist (jive-talkin’ robot twins!), and rife with product tie-ins (Chevy! Hasbro!)… John Yoo would not be able to draft a memo excusing the torment this movie inflicts on its audience…”
—Dana Stevens, Slate
“Bay stages battle sequences the way a three-year old plays with Legos. He dumps everything out at once in one loud crash, and just starts snapping pieces together and tossing them into each other… And much like a child at play, things get loud, there’s a lot of screaming, and shit gets destroyed.”
—Capone, Ain’t It Cool News
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is beyond bad. It carves out its own category of godawfulness. And, please, you don’t have to remind me that the original was a colossal hit ($700 million worldwide) and the sequel will probably do just as well. I know it’s popular. So is junk food, and they both poison your insides and rot your brain.”
—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
These days, it doesn’t feel like summer until Michael Bay gets the chance to visit upon us his latest cinematic abortion, and in the case of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, he has truly set the gold standard for awful blockbuster films.
I liked (or at least tolerated) the first movie. I didn’t think it was great cinema by any means, but it was reasonably entertaining and succeeded despite Michael Bay’s best efforts. At the time, I figured Spielberg had managed to reign in Bay’s habitual excesses, and actually found myself looking forward to the sequel.
How naive I was…