“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Ramón Rodríguez, and Peter Cullen. Released on June 24, 2009, the film has Sam Witwicky teaming up with Optimus Prime and the Autobots once again to prevent an ancient Decepticon from destroying Earth.
The film is directed by Michael Bay, who also directed films such as Bad Boys, The Island, and Pain & Gain. It is a sequel to the 2007 film, Transformers, as well as the second installment in the live-action Transformers film series. After the success of Transformers, a sequel was announced for a 2009 release with Bay returning to direct. Unfortunately, the journey into making this film had a lot of obstacles that they had to go through, such as the possible strikes from the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Writers Guild of America. Nonetheless, they managed to prevail just in time for its Summer 2009 release. See what happens when you don’t give up, people? Sooner or later, you will succeed. Like its predecessor, the film was a huge success at the box office, although the same can’t be said for the critics and audiences, with many calling it the “worst movie of all time” or the “worst movie of 2009”. When I first saw it in the theater with my family, I somehow thought it was a highly entertaining sequel. Crazy, I know. However, looking back at this now, I can see why not a lot of people liked this movie, but really, does that give them the right to judge others so harshly for actually “liking” this film or act like a big butthead over a motion picture? Now don’t assume that I’m judging you for disliking the film because I respect each and every one of your opinions. It’s just the fact that it’s extremely hard for me to take your reviews seriously when you’re being so overly dramatic or bullying those who have different opinions. Now that we got that settled, onward to my review!
The film takes place two years after the events of the first film, with the Autobots and the U.S. military forming a classified task force known as NEST to track down the remaining Decepticons. Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky (played by LaBeouf) is attending college and trying to live a normal life as a regular teenager. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy task to accomplish when he has Cybertronian symbols in his mind and the Decepticons are hunting him down. Now, when they got a story like this, it should mean that there’s more at stake for the humans and the Transformers, right? Not in this case. I can understand what the filmmakers are going for, but the execution felt a bit rusty due to its uneven tone and the lack of depth between the characters. At one point, it felt like a sci-fi action film. At another point, it felt like an unintentional college comedy, hence the plot point of Sam going to college. Now, I know that they wanted to add some comedic moments into a more serious story so that kids can enjoy it too, but when they have this type of comedy that is either a bit annoying (Sam’s roommate, Sam’s parents, and Simmons), inappropriate, forced, or offensive (in the form of the Autobot twins, Mudflap and Skids), well, let’s just say that they got bigger things to worry about than just the Guild strikes. Shia LaBeouf as Sam is one of the main examples of the film’s “comedy” problem. Compared to his performance in the first film, he didn’t really offer anything special to his character, except the fact that he screamed like a little girl. No, really, he actually screamed like a girl in this film. Megan Fox also reprised her role as Mikaela Banes, Sam’s girlfriend, and there’s nothing special about her performance, either. It’s just her doing what she does best…being ”foxy”. Like its predecessor, the voice performances for the Transformers are one of my main highlights of the film. Peter Cullen once again shines as Optimus Prime despite his short screen time, but who the heck cares? Peter Cullen still did an amazing job voicing his character. Another voice performance that I have to give praise to is Final Destination actor Tony Todd as the film’s new antagonist, The Fallen. His deep, gravely voice is a perfect fit for a villain who only seeks revenge and destruction. While The Fallen is only in it for a couple of scenes, including the rushed final battle between him and Optimus, it’s hard for me to deny the fact that Tony Todd’s voice made my skin crawl. There were also plenty of action sequences that tend to be over-the-top and explosive at times, but still provided some nice entertainment, with the forest battle sequence being my favorite. The visual effects and the designs of the robots also helped with the action-packed experience, and, looking back at it now, the visuals haven’t aged one bit. The running time still remains an issue for the franchise because this one lasts a few minutes longer than its predecessor, so if you’re not a fan of the length of the first film, you’re not going to like it in this one.
Overall, Michael Bay delivered another overlong, yet entertaining, sci-fi robot-vs-robot action piece in the form of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, but like many other action sequels, it’s a step down from its predecessor in terms of its rusty story, mediocre characters, its use of humor, and its running time. Like I said before, I completely understand what they’re trying to do for the sequel. They got the suitable ingredients to make a good-looking, popcorn-inducing action blockbuster, but instead, they wound up making a rusty, popcorn-inducing action blockbuster. As a reviewer, I didn’t like the final result as much as the other Transformers films, but I didn’t hate it, either. I’m still somewhere in-between. If you like the other live-action Transformers films, you may or may not enjoy this one. It all depends on your mood. If you’re a fan of smartly-written action films, this one’s not for you.