My rating of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: B (Good)
Cast: Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson
Directed by: Michael Bay
Studio: Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks SKG
Originally posted at Youthpad.
The movie Transformers 2 has turned into a juggernaut the likes of which we have never seen before. It has already surpassed Angels & Demons as the highest grossing film of the year. Director Michael Bay uses this as a platform to point a middle finger at one and all for not handing out some awards to the best-selling physics tutorial documentary The Island. (Seriously, watch that movie once and physics ke saare funde clear ho jaayenge. As in, you won’t remember anything you learnt in physics class at all after watching that movie. It’s a good movie though – my rating for it would be an A).
At first even I approached the original Transformers movie with skepticism. “How retarded can it be to have inter-galactic wars over a frikkin’ spark plug?!” I pointed out some inaccuracies in the script and so did others. The same story repeats with Transformers 2. There are hilarious FAQs ripping the movie apart – that article’s funny but also ‘unfair’ since they’ve twisted bits of the story to suit their jokes. Rolling Stone refused to give any stars to the movie in its rating. Cinematical talks about absurdities in the script. The most accurate summing up of the movie would be in Paste Magazine. That’s the legacy Transformers 2 seems to be leaving behind in all critics’s reviews – all of them mangling parts of the story to suit their own jokes. Then you realise that Michael Bay simply isn’t playing to that gallery with these two movies. I admit I have blasphemed, Mr Bay. I never knew The Right Path of what the eff exactly you’re trying to accomplish with your movies until the day I saw The Island.
In Transformers 2 Michael Bay dishes out explosions at a never seen before scale – or rate for that matter. Get the Physicists Association on phone, guys. I propose that the ‘scientific unit for the scale of a fake explosion on a movie set’ be named ‘MichaelBay’ in His honour. Among the very first scenes is one in which a C-40 transport aircraft airdrops a GM truck, which transforms into Optimus Prime mid-air for skydiving, and then transforms back into a truck while crash landing onto a Shanghai freeway. This means the ‘Mind your head’ signs they put in the theatre need to be taken literally; if this scene does not convince you to switch your brain off and soak in the visuals for the next two and half hours, nothing will.
This movie suffers from is that it’s way to long and repetitive. An hour into the film you start wondering when this will ever get over. There are so many Transormers milling around that you can just vaguely make out that Autobots are fighting Decepticons and that’s about it. One giant robot fight after another is piled on your senses until they go numb. The humans have nothing much to do except scamper around calling for ‘more Autobots’.
Michael Bay & Co also make no qualms in showing off their huge collective crush on the US of A military. Whatever screen-time is left where metal monsters aren’t ripping each other apart is spent on slo-mo showcases of the ‘latest munitions’. Knowing Bay for what he is, I’m surprised he didn’t have a scrolling ticker at the bottom with a 1-800-BAY-BOMB number to “ORDER YOUR OWN FUNCTIONING MODEL OF A GODDAMN PREDATOR WOOHOO!”
A lot has been made out of racial stereotyping through the characters of ‘black stereotype Autobots’ Skids and Mudflap. I wouldn’t hold Michael Bay exclusively responsible for that kind of ‘outrage’. Any black Hollywood actor other than Denzel Washington, Terrance Howard and to an extent Will Smith has had nothing at hand other than “Yo homies” ‘black stereotype role’. So it’s Hollywood at large which is at fault, not Bay.
Megan Fox continues with her role of a cutesexyhoteyecandy™ who has nothing to do other than wrap herself around Shia LeBeouf’s character. And honestly, I’m happy that they didn’t give her anything to act after watching this trailer of her upcoming movie Jennifer’s Body. (Diablo Cody will prove that Juno struck a chord because of Ellen Page’s acting and NOT Cody’s screenwriting.) Megan Fox is there for Michael Bay just so that he can zoom into her boobs or bottom every now and then. Nobody’s complaining. Oh, and also watch out for newcomer Isabel Lucas as the Decepticon chick Alice.
Don’t try to dig too deep into the plot. It’s utterly ludicrous for most bits. (There’s a scene where the US Navy beats the fucking crap out of a monstrous alien robot from hundreds of miles away by blowing off its metal scrotum using a railgun. True story.) Like how Sam Whitwicky dies at one stage, goes to Cybertronian (note, not human) heaven where a refreshing beverage of Castrol engine oil is presented to him then he gets sent back by Optimus Prime’s ancestors ‘for his courage’. Shia gets a second lease of life, a magical ‘Matrix of Leadership’ key gets reformed from silica dust to something which brings Optimus Prime back to life – in the most belief-suspending use of deus ex machina ever.
The movie is littered with funny moments. You could laugh all the way if you wanted at the sheer scale of robots fighting but you’ll probably get bored soon. Instead, stick around to watch the genuinely funny moments and dialogues – of which there are many.
Watch the music video for the song New Divide by Linkin Park, part of Transformers 2 soundtrack
You’ll probably hate Transformers 2 for being too long, but give it a shot. The sheer lunacy of this whole operation keeps the movie ticking. There are great visuals to watch out for (and I’m not talking of only Megan Fox here). Don’t think too much while watching this movie.