Transformers 2 - Not In It's Prime
If you've read my review of "Transformers" you will know that I didn't really rate it that highly and so you can probably guess that when it comes to "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" I feel exactly the same. Actually that's a lie because whilst I enjoyed certain things in "Transformers" there is nothing which I liked in this sequel. Now it's plainly obvious that "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is not a movie for me, I like movies which whilst delivering big action and special effects also deliver interesting storylines and interesting characters which there are none of in this sequel. But the lack of these is not my only issue; there are issues with length, the logic and a couple of the transformers themselves which make this sequel worse than the original.
With Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf - Eagle Eye) heading off to college the last thing he needs is more Decepticon trouble, he's got enough issues when it comes to have a long distance relationship with the sexy Mikaela (Megan Fox - How to Lose Friends & Alienate People). But Decepticon trouble is just what he's got when he discovers a shard of the AllSpark on his old clothes and suddenly he finds himself on a quest to find an ancient autobot relic which if it falls into the wrong hands could lead to the Decepticons destroying the planet. With Mikaela and his parents plus college room mate Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) in tow Sam finds himself in the midst of the action and in Egypt.
Now having watched "Transformers" you know what you are getting when you sit down to watch "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", director Michael Bay delivering action and special effects for those who like to be entertained on the simplest level. And as such it actually feels half wrong to moan about the storyline but to be honest I have to for various reasons. There is a lack of logic as are returning hero Sam discovers a piece of the AllSpark on his jacket which causes kitchen equipment to turn into robot gremlins, then just buggering off to college without a concern.
And then there is this storyline which takes us from 17,000 BC to the present in America then Egypt, taking in Shanghai on the way and going from Sam discovering this shard of AllSpark to a weapon of mass destruction buried in a pyramid and an almighty battle. It's not in the least bit complex but totally daft which gigantic plot holes, huge contrivances, a magical way of bringing it all together at the end and is painstakingly too long. But then in a movie which is 150 minutes long I would say the storyline barely last 50 minutes with the rest being all action and special effects.
But as I said you don't expect anything close to a solid storyline from "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" as this is Michael Bay delivering more of the action and CGI which audiences loved the first time around. Now I suppose for those who are in to the whole "Transformer" thing will be able to spot who the good guys and bad guys are but for those like me who haven't got there Transformer geek on it is at times confusing. The confusion comes from the action, especially when it is robot on robot battles because it's hard to know who's who. That is not the only issue with the action because these action scenes go on far too long and border on the head ache inducing with the snappy editing and pumping soundtrack. Oh and with those which feature real actors being overly choreographed and slowed down it often feels very cheesy.
And to be honest I haven't finished with my criticism yet because as weak as the storyline is the characters are weaker. Take Josh Duhamel as Lennox, Tyrese Gibson as Epps and John Turturro as Simmons they return but for no real reason other to bring some familiarity and add no real depth to the movie. The same can be said of Kevin Dunn and Julie White who return as Sam's parents as other than a touch of comedy they add nothing either. That leaves Megan Fox as Mikaela and Shia LaBeouf as Sam and to be honest Megan could have been grouped with the other actors because yes she is sexy but again adds nothing to the story. As for LaBeouf well he sort of starts of reasonably well but as the story gets more and more convoluted a look starts to form on his face, a look of wtf am I doing here.
What does that leave well it leaves the CGI robots and when Michael Bay isn't throwing these characters into battle the attention to detail is quite brilliant. It's hard not to be impressed by the details of these robots be it the good guys or bad guys, it's such a shame that most of the time Bay doesn't allow us the time to be in awe of the CGI creativity. That doesn't mean they are faultless and a certain pair of twins who are meant to be funny as arguing stereotypes are simply wrong.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "Transformers" had some merit "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" has very little. The list of issues from length through to contrivances is long yet the positives such as the attention to detail is short. But I guess "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is not a movie made for me but an audience who don't care for solid storylines or character depth but just want action and CGI and as much of it as possible.