Film

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen delivers the “more”

Image

You can say this for Michael Bay: He delivers what he promises. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Bay’s sequel to his mind-numbing, loud, visually incoherent 2007 megahit Transformers, is everything the original was and more. “More,” of course, is Bay’s mantra: Why shoot from two angles when you can shoot from 12? Why make a brisk 90-minute action movie when you can expand it to two and a half hours? Why settle for just one Maxim-approved hottie (Megan Fox as love interest/short-shorts enthusiast Mikaela) when you can populate a whole university with them? Why have only a dozen explosions when you can just blow up everything?

The Details

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Two stars
Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro
Directed by Michael Bay.
Rated PG-13.
Beyond the Weekly
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Rotten Tomatoes: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
IMDb: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

And I do mean everything: Cars. Helicopters. Airplanes. Robots that turn into cars, helicopters and airplanes. Beloved world landmarks. Human protagonist Sam Witwicky’s house. All of that and more explodes, collateral damage in the war between the good giant robots (Autobots) and the evil giant robots (Decepticons) for control of the thing that no one in the audience actually cares about. There are so many explosions in this movie that they quickly become rote and tedious. The only part of Fallen more boring than when things are exploding is when things aren’t exploding: Despite the plot being completely superfluous, Bay and his screenwriters nevertheless dump huge chunks of incomprehensible exposition on the audience at regular intervals, and stretch the story out interminably with random detours and extraneous new characters. The climactic battle alone lasts a good 45 minutes, because there are so many incremental obstacles for the heroes to overcome.

Along the way, there are some impressive, soulless special effects, as well as Bay’s trademark orgy of product placement (including for his own movies!) and plenty of juvenile humor. Shia LaBeouf as Sam and Megan Fox as Mikaela do a lot of running around and try valiantly to drum up some emotional resonance for their characters’ love story (it doesn’t work), and John Turturro hams it up in an expansion on his role from the first film. At least the humans are distinguishable; once again, the Transformers mostly look the same, and the action sequences are frustrating exercises in figuring out which robot is beating on which other robot. Credit Bay with one important innovation, though: He manages to combine two of the series’ most important elements with the creation of the world’s first hot-chick Transformer.

Share

Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • The action is rote, the special effects are surprisingly poor and the character interactions are only occasionally entertaining.

  • Everything in theaters this week, plus special screenings and movie reviews.

  • Like too many prestige TV shows, the seven-episode limited series is basically a feature film dragged out over multiple episodes.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story