Goosebumps traveled up and down my spine as I saw the meteors, the trademark objects that bring both Autobots and Deciepticons to Earth, rain down all over the world, destroying landmarks and aircraft carriers. In this case, the Decipticons have come to Earth, heralding the epynomous villain of this summer blockbuster...The Fallen.
Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen has seemed to have polarized film critics and the general movie public. For every Roger Ebert and Spill Crew putdown, there is praise and awknowledgement of the 'Wow" factor from my friends and co-workers, as well as fellow online posters across various websites. Speaking for myself, this movie was an awesome, spectacular, good time...but that is to be expected from a "Summer Blockbuster".
My definition of a "Summer Blockbuster" is a film that is wildly entertaining, that appeals to the lowest common denominator as far as story, and is all about spectacle. It is a lie that most people would claim that they don't experience any emotional connection with this sort of lowbrow entertainment, when the truth is, most people DO experience a connection. Just listen to the crowd gasp in awe as Megatron rises out of the water, resurrected, and slams into a sub trying to intercept him. This might not be crying, or something that make you look at your life with a critical eye, but you are involved in the movie...even if it is more along the lines of a child gasping at the simplistic wonder of giant robots transforming.
If you're a fan of the first Micheal Bay-helmed film, then this one ups the ante, but sort of maintain a flaw or two from the first one, as well as introducing a unforgivable flaw that knocks this awesome film down a peg for me. But, we'll get to that later.
Anyway, this films expands on the first, introducing a being that is the boss OVER Megatron. Being more of a novice in all things Transformers, I wondered if this bothered hardcore fans. Anyway, this being had interactions with our ancestors in pre-historic times. Fast forward to two years after the first film, and the humans and Autobots have formed an alliance, tracking down Decipticons that are hiding on Earth. We get a new batch of good guys, apparantly those that answered the call Optimus Prime put out at the end of the first film. It is never hinted that if this same broadcast had anything to do with the new baddies hiding on Earth as well.
Meanwhile, Sam Witwickey is going to college and moving away from home, while his, to quote Bret Micheals, "Smoking hot" girl Mikela is working with her newly-prisoned-released father. Two things set off the events of the film: Sam finding a sliver of the Cube in his "Super-Bowl Jersey", which transfers tons of Cybertron information into his mind, and Soundwave, via transmissions of a conversation between the head of the Autobot/human alliance(NEST) and a government official, discovers the existance of the remainder of the Cube in a secret government installation, and sends a few close buddies to get it.
First to be said...the spectacular action scenes are worth seeing on the big screen. From Optimus Prime battling it out, anime-style, with three Decipticons in a forest to the final war in Egypt, you'll get literally more bang for your buck. Just as in the first film, there is a global scope to the conflict, as our heroes tranverse the globe, trying to find the Matrix of Leadership, another slice of Transformer mythos introduced for the big screen. Secondly, this movie is pure escapism, espically if you're a male. Sam's college is stacked with beautiful women, and Megan Fox is drop-dead gorgeous. Thirdly, I enjoyed the characters. From Sam's crazy mother, to the return of the Sector Seven leader, to the introduction of Sam's conspiracy theory college roommate...they were fun, larger-than-life.
However, for all the fun I had with the film, one thing I did not like was that the new Autobots and Decipticons were never given any depth or lines. For example, Ironhide had two lines, and new character Volt had one. Arcee had one as well. It is a shame that these cool characters were regulated only to big battle scenes and the occasional one line or two(espically we had the two Jar-Jar bots). I would rather have seen more inclusion of these new characters in the quest, or the battle against Devastator.
Secondly, the two army characters(Tyrese and Josh Duhmel) were also sidelined terribly. I'll have to agree with Spill on this one...they did have terrible lines, and was shelved as much as those Autobots. And the new Decipticons introduced...they are also not given much. Thus, the final battle loses much impact, as the audience is only attached to Sam, his human crew, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. All the other robots being swallowed by explosions are simply cannon fodder; I'm damn sure that Bay could have spent SOME time with these characters, letting the audience get to know them.
And thirdly...those horrible, gold-toothed, Ghettobots. What the hell? Not only were they offensive, but they took time away from other characters that could have been used, such as Ironhide or Arcee. I'm sure there have been multiple mentions elsewhere, so I won't waste time on these horrible creatures. It's just a damn shame that these guys did so much damage to an enjoyable film.
My grade for this: B-/C+. Despite the horrible Ghettobots and the non-use of the Autobots, I was still entertained, which is what I went to Transformers 2 expecting.