Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen: Movie Review

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Decepticons, Autobots
Director: Michael Bay
Man, oh man if you take the kids to see this, whatever you do, don't fill them with sugar.
Because that, coupled with the visual overload that is Revenge Of The Fallen, will push them right over the edge.
The latest Transformers film, Revenge of The Fallen, has very little plot in terms of what you may come to expect.
However, it breaks down a little something like this: Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is heading to college but after coming into contact with a shard of the Allspark Cube which haunted him in the first Transformers film, he taps into the past of the Transformers - and inadvertently ends up holding the key to their future.
Yet, trouble isn't too far behind as the Decepticons begin to hunt Witwicky down - and once again, the Autobots and the Decepticons fight their battle here on earth - with our future at stake as well as theirs.
As I read that back to myself, I can already sense that you feel there's very little in terms of character analysis, the frailty of the human condition and intelligent sparky dialogue in ROTF.
And you'd be right.
But what there is - in spades - is action sequences designed to make your eyeballs pop out of your head and stun you into submission.
Director Michael Bay's upped the ante this time - within minutes of the film opening, we're plunged into a visually frenetic explosive opening which cuts a swathe through your senses and is designed to leave the kids wanting more, more, more.
What we actually get is a succession of well put together action segments, which move frantically from one set piece to the next with a minimum of plot and exposition - but drips of humour throughout.
Suffice it to say, the budget appears to have been substantially upped in this one - and while the robots get their time to shine (both new and old creations on both sides), it comes, sadly, at the expense of the human actors.
Both Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are sidelined - Fox in particular has dissolved into some caricature of a token hot female in danger, with pouting lips and a series of short outfits, who simply wants her boyfriend to tell her he loves her.
Even the main Autobots like Bumblebee and Megatron of the Decepticons find themselves out of the main spotlight.
There are some neat robots - the early scene where various kitchen appliances transform into robots brings back memories of the malevolent Gremlins .
Yet for those more subtly underdeveloped robots, there is a pair of comedy Autobots, who spend the film irritating the viewer by talking in hip hop slang and generally bumbling about.
The whole film feels like one long pitch for Hasbro's latest line of toys - but when the action sequences kick in, there's so much going on on the screen that all you can do is sit back and try to process it all - quite frankly you won't be able to (ask the kids after to explain); however, those sequences do look stunning on the big screen (I'd suggest watching it in IMAX if you can) but it's not quite enough to paper over the plot hole cracks.
And it should have been edited down from its mammoth 150 minute running time - in parts it feels bloated and some of the visual shenanigans lose some of their punch after you're assaulted with yet another explosion.
At the end of the day, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen is one hell of a spectacle - it's everything an old school blockbuster should be - loud, noisy, and a lot of fun.

It's just disappointing some of the smarter brainier side of it has been demoted in favour of old time Hollywood excess.

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