Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen | Film Review

Big Balls
Michael C. Riedlinger

            Let’s face it, no one expected Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to be the next Citizen Kane. Nope, most of the people who went in to see it wanted big, bad ass robots blowing shit up, and that’s what they got. So, going in expecting the same lazy-assed trype Michael Bay usually puts out, why was I still disappointed in this movie?

            For starters, it makes less sense than most of Bay’s bullshit. I liked Bad Boys II in all of it’s dumb, spin-the-camera glory. For the record, Bay doesn’t always sell to audiences. I mean, no one expects a sequel to The Island any time soon, and if you took the words “Autobot” and “Decepticon” out of this movie, it would be receiving about as much love as Stuart Gordon’s Robot Jox right about now. Why do the baddies go after the kid instead of his girlfriend, for one? I mean, the T-X played by super-slutty Isabel Lucas is after him before anyone knows he has the knowledge everyone is after, and the Decepticons KNOW that Megan Fox has the shard, so what gives? It’s major breakdowns in logic like that one that really bugged me. I could let go of the clichéd government bureaucrat plot because that at least made sense, but the rest of this mess just doesn’t compare to a little film from 23 years ago.

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            Nelson Shin’s Transformers: The Movie had bigger balls than Bay’s piece of crap, by far. Sure, Devastator had a pair in Bay’s film, as did John Turturro and Ramon Rodriguez, but Shin knew how to kill a character and leave him dead. There’s something irritating about a film that doesn’t have the freedom to kill anyone off except the villain. In fact, the real plot of Revenge of the Fallen is that they need to resurrect Prime because all the other Autobots are utterly ineffectual without him. It is frustrating, because as a kid, most of us learned a lot from Prime’s death. We learned about honor, and sacrifice, but in Bay’s film, the only thing anyone learns is that you can make millions by slapping a well-loved title on a piece of shit.

            Sure, Shin had Weird Al and the Junkions, but he killed Prime, Ironhide, and Prowl without flinching, and he told an epic story that holds up pretty well. Bay focused on what he knew: blowing shit up on camera. He does that rather well, but never really bothers to tell us a story in the mean time. Bay’s balls, it seems, are all just for show. He played for laughs that are more lowbrow than anything Kevin Smith has ever pulled, and his idea of sexy is more bland than that of any porn director. I might be able to blame the writing staff, who all have some great work under their belts, for turning Soundwave into a satellite instead of a boom box, and the weird old-man Jetfire, but the final decisions were all Bay’s.

            This movie will have made over $200 million by the time you read this, and that’s a shame. All it really shows is that audiences are starving for something more than the crap Hollywood has tried to shove down our throats this summer. We want a good, fun movie so badly, we’ll turn out in droves for something that wouldn’t cut it any other summer. What, with Wolverine and Terminator 4 already proving that we won’t stand for garbage, we really had a chance to send a message to filmmakers like Bay. Alas, it’s a message they wouldn’t hear anyway, I’m sure. The all mighty dollar wins again it looks like, and Transformers 3 is already in the works. It’s times like these that I wish Transforminators wasn’t just a joke, because it certainly has more to offer than this film.

Final Verdict (out of 5):