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Movie Review: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

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There is a point in Transformers 2 where John Turturro’s character pleads with an ancient Autobot to tell him what’s going on: “Facts. Facts. Facts. Beginning, middle, end. Plot. Plot. Plot,” yells Turturro. Maybe someone should have been yelling this at Michael Bay and whoever else was involved in this incomprehensible mess of a movie.

Since we last saw Optimus Prime and his friends, the Autobots and humans have formed a secret military coalition to hunt down rogue Decepticons still wreaking havoc around the globe.

The teenage hero from the last film, Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf), is back. He’s heading off to college across the country. Leaving behind Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), his girlfriend and the Autobot Bumblebee who has been his trusty guardian disguised as a Camaro.

The first night in college Sam finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a huge party full of beautifully tanned people. After so much beautiful and so much tan, we get the feeling that this is how Michael Bay really views the world. Sam meets a vapid generic campus hottie, who takes a keen interest in him. She sways like a tree in the wind, but is only stick thin. Her skin shines with a faux glimmer making her dark tan appear almost orange. Her voice sounds like a sex phone line pro. It’s all so fake, so false, that we realize the rest of Transformers 2 is just as transparently phony.

Everything from the girls to the action in Transformers 2 is designed for cheap thrills. Bay aims for every low-brow joke in the book. Racial stereotyping, bad sex jokes, and “hilarious” humping scenes are just a few of the gems he’s able to come up with. These cheap jokes actually went over well with the audience in my screening, but when a movie has three humping scenes and none of them involve an actual human doing the humping there’s something wrong with that. Why would a robot hump anything? Do they even reproduce that way? Obviously none of this even crossed Bay’s mind.

The movie follows an overwrought plot that seems to stretch on and on with no end in sight. Two and a half hours of explosions, metallic crunches, and robots shooting endless amounts of ammo; all the while interspersed with needless dialogue, from clunky characters regurgitating awful writing.

Then the characters run. That’s all they do is run. Running from robots and explosions. Somehow humans are able to outrun explosions but other gigantic robots cannot.

Transformers 2 in pure sequel fashion, tries to introduce far too many characters at one time. Not like we ever care about any of the characters anyway, but with the multitude of new robots being introduced it’s impossible to keep up with them, especially during fight scenes. Hunks of whirring metal machine parts punching other metal machine parts. It’s as indecipherable as the alien writings floating around in Sam’s head. Alien writings you may ask. Did I lose you? Well, that was intentional. Just to give you a glimpse of what you’re in for when you purchase your ticket for Transformers 2.

As the movie lumbers along, any casual movie watcher can see that most of the movie’s scenes or ideas have even been “borrowed” from other films. Ideas and scenes from The Last Crusade, Fifth Element, and Alien are all present. Bay even goes so far as to stick a poster for Bad Boys 2 in the movie. Real subtle.

After all the slow-motion running scenes, after all the giant explosions, and racially stereotypical dialogue from some of the robots, after witnessing the complete disaster that is Transformers 2, each and every person should be offered a refund. And then every print of the film should be taken and dropped as deep into the ocean as Megatron was in the first film. But, sadly that didn't even stop him from coming back.

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  • jose

    i disagree i thought it was great

  • jimmy

    Did you ever occur too you, the writer, that even though it’s extremely unfortunate, our world is based on stereotype’s and Michael Bay is a genious? Also, i’ll let you borrow my sense of humor if you promise to give it back!?

  • alex

    it was great movie i saw it at midnight the line went up the fucking block they had to play it in all there 21 screnes and they were all fucking sold out the movie is probley going make more money then the titanic

  • Loren

    Astute review Aaron. I left the theater with a splitting headache thanks to Michael Bay and his love of indistinguishable explosions.

    As for him being a ‘genious’ as you put it jimmy, I beg to differ. Clint Eastwood, now there is a genius. Transformers made me feel nothing but pain, physical and mental. When I go to a movie, I prefer to be treated as if I am an intelligent being seeking entertainment that will engage me. Not something that will make me cringe at the jokes, the writing, the acting… should I go on?

  • sticks

    why did you go and watch it if you dident like the 1st one you numty loren … and as for mr review… aron peck.. you are a joke m8 never heard so much shit in my hole life …ihave been a transformers fan since i was a kid and i think bove movies where exellent

  • Aaron Peck

    sticks, thanks for proving my point of exactly who this film appeals to.

  • sticks

    its for transformers fans and kids [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • sticks

    tell me this then mr review ..why is it all the fans love it and all you so called reviewes are saying its shit

  • http://spacehotel.com/ DW

    “deas and scenes from The Temple of Doom, Fifth Element, and Alien are all present.” Can you give examples?

  • Kelsie Boulton

    Nice review! Haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard that the movie mainly focuses on Megan Fox’s cleveage and robots attacking each other. Maybe Michael Bay thought that a good looking cast would make up for a dunder of a movie?

  • Aaron peck

    DW, I didn’t say specific examples in lieu that they would be viewed as “spoilers.”

    SPOILER ALERT!!!

    The Last Crusade [Edited] – Giant sandstone building carved from a mountain side.

    Fifth Element – Alien secret found just inside wall of temple that nobody ever seemed to have found or checked before.

    Alien – The Fallen, the main bad guy, has an uncanny resemblance to the queen alien from the movie Alien, especially when he is on his spaceship sitting with all of the tubes and things surrounding him. They’re even trying to grow little robots, much like how in Alien they are trying to reproduce.

  • Aaron peck

    I apologize, in my haste I meant to write The Last Crusade, and not Temple of Doom. I will get it changed in the review ASAP!

  • Daniel

    Thank you for writing this. Michael Bay repeats his movies, how can he be a genius? The humor in this movie is not funny. Why is there a love story in this? I want to watch transformers duke it out, not humans crying and running everywhere arguing about saying I love you. If the movie was an hour long of just transformers battling I would probably have enjoyed the movie more than the 140 minutes I wasted last night.

  • sticks

    erm its a film about 2 factions of robots what are they meant to do dance with each other instead!!! of course they are attacking each other thats the point of the film.Its a bit of escapisem its not meant to be taken seriously its not shakespere its a fun,special effect laden action movie that appeals to anyone with a decent sense of humour and how on earth is it racist, pc gone mad?

  • Aaron peck

    sticks, the Autobot Twins were extremely racist.

  • sticks

    the giant sandstone building is petra in jordan thousands of years old and been in many more films than just indy so I fail to see how they’ve copied the last crusade as they didn’t have a templar knight guarding the holy grail!

  • sticks

    please clarify how they were racist as I obviously missed that

  • Aaron peck

    The review has been corrected.

  • llwebb

    review was right on. movie was predictable and cheesy.

  • http://www.welive2care.com/ Call center worker

    I have not seen the movie and almost everybody is exited to see this. How come we can not find any downloadable copy

  • jake

    I really find all this very interesting. I havent seen the movie and I will rent it when it comes out. I love these posts, people getting so worked up because a duck a duck. Face it transformers is not ment to cause you to want to change the world when you leave the theater. It isnt going to enlighten your mind. Its not going to teach you something about human character. Its a red bull type action movie. Hot girls cool explosions and some cool CI and action sequences. Its what the movie is ment to be. Saying it sucks or its good is a statement of opinion. Its okay if you liked it. You probably get entertained by laser pens and keggers too. Just kidding but its okay lots of people like just looking at a screen with lots of cool stuff going on for two hours. Its just so funny how angry all of you get over a movie. Heaven forbid something serious happen like your dog dying.

  • jake

    was suppose to read “somebody called a duck a duck”

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Wow, such a scathing review. We just came back from seeing it. Transformers 2 is a visual masterpiece with stunning effects. While the plot is a bit cliche, the jokes and subtleties throughout the movie are quiet entertaining. This is a movie that must be seen twice to catch the jokes missed on the first run. Adults, or mature minded folk will love the hints of Forest Gump and other surprises like the incredible character played by John Benjamin Hickey (a favorite of mine and is Sarah Jessica Parker’s best friend) is the best imitation I’ve seen of Donald Rumsfeld.

    I’ve seen Star Trek six times this season. Terminator, however, didn’t even rate a full viewing. Transformers 2 will see me twice more.

  • Fazreen Ramli

    I think that transformers 2 is spectacular! Especially when the parts sam and mikaela running endlessly to get to lennox and team. That was really the climax of the story. Thumbs up to Michael Bay. I’ll sure watch it for second time.

  • quapa

    Saw it last night and am in total agreement that it is most of these things. It’s predictable. It relies on stereotypes. It hangs most of its load on the beauty of Megan Fox…and it had me entertained and happy for almost two and a half hours. Were you expecting anything else? Really? Nobody was expecting great acting or incredibly meaningful plots. What I, and the rest of the theater, wanted was great special effects and skin. We got it. If you expected anything else then it’s you that should be criticized.

  • jdog1472

    I have to disagree with the writer of this review on a few points. I believe that he was right on with his points on the racially stereo typical twins. I thought that they were funny but they got old after a the first scene. I thought that the humping scenes were strictly for cheap laughs and laughter for children. However I never heard anyone saying that this movie and the people in it should be put up for academy awards. I think that they accomplished exactly what they said they would and the movie as a whole was (considering the audience they were aiming for) a success.

  • Matt (New Zeland)

    There are a few basic things that make this film work and a few things that make it suck:
    Works:
    – All the characters that have pivotal roles in the film are borrowed from Transformers 1. When you realise that this is assumed by the director you realise that it isn’t a big deal. Only one new character is introduced – Sam room-mate.
    – The action is epic in scale and is as big as you would expect from a fight between to armies of 10 story buildings.
    Suck:
    – The smutty jokes.
    – The posing chicks – very degrading for women.
    – The racially stereotyped robot twins who sound like they come from the getto and can’t read (very Jarjar Binks esque).

    Transformers 3 will have to be scaled down. They’ll need to get back to the humour and good story telling of the first movie. It’s not that you can’t get bigger or more epic, it’s that you shouldn’t try.

  • a transformers fan

    What the author of this article said really rings true for me. I am a die hard transformers fan and feel very much dissappointed by the fact that whoever wrote this obviously had no idea what transformers even was or the brillant history of the cartoons. To me, the original transformers was all about diversity between the different robots’ voices and attributes yet Bay saw fit to put two gold toothed, illiterate, racial sterotypes in the movie that really just make you ask yourself why?

  • a transformers fan

    Sorry to post twice. I forgot to mention another point. The only autobots who are even seen fighting for an extended perioed of time are optimus prime and bumblebee. Ironhide, who is supposed to be the second in command doesn’t get any face time nor do many of the other original chracters like soundwave, who jut stays up in space and tells people what to do. Soundwave is supposed to be the second strongest besides megatron. And whts the deal with this fallen character? Megatron is known for not serving anyone. Here he is following around the ali baba of the decipticons. Sorry for the rant guys, its just you getemotional when you watch a bunch of people mangle and maim fond childhood memories. its alot like a robot humping your leg. You can’t believe its happening, you don’t wnat it to be happening, and yet it is.

  • momerath

    Spot on review. Witless humor, blurry fight-scenes, garbled, nearly unintelligible dialogue (which, you pointed out was the writing. I actually found the acting to be pretty good giving what they had to work with), non-existent/mangled plot. Sum that all up and I’d love to say that I want that three hours of my life back. But, there is the Megan Fox factor…so I can’t.

    I owned every possible transformer I could when I was young. I’m ignoring this flick so that it doesn’t taint my nostalgia for the franchise. Maybe Del Toro will pick up the reigns for the third one and inject it with some actual story-telling.

  • Aaron

    Have to admit Aaron you were right on this one. I didn’t like the stupid humor and too many exlosions………this could/should have been way better considering the “tools” he had to play with.

  • RRJ

    HEY [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor], LET ME ASK YOU THIS. IF YOU FIND TRANSFORMERS 2 AWFUL,WHY DONT YOU PRODUCE YOUR OWN MOVIE WHICH YOU THINK IS A PERFECT MOVIE AND LET OTHERS CRITICIZE YOUR WORK.DON’T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TIME,MONEY AND EFFORT IT TAKES TO CREATE THIS KIND OF MOVIE? I THINK THAT YOU ARE JUST A “DUMB ASS” CRITIC THAT ALL CAN DO IS MAKE SHITTY CRITICISM AND THINK THAT HE IS SO SMART TO CRITICIZE THE MOVIE IN THAT WAY. [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

  • that dude

    I agree with this review 100%…this movie was a hot mess…and people who say the autobot twins arent racist, you guys are either sheltered white ppl or ignorant black people…Skids and Mudflap constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. Why if they’re robots? They’re forced to acknowledge that they can’t read. One has a gold tooth. Hollywood has an extended history of gettuing cheap laughs at black peoples expense..if they were human they would have to acknowledge it but because they’re robots all of a sudden we’re paranoid…the same white guy who voices spongebob voiced one of them, so why didnt he use a white vocal cadence and inflection? everybody knows Autobot Jazz was a brotha and they killed his ass in the first movie…can we get a break?

  • Mike

    Personally I thought the movie was amazing, but I am 15 (and i think this movie is primarily aimed at teenage boys?), so maybe that’s why? I have no right to try and alter anyone’s opinion, so, to each his own.

  • Lar

    Transformers 2 was the worst movie I have truley ever seen, I had to leave the cinima after I could simply cringe no more. I was very dissapointed as I had really enjoyed the first one. Never have I seen a the image and reputation of a film butcherd so badly. It’s a great shame.

  • gf123

    best movie ever if u didnt like it what the hell is the matter with u great and there wasnt to mch explosions they had a perfect amount this crittic is bullshit and needs to get out more

  • gf123

    i agree with ‘that dude’ about jazz they need somebody like that for the next movie

  • DvidDave

    I think that transformers 2 should be more dark, and without silly jokes everywhere. Batman Dark Knight is the line to follow

  • Bumblegirl

    I do not agree with your review. Though I will not say that Bay is a genius and its true that some of the joke are out of the line and unfit for the movie, still I think transformers 2 is a good treat for moviegoers and transformer fans. It is not easy to make a live action film that will gross 300+ dollars. Maybe you should try doing it and if you can surpass what he did then I will praise you. Why is it like people like you likes to look for EVERY single little thing and EVERY bad thing you can just so you can write something on your review..

  • Bumblegirl

    Also, I forgot to mention that I think the story is good. Many people wonder why is there a love story? All those people are complete RETARDS!! I mean, what do they want? see robots killing each other for 120 minutes or more. And in case, that happens maybe they will complain that there is not depth in the movie and no deep storyline or sort..People like you do not know the word FUN and SATISFACTION and HARDWORK.. Many people work hard for this movie and you will just give shit comments about it. Why? did you jump? cry? talk to air? (because obviously when people talk to robots, their talking to no one).. NO! you just sit in front of your computer safely in your house (maybe you’re even munching something) and just simply TYPE every possible bad word you could ever think of while DREAMWORKS staff is sweating blood to finish this movie.

  • adam johnson

    this film is brilliant and i recomend it to everyone. its the best film ive seen in my life so far. so everyone get down to the cinema and wach it, you dont know what your missing

  • wingedvamp

    dudes eveyone has a diffent opion and i get that but if all haters of transformers would watch the WHOLE movie and THEN make up there mind on weather or not they hated it insted of only the 1st 5 minuts that would make the whole lot of change! and i agree w/ jimmy!
    also i loved it great sound track tons of fighting and (thanks to the twins) tons of laughs too.
    and in case your wondering i AM a girl!

  • Cradletograve

    Transformers are good movies but they need to drop the sex crap i don’t see why it is in there, what the hell was the point of that trash bending over to fix a bike why is that in there i don’t get putting sex in a good the movie would be better without that crap. it would also be more family friendly. Please people let the stupid sex scenes go especially in movies like these!

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