In my childhood, I would tag along with my grandfather to the video store, toting one of my favorite Transformers with me. My grandfather would spend over an hour reading the back of every box, scrutinizing the potential of the artistic merit within as I traversed the towering aisles searching for anything with a robot or giant monster in it. Before I really knew how to appreciate film, my nightly routine consisted of eating dinner and watching film after film with my grandfather.
This inevitably led to my becoming a seasoned film viewer with a vast palate ranging from romantic comedies to cerebral conspiracy thrillers, including films from all across the globe, spanning many languages. I’ve developed a very technical and critical eye for all the subtleties and nuances of the art form from more than 20 years of watching films.
Some of my all-time favorites are a critically sophisticated bunch: The Godfather, The Shawshank Redemption, and Oldboy. And still, after all the trash talking stacked on top of Michael Bay’s noisy robot frenzy, I still consider Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and its predecessor a pair of the most fun and exciting entries in the sci-fi genre since The Matrix.
Yes, you read correctly. This hard-nosed, very tough to please movie snob loves Revenge of the Fallen. I find it frighteningly odd that someone couldn’t enjoy it and this eludes me to no end. The kind of folk who can’t have fun with films like this seem to take themselves way too seriously or know virtually nothing of filmmaking. Fellow filmmakers, especially film legend Steven Spielberg, praise and admire Michael Bay’s talents. The film has grossed over 800 million at the box office, sold two million Blu-rays and DVDs combined day one of release, and is loved by audiences the world over. What are the rest of us missing? It is an enigma.
Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky. After discovering a remnant of the Allspark, Sam starts seeing Cybertronian symbols after the remnant transfers its information to him telepathically. The Decepticons must kidnap Sam and use the information in his head to help the godlike The Fallen in rediscovering a secret Energon-consuming weapon built on earth thousands of years ago by their Cybertronian ancestors. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The story, if you have a finely tuned cinematic ear and eye, is not a deeply philosophical one, but a very intriguing adventure if you aren’t easily distracted by egregious comic relief and pretty much everything exploding. There is a vast amount of Transformers lore lurking under the surface for anyone wishing to dig deeper.