Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

In 2007 we were introduced to the live action movies about the Transformers, a popular animated series first seen in the mid 80s. It was received with mixed reviews, can this number two in the series fare any better. “One shall stand, one shall fall!” that is the overall team for Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, it is at least what the scriptwriters and Michael Bay wanted. Shia LaBeouf and our favorite robots in disguise are returning in this second iteration in this Hollywood take on the Transformers universe. Is this action movie, set on moving the franchise forward, or have these robots fallen from the beginning.

Transformers 2 start two years after the first movie, the Decepticons and Autobots square off against each other once more. The Autobots leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and his force of Autobots fight along with a secret group of human allies, the remainder of the Decepticon threat. These humans, lead by William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) from the first film, is one of the few men that is seeing the Autobots as all the events from the first film has been covered up. During one of the missions one Decepticon tells them that “The fallen shall rise again” this leading to concern amongst the humans and the Autobots. While this is happening Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) finds a sliver from the cube he destroyed and is being affected by its lost secrets. The language of the transformers is being projected into his brain, and he has to figure out what the symbols mean and what connection they have to the transformers on earth. At the same time the United States government is growing tiresome of the transformers and their presence, something that is evolving during the course of the movie. Megatron (Hugo Weaving) and his Decepticons are, on top of that trying to get to Sam and the symbols in his head, in this conflict Optimus Prime gives his life to save Sam and the fate of the humans. Sam tries to finds help from an older Decepticon called Jetfire (Mark Ryan) that has defected to the Autobots. He tells Sam and his company that they need to stop the fallen, the very first Decepticon. The fallen has a plan in motion to destroy the sun and take its energy to rise to power once again and save their home planet, Cybertron. To do this they need to keep a power called the matrix of leadership from falling into the enemy hands.

Several aspects of this movie can be discussed and one of those is the script and the story. The main core of any movie. This script is what one would call a first draft, if even that. Not many scenes are well thought out nor brainstormed. One bit in particular is the presence of the Twins, as they are called, two transformers that are portrayed with rapping African American personalities. They do nothing to convey the story or help the plot forward; they are mostly an annoyance before the action starts. Others are more emotional scenes such as when Sam is getting ready to college, his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) is waiting for him to say that he loves her. Although he wants her to say it first. This could erupt in a cute little couple scene, but it drags out and just becomes ridiculous, it doesn’t help either with the annoying and awful camerawork.  What can be said are that a few epic moments do feel rather heroic, such as the battles between the Autobots and the Decepticons that occur through the movie.

The camerawork and photography is another thing that needs to be discussed in the regards of this movie. Michael Bay is one director that apparently loves using arcing shots, as every time characters stand still the camera moves around them. When characters are talking or when a transformer are changing form. This is notable in the beginning when the transformers are changing and the music gives away an epic tone but after the fifth time it starts to get tiresome, we know that they can change so no need to have that epic and outdrawn scene. When filming bigger shots however, as large battles and larger areas the camera work is decent and even great at times. Like the battle when Optimus Prime falls, we as viewers get a larger look on the surroundings and aren’t surprised when something comes into the shot or what a character interacts with. Making the battles larger and more exciting, as this is an action movie so should the action be conveyed with that in mind.

Well my overall reaction of the movie as a whole is that it isn’t very good; it even dips down to bad at times. The acting is forgettable and the story as a whole isn’t very engaging. Sure the action parts with the robots are great and give us a great vibe. If anyone wanted to know what it’s like to be a ten year old boy once more they should watch this movie. It’s stupid, silly but great action. If one can see past the horrible story and narrative and just stop their brain for two hours one should have a blast watching this movie. It’s however worse than its predecessor and just stupid compared to the animated series that was clever and had a balance between emotional drama and action. I will not give this movie a score as that wouldn’t justify the experience, what I can say is that if one looks for a stupid Hollywood movie this is it. Get your inner child out and get some popcorn, crank up the volume and enjoy the explosion, that’s what Michael Bay was thinking I guess.