Reviews for June 24th, 2009
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Directed by Michael Bay.
The Autobots have been fighting a war against the Decepticons since 17,000 B.C. The Decepticons had lost the war, but now threaten to take over the world once and for all. They need a series of codes implanted inside the mind of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), so they set out to find him on Earth to retrieve it directly from his mind. Sam leaves behind his sexy girlfriend, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), on his way to college. Once he arrives at the dorm, he meets his tech-savvy roommate, Leo (Ramon Rodriguez). In a goofy scene, his mother (Julie White) gets high on hash brownies before she and his father (Kevin Dunn) leave him. Sam promised Mikaela that he would communicate with her via a webcam to continue their romantic relationship, but, instead, he goes out to a club at night where a sexy girl (Isabel Lucas) flirts with him. He suffers a mental breakdown in the middle of a college lecture and writes strange codes all over his dorm wall. Soon enough, he ends up in the hands of the Decepticons who capture him to try to get those precious codes. Mikaela and Leo join him as they try to get away from the evil Decepticons, especially the Fallen. Unfortunately, the magic of the first Transformers has been lost to a preposterous, often tedious plot with waning thrills and none of the jaw-dropping, brilliant scenes that stand out. Sure, director Michael Bay includes plenty of CGI effects look dazzling on the big screen, especially in IMAX format, but the stilted dialogue, plot holes and poorly developed characters by co-writers Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman lead to more frustrations and dullness instead of sheer, mindless entertainment. The comic relief here falls flat and often distracts. Moreover, Shia LaBeouf lacks charisma onscreen and his acting skills are mediocre at best. If Transformers were a type of food, it would be highly palatable junk food made up of mostly artificial ingredients, but the combination of flavors were at tasty and left you hungry for more. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, on the other hand, has an overload of nothing but artificial flavors: lots of action sequences, explosions, chases and CGI, but itís all in excess and with less plausibility, even within the filmís internal logic, so it leaves you feeling already full within the first hour-and-a-half. During the final hour, the plot becomes sillier as the action kicks into gear full-throttle, especially when Sam, Mikaela and Leo end up in Egypt together. At an excessive running time of 149 minutes, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen boasts spectacular visuals, sound effects and editing, but it suffers from tedious, mind-numbing action sequences, diminishing thrills and a plot filled with too much silliness, leaps of logic and blandness that leaves you feeling underwhelmed. Number of times I checked my watch: 5 Released by Paramount Pictures. Opens nationwide.