Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

I enjoyed the first Transformers movie, I’m not going to lie. It had its problems, sure, but I felt that they didn’t really matter all that much because the film was still entertaining. For an action film like it was, being entertaining was just about all it needed to be.

Two years later, a sequel to Transformers came out, titled Revenge of the Fallen. These two years have also gone by in the movie universe, with the Autobots now working with the government protecting the Earth. The Decepticons are still around as well, and they are causing havoc—looking for something. Some of the humans don’t like working with the Autobots, and they are hoping that sooner or later the Autobots will leave Earth for good.

Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is heading to college. He and his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) are having some relationship issues, but it never really feels like their relationship is in jeopardy, even though she isn’t accompanying him to college. After touching a fragment of the All Spark, Sam is seeing signs in his head. The Decepticons don’t like this and attempt to hunt him down. Sam once again teams up with Optimus Prime and the Autobots in an attempt to stop them.

And … that’s when things start to go downhill. Unlike the first film, there isn’t any real character development. I suppose that this means that director Michael Bay assumes that you’ve seen the first film, and are already involved in the story of the characters. While I’ll agree that you should have seen Transformers before seeing Revenge of the Fallen, I can’t exactly say that I cared about the characters.

As a matter of fact, the human characters were one of the worst parts of the first film. Not getting any development, despite the fact that they are focused heavily upon, doesn’t help their case. We follow Sam and Mikaela for the majority of the film, and their story just isn’t something that I ended up caring about.

This time around, we also get to see different robots, all with unique personalities. Some of them are interesting, others are just really annoying. Two bots, in particular, are so annoying that they made me want to hit the screen every time they appeared. There is no possible explanation for why they speak the way they do, except to make the audience be able to differentiate between the different robot designs—something we can do anyway.

When compared to the first film, Revenge of the Fallen is much worse.

Similar to the first movie, the robots still do look really impressive. Their designs are clean, while the CGI doesn’t take make you feel like it is blatant CGI. It looks like the robots could be real, even though we know they aren’t. What I’m trying to say is that the CGI isn’t distracting, and it is used in a beneficial way.

The action scenes are just as impressive, managing to keep my attention. They are entertaining, even if I think that robots fighting other robots is something that is really hard to make boring.

Other than how good the film looks, and how entertaining the action scenes are, the film doesn’t hold up as well as Transformers does. The majority of the problems that the first film had ended up being in Revenge of the Fallen, and they seem to be more present. The first film’s story wasn’t all that important, it was too long, and the characters didn’t matter much.

All of these problems occur in this film. I’ve already talked about how the characters still fail to matter, but I haven’t touched upon how the film feels overlong. At least in Transformers, there was an attempt to make us care for the characters. These moments are what made the film too long.

Revenge of the Fallen, conversely, doesn’t make any attempt to give characters depth, instead, it tries to make us care about its story. The film ends up going about as long as the first one, and doesn’t end up being as entertaining. After about half way through, I started becoming really bored. Even when things were blowing up, I was no longer caring, making the final portion of the film means nothing to me.

When compared to the first film, Revenge of the Fallen is much worse. When compared to other summer blockbuster action films, it’s also not all that great. It’s too long, without any interesting characters, trying to make us care for a story that doesn’t matter. The film is boring, for the most part, and while the Transformers themselves still look good, I found myself not caring by film’s end.

Conclusion: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is an overlong and dull action film.

Recommendation: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not worth your time. It’s fair to jump ship from the franchise at this point.

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