Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Movie Review: Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen

Many people hate the directing of Michael Bay. He uses a lot of explosions, high-energy set-pieces, sensuous camera angles, and so forth to cover for some shaky scripts. He has developed a style that falls enough into the realm of the auteur that he is even being mocked for it on You-tube.

On the other hand, with Bay you know what you are going to get and he seldom fails to deliver. In Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen he has the source material that fits his style. The original cartoon was never overly long on story line and plot but made up for it with a lot of high-octane action. Enter Michael Bay.

Revenge of the Fallen is everything you would expect. Action-packed, full of one-liners, full of plot holes and thoroughly enjoyable. It starts slowly, but once it gets going it doesn't slow down.

The plot is simple; Ancient Decepticon  "The Fallen" wants to return to power. To do that, the last Optimus must be slain. Once that happens, he will be freed to go to earth, find a machine that will kill the sun, and get that power for himself. Meanwhile, the knowledge of The Cube has been internalized by Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

So the Decepticons are chasing Sam who is being protected by Bumblebee and accompanied by Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox). Along the way, the specialized military task force has several battles with the Decepticons and the epic conclusion is a long-running battle that delivers everything you would expect from a Michael Bay flick: hot women, big guns, rapid cuts, numerous explosions, and a happy conclusion.

Along the way we encounter a lot of new Transformers that call back the glory days of the cartoon. We see Constructobots, Dinobots, and several others including a wise-cracking duo that get the best lines in the movie.

If you are looking for an intellectual, thought-provoking movie with something to say about today's society, skip this movie. But if you want an action-packed, fun filled action-adventure with a lot of combat, laughs, and fun, go see it. Twice.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw this other "review" of the movie and it pretty much made me want to see it even more. http://www.toplessrobot.com/2009/06/bonus_robs_transformers_2_faqs.php?page=1

crisjesse said...

Thanks for the review D. I thought it was a solid action flick, very fun to watch. There were many elements that came from the Bible, though I highly doubt the writers/director realize that.

What I'm almost certain they do realize is that they are intentionally trying to change what we view a hero as, and in doing so change what is acceptable and even virtuous.

The cussing in the movie... come on man! It was extremely out of place; pulled all of us right out of the movie. The Autobots would never have said those things (even the Decepticons never did!), what a stupid thing to put in there. And the sensuality, what does that have to do with Transformers?! They won't make a penny more for adding the filth; in fact they've already lost a bit of money because of it. So money's not a motivation and neither is sticking to the original a reason.

The writers/director/producers/whoever else contributed to that may not have thought of it as sin as such, BUT... I have no doubt it was 100% intentional purely for the purpose of altering the culture. NO OTHER REASON WHATSOEVER! They came so close to pulling this one off without being lame. But the ridiculous sensuality and never-been-more-out-of-place language, way to ruin a good time and poison minds while you’re at it. To those responsible for these grievous problems, I pray for your freedom from the slavery of emptiness and death.

If one is able to set aside the stupidity I mentioned above, this movie was really good. Not a tale for all times, but certainly a very fun ride while it lasts. As I mentioned before, there are story elements that come from the Bible itself. If Hollywood only realized how their best power punches are from the Author of all that is True, maybe then they’d dump the garbage and learn just how shallow their efforts have been thus far. Some of their filth may make money (it won’t on this flick), but far more success will flow to them if they stick to the elements that the best parts of Transformers found its foundations in. And the viewers will not only be entertained, but moved. The culture will surely see a positive turn.

If you read this reply to D’s review and then watch the movie (for the first time or the 50th) I dare you to look for the elements of Biblical stories and truth. You’ll find they were the parts that tugged at your heart and soul the most. They were the parts that entertained you, wrapped you up in the story. But that’s the case with any movie with truly good parts in it. Even if you don’t realize that’s what’s going on, a part of you recognizes that it’s pointing to something more, something beyond.

I dare you to look…