Sunday, June 28, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I liked Transformers the first time around. I was eagerly awaiting the sequel, which I was certain to like. With Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg collaborating, this had to be a hit. I can't say I hated this film, but I can say that the talk of a Transformers 3 may be jumping the gun just a bit. Maybe they should have made sure that Revenge of the Fallen was done right before thinking ahead. I'm not against cashing in...but at least make it worth the money.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen feels like a cheap sequel. That is exactly what it is. Mind numbing special effects can not make up for a plot that seems contrived and ill planned. There were some dashes of Hollywood the hot girlfriend catching you in a compromising position with another hottie...only you didn't actually do anything wrong...the timing was just off. This ploy was predictable and poorly executed. It was either filler to add a few minutes to the film or was intended to be a sub-plot that never had time to develop. Whether it was a rushed formulaic idea or filler, it didn't fit. There were other visible shortcuts in the plot as well.

Continuity was another issue I had with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. For a film with exceptional CGI detail, this film overlooked traditionally important real-life details. If you are going to put the female lead in white pants and then have her fighting machines and rolling in the dirt, the pants should remain greasy or dirt stained. The switching back and forth from clean pants to dirty was distracting and ridiculous. Come on. The pants are white. How hard is it to figure out that people are going to notice inconsistencies in the wardrobe. Details like this were missed throughout the film.

The special effects in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were often phenomenal if not hard to follow. I found the detail to be dizzying at times. The machines were hard to decipher at times, especially during periods of intense action. It seemed like a mechanical blur that could have been done well if I had had time to see. The sound effects were well coordinated with the stunts but were overused. That one deep sub-woofer sound that they kept using to show how good the special effects were didn't work for me. Having said that, the transformation of the machines "on the fly" was amazing to watch." The animated characters were well thought out and intricately detailed. The artistry that went into creating this film was exceptional.

Shia LeBeouf seems to have become a Hollywood staple. He has established himself in several decent films, to include some good action films in recent years. It's not that he is an exceptional actor, but LeBeouf was believable enough as the male lead, Sam Witwicky. I also enjoyed the comic relief provided by his parents, Ron (Kevin Dunn) and Judy (Julie White). They provided the only adult humor that was palatable. There was plenty of crude humor throughout this film. Megan Fox was sizzling hot as Mikaela Banes, Sam's love interest and crime-fighting partner. The two have decent chemistry together and it showed on film. The two are an attractive if not unlikely couple on screen. The acting was okay.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallenattempts to use mindless gutter humor in the place of strong writing. Cheap sexual humor takes the place of witty dialogue, at the cost of making this film worth talking about. A smather of potty humor here or there is okay with me, but to stake the entire comic portion of your film on weak humor with predictable innuendo was a dumb move. It got old quick and demonstrated the shortcuts the writers (Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) were willing to take to get this thing out to the theater. Aside from the tiresome dialogue, visual gags like using wrecking balls on a character to simulate testicles failed to make me snicker. If the film hadn't been so raunchy throughout, I might have laughed at that one...but it was weak comedy inserted throughout the film that really never showed any intelligence. What a disappointment.

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