Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Review

Show of hands, who memorized the Transformers theme song when they where Kids?

Or how about who memorized the famous lines like “Auto Bots, Roll Out!”?

Who could tell the difference between Megatron and Galvatron?

If you know that song, that line and that difference then this is the movie you have been waiting for.

I want to say that while it had plenty of problems, I loved the first Transformers live action film and think it was one of the best movies of 2007. My biggest problem was the same that so many had, the lack of focus on the Transformers.

Now before I get in depth I should warn all readers that there are spoilers beyond this point. I won’t get too in detail, but I will spoil as much as needed to make points as to what was great about this movie so if you haven’t seen it (and seeing as I’m writing this after just getting home from the Midnight Premier I’m betting you haven’t) then avoid this! Just know that the movie is great and go see it first!

So let’s start with the biggest problem from last time. Too human and not enough robot. This is far more remedied, though Sam, Michaela and a few other humans are still imperative characters. Though unlike last time the humans are important and are main characters but they still strike a great balance between the two. It’s not perfect but it’s a huge improvement nonetheless.

While the human characters where all great, they all had good moments, the Transformers where just the real highlight of this film and made it all worthwhile.

Just about every Transformer in this movie was important one way or another.

Most of the Autobots where more downplayed this time which was disappointing but we still got some great moments from Iron Hide and Bumblebee.

Optimus was better than ever. Not only does Cullen turn in a pure perfect performance as the Autobot leader but every moment involving Optimus is just gold. The scene of him fighting 4 Decepticons just to keep Sam safe was so great. Also he finally was more evenly matched with Megatron which was nice since usually it’s always such an unfair fight.

Speaking of the Decepticons, they where much better here as well. Starscream actually gets more than one line and Megatron is fleshed out much more as a villain. Though Megatron isn’t even the villain in this one! Though I’ll get to that later. Also it was great seeing the Decepticon base. It looked so twisted and cold and it was just an awesome moment.

Other Decepticons showed up that where great. Mostly Devastator, a classic villain who I love. We even got a cameo of what appeared to be Bonecrusher who was somehow alive. Though it was just his possible vehicle mode. Soundwave is here, but much to my dismay he is just a satellite bot the Decepticons use to track Sam. We got to see his panther friend a lot a least but sadly no Razorbeak yet. Hopefully Soundwave will be a boom box as he was rightfully meant to be in the next film.

I must admit I was disappointed with how easily Megatron was resurrected. I was hoping for more of a wild and crazy revival than what we got.

Of all the Autobots, next to Optimus himself Jetfire was the best. Every line and moment with Jetfire was pure gold and I officially will go and buy every toy of Jetfire every made. This version has him as an old man from the 1930’s who was a decommissioned plane in the Smithsonian. He was so funny yet badass at the same time.

Two twin bots who’s names are never really said where the main source of comedic relief in place of Jazz. They where funny, downright crazy at times.

Every fight in this movie is awesome. Despite one complaint I have (to be mentioned) every fight is so amazing and awe inspiring. The direction worked well sure but I think it was mostly the animators of the robots that did such an incredible job.

The Fallen was such an awesome villain. I loved his back story, how the Transformers tie-in to earth’s history. How he was the first Decepticon that tried to kill earth despite it had the humans. He’s best though at the very end when he finally shows up to kick some ass just when it seems the Decepticons are about to lose. I was thinking “what’s the rusty old bot supposed to do” but when you see what the Fallen is capable of you won’t believe it. He’s officially one of the best villains since Unicron.

This movie is just jampacked from start to finish with powerful content. It tells a story that twists and turns and never stops the blood from pumping and really gets the adrenaline rushing at time. It’s action at it’s best and the storytelling alone is just stuffed with so many great turns and twists and moments that it’s great.

Still despite all that good that’s going for it I do have complaints.

My biggest is the action in the fights is just way too fast. Bay usually has trouble slowing things down too much, well here he sped them up too much. Sometimes I couldn’t even tell what was going on and that killed some of the momentum for me. Though at least he would slow down to show some of the more important moments of the fight.

I can take cursing and sexual humor. Hell I think it can be really funny at time but I do not need that anywhere near my Transformers. It’s kind of funny hearing Iron Hide call a dying enemy a “Punk Ass Decepticon” but other times it just feels forced to try and give the movie a more mature feel and it certainly doesn’t need that one bit.

Sexual humor was just forced way too much in this movie. It was kind of funny in the first s they did it in moderation but here they just went to soft core pore levels. I can appreciate a sexy body as much as the next guy but the first half of this movie might as well have been call “ass shots and big tits with robots in the middle” as nearly every other scene we get a shot or moment that is just sexualized to death.

Again, I understand the creators where going for a more mature oriented film but the story is so great that it doesn’t need these sex jokes and cursing to make it mature. It’s rather pathetic to see them lean on it so much.

Megan Fox disappointed me this time around. I thought she did an excellent job in the first film but here she just felt so stiff and unreal this time that it was so frustrating.

I despised the new friend they gave Sam. He’s just a total moron and barely serves as mild comedic relief which we didn’t even need really.

I was really disappointed how the bike-bots showed up barely then get killed off at the end and get no development.

But back to the good as I still have more to say.

I was so happy to see the Matrix of leadership in this movie. As a big G1 fan and someone who loved the first animated film it was so great seeing the Matrix here. Too bad Unicron was nowhere in sight. I also loved how rather than simply finding the Matrix, Sam earns it. I won’t give away how though.

Again despite the speed up problems the action is just so intense. The fights are incredibly well choreographed and there are so many robots this time that it just feels like exactly what Transformers should be about.

The final fight really is the highlight of the film, it was the cherry on top of an awesome sauce Sunday with badass chocolate cream in the middle. In the final fight of (not telling you who it is) and the Fallen we get a nod to Transformers Armada, one of my favorite Transformers cartoons so seeing that was just really incredible and awesome for a fan like myself. The final fight in general though is just absolutely amazing and I was in awe of it.

Overall this movie is still far from perfect. It has it’s issues and in the end if you’re someone who can’t stand the kind of flaws I pointed out and that bugs you then you should avoid this movie as those flaws are fairly consistent.

Still if you ever woke up Saturday mornings to see the Transformers, if it be G1, Beast Wars or Armada then you must see this film. It is jam-packed from start to finish with great story telling and incredible action and is a pure definition of awesome Summer flick. Forget Terminator, Forget Wolverine, this summer belongs to the Transformers and their not giving it back. A must watch for just about anyone.

8 out of 10
Must Watch


Josh said...

where was the Decepticon's base at? Was it a spacecraft or an asteroid or planet, maybe Cybertron? What do you think?

Andrenn said...

@Josh: I'm figuring it was an asteroid planet. It didn't look like any key planet I had seen. I also remember that Cybertron is dead so it couldn't be there.

Josh said...

Thank you very much, I have a bet going on and I'm trying to prove it couldn't be Cybertron.

Andrenn said...

I recall Cybertron was destroyed, or at least dead.

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