Bigger. F**king. Robots…and not much else (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)

Among the things that I meant to talk about in the last two weeks was the snoozefest otherwise known as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Over the course of 150 minutes (and trust me, it felt every bit as long as it was), I was reminded of why I no longer wake up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons.

I can't believe I got out of bed for this.

I can't believe I got out of bed for this.

Because, essentially, this film was a two-and-a-half hour live-action cartoon. It picks up where the first film left off: with Megatron, the head Decepticon (that’s Transformer for big bad) decommissioned at the bottom of the ocean, while Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots (that’s Transformer for good guys) is helping the U.S. Marines protect the planet from whatever it is we need protecting from. But the plot — something nonsensical about trying to stop a doomsday device left behind in Egypt by a rogue alien robot, called The Fallen, from blowing up Earth’s sun — has holes big enough to drive an Optimus Prime through. {*Sidebar: the Mister wants to make sure you know that I know Optimus Prime is a proper name and not a type of Transformer.}

It’s as though the story was an afterthought, an inconvenient necessity hastened through to get to the robot-on-robot action. And that action abounds. I counted at least three 15-minute (not including the time it takes those bad boys to transform) fight scenes where there isn’t a human in sight. Then of course there were the explosions, something that few directors are as fond of or as adept at as Michael Bay. There are oodles and loads of those too. Sadly, they are almost all examples of useless, directorial masturbation, much like the CONSTANT transformations shot in painstaking, real-time detail and only exciting to watch the first time when Ironhide does it and at the end when Prime gets a remodel.

Okay, Jetfire’s is pretty cool too but that’s just because I have a soft spot for that crotchety old battle bot.

Also to be filed under annoying and useless: The Twins. A pair of jive-talking, comic-relief-providing sport cars who are to this film what Jar-Jar Binks was to Star Wars Episode I. And just like Jar-Jar, their antics are just this side of being profoundly racially offensive. While we’re on the Star Wars comparison, I’m not exactly sure why Megatron, who was always terrifying when I watched him in my pjs over Fruit Loops, has to play “Anakin Skywalker” to The Fallen’s “emperor” in this sequel. Why would any movie want to be MORE like Episodes I-III? Was anyone really clamoring for the Transformers to hold them like they did by the lake on Naboo?

At best, this film earns a C, with points given for:

tktk

Don't you wish your arches were hot like mine?

1) Megan Fox’s baby blues (+15) and impeccably groomed eyebrows (+15)
2) Shia LeBeouf’s indomitable charm (+25)
3) Josh Duhamel’s searing sex appeal (+ 20)
4) John Turturro’s zany zingers (+15)
5) Hugo Weaving’s involvement in any way, shape, or form (+10)

But then deducted for:
1)  The emphasis on robot humping and genitalia (-10)
2) The complete waste of a decent actor in Ramon Rodriguez, who plays LeBeouf’s college roomie. I understand the role was originally intended for Jonah Hill but c’mon folks, it’s called a script doctor. Look into it! While you’re interviewing, try an editor too. (-10)
3) The total lack of chemistry between LeBeouf and Fox, the prettiest 40-year-old hooker in the trailer park. Her character was so over-the-top cartoon trashy in this movie, she really should have that put on a bumper sticker. (-20)

Hyper-sexed girlfriends notwithstanding, the movie suffered from a terminal case of not much there.  Ultimately, the whole thing felt like a glitzy, high-budget episode of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  And not even my 12-year-old brother wakes up early for that anymore.

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