Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen - Cert 12A

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen – Cert 12A Thoughts BeforeYOUR summer really can begin with a bang this summer, with the release of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen guaranteed to revisit those boy toys retro fantasies you had in the 80s. It w

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen - Cert 12A



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Thoughts Before

YOUR summer really can begin with a bang this summer, with the release of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen guaranteed to revisit those boy toys retro fantasies you had in the 80s.


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It won't just be one 'bang' of course, as director Michael Bay likes to overdose on explosives in every one of his movies. It was a novelty in Bad Boys and Armageddon, wavered a little with Pearl Harbour and was just ridiculously overblown in the original Transformers.

Not that it was a particularly bad thing but it does mean I pretty much know exactly what to expect - more explosions, more wooden dialogue (you know it's true) and a lot more giant mechanical robots.

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A simple question continues to resonate though. With such a massive budget and huge mainstream audience vying to see this series, why is the star a lifeless embodiment of blandness? Shia LeBeouf has a lot on his shoulders and I really don't think, from the evidence of the first movie, to carry a sequel off - he barely made it with the first anyway.

But, hey, the first did have the humour and style that had the potential to make a perfect Transformers movie... could this be it?

Thoughts Afterwards

I was lucky enough to see this on the opening day, immersed in the atmosphere of teenage boys and men dragging their girlfriends along to this robot spectacle. I was the latter of those.

And what a spectacle it wasn't.

It began steadily enough; a visually spectacular giant mechanical fight and then back to our hero (from the first film) Sam (a characteristically terrible Shia LeBeouf) as he prepares for the ordeal of a lifetime - University!

Cue some light-hearted scenes that lead to a punchline, cheesy and cringe-worthily bad romantic moments and a wacky moment of his mum getting stoned and embarrassing herself at his new college campus. This is just what we wanted in a Transformers sequel!

We don't have to wait long for things to hot up though, as Michael Bay and crew seemingly make-up a ridiculous plot that can (kind of) explain a final hour of explosions, robots fighting, explosions and more explosions.

The first film worked because, although it was still a quite ridiculous plot, it felt quite natural and the effects were spread out quite fairly across the movie. The sequel just felt like they tried to fit in as many effects as possible - but because of that it all blended into one and didn't look impressive at all.

Okay, there were moments that were pretty phenomenal on the big screen. I'd imagine the teenage boys in the theatre were way more impressed than I was too.

But this was a classic case of quantity over quality. I thought the special effects of the White House being destroyed in Independence Day was a lot more awe-inspiring than anything in this movie - because it had the rare impact that special effects are designed for. That final arduous 45 minutes dragged on and as much as Michael Bay tried to impress with blowing up whole towns, crumbling the pyramids and waking up the tired audience with Dolby Digital assisted loud bangs. He failed though as it all just blended in to one long CGI mess.

To explain the plot beyond the first hour would be pointless - it's even more ridiculous than the animated Transformers movie from the eighties. Acting-wise, of course, you know what to expect - the two leads could barely pass a Drama GCSE let alone a major summer blockbuster.

Highlights, well, the funny scenes were rewarded with rapturous laughter across the cinema and the music was quite outstanding throughout (except the repeated use of that dire Linkin Park song). And that's about it.

You can certainly see where the hundreds of millions of pounds were spent (hundreds of computers geeks working on realistic robot animations and explosion effects) but ultimately you do not leave the cinema satisfied... just kind of dumb-struck and annoyed. It felt like showing-off of computer technology and not the cinematic treat that this should have been.

Even with a thousand loud explosions the girlfriend managed to fall asleep. The tech-heads may adore it but us normal folk will just wish for something at least coherent and entertainment. Alas, better luck next time.

2/5 stars.

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