Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material.
Release Date: 2009-06-26
Starring: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci
Official Website: http://www.transformersmovie.com/
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‘Revenge of the Fallen’ falls somewhere between ‘American Pie’ and ‘Terminator’. Yes, I know that covers the gamut of movie genres, but that’s exactly the situation at hand. Director Michael Bay’s follow up to the blockbuster film based on Hasbro’s action figures, is clearly targeting the graduating class of 2009. School is out, summer is in and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman turn the first half of the movie into a teen-sex comedy, something most fans of the original cartoon series from the 80s won’t really care for. But somewhere beneath all the sophomoric double entendres, lies a story-line with the potential of whipping fanboys into a frenzy by shedding light onto the ancient origins of the Transformers.
Optimus Prime, leader of the ‘Autobots’ (the good ones), is the ultimate hero to rally around but it is Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBoeuf) the boy responsible for discovering the alien race, who will hold the fate of the world in his hands. Together with the help of the humans, the ‘Autobots’ engage in a battle of biblical proportions against the evil ‘Decepticons’. The action here is certainly impressive and the special effects out of this world but it is difficult to enjoy when you can’t quite tell what’s going on – also my biggest concern with the first film. With the exception of Optimus Prime, the hot-rod semi-truck and Bumblebee, the golden Camaro, telling some of these robots apart is a mounting challenge especially during combat scenes.
At the end of the day, there’s a lot of fat that can be cut out of the film to make it a leaner action-packed extravaganza. I’d start by eliminating a series of extraneous characters that add very little. John Turturro as Agent Simmons, for instance, feels as out of place as the late Richard Pryor in ‘Superman III’. And we all know how that franchise turned out.