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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) July 28, 2009

Posted by Dragan Antulov in Film Reviews.
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A Film Review

Copyright Dragan Antulov 2009

History tends to repeat itself, but rarely with less subtlety like in the case of TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, 2009 science fiction epic directed by Michael Bay. Following the great commercial success of first TRANSFORMERS, Bay didn’t feel much need to stray from the successful formula in its inevitable sequel. REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, therefore, has almost everything TRANSFORMERS had, only with noticeable increase in quantity of all elements Bay thought responsible for the success – explosions, CGI effects, toilet humour and macho militarism.

The basic plot is, more or less, the same as in TRANSFORMERS. Two races of alien robots – good-natured Autobots and evil Deceptions – continue their centuries-old war with Earth as increasingly important battflefiled. Young Sam Whitwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf) is again one of the important participants of that war, since his accidental exposure to alien artefact brought strange alien visions that actually point to important piece of alien machinery hidden on Earth thousands of years ago. That machine is capable of destroying Earth’s Sun, and The Fallen (voice by Tony Todd), leader of Decepticons, wants to start it, while Sam and his human and alien friends do everything in their power to stop the upcoming apocalypse.

Michael Bay in almost every shot wants to convince the audience that he had bigger budget than in TRANSFORMERS. Second film of the franchise is bigger in every sense imaginable – it is slightly longer, the plot covers millenia (due to prologue set in 17000 BC), and Megatron, leader of Decepticons is joined by his even more formidable master Fallen. Large sections of film deal with Sam’s attempts to adapt to college life, while his attempt to remain in long-distance relationship with his girlfriend Mikaela Barnes (played by Megan Fox) seems much harder than his attempt to seduce her in the first film. There is huge improvement in CGI and design of robots, with audience being able to set Autobots apart from Decepticons in fight scens. Film’s setting – limited to USA in the first film – is now international, with large sections taking place in China, France, Jordan and Egypt. Even Megan Fox gets competition in the form of Isabel Lucas, Australian actress who plays Alice, attractive college student who wants to seduce Sam

Of course, with Bay under pressure to squeeze as much content into two and half hours, it was inevitable that some elements of the formula wouldn’t work. Plot had some holes and certain scenes didn’t appear to have much scenes. However, in general, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is as good as its predecessor and could be recommended as passable summer entertainment never to be taken seriously. The most impressive segment of the film is the last battle that places near Egyptian Pyramides – the very same spot where Napoleon crushed Egyptian Mameluks in 1798. In it Bay combines pathos, humour, explosions, CGI and US military hardware in much more spectacular and much more effective way than in the final showdown of the previous film. Inevitable third sequel, on the other hand, isn’t something that fans of this film should automatically look forward to. History may repeat itself, but not in a way Bay intended. Napoleon’s Battle of Pyramids was great triumph, but his Egyptian Campaign nevertheless ended like dismal failure. If Bay becomes too arrogant and too confident, Transformers franchise could end in the same manner.

RATING: 5/10

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