Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Director: Michael Bay
Producer: Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Mark Vahradian
Writer: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orsi, Alex Kurtzman
Music: Steve Jablonski
Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Kevin Dunn, Judy White, Tyrese Gibson & Ramon Rodriguez
Running Time: 150-minutes
This sequel was about average on the sequel scale. The cast from the first film reprise their roles in this one, giving the film some continuity with the characters. There’s no shortage of action for the two and half hours you’re committed to spending in the theater. Michael Bay, director of Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the first Transformers, knows how to stage action sequences.
If story line is important to you, this film will disappoint. The basic premise is the Decepticons are on a mission to destroy Sam. He has learned about the origins of the Decepticons and their plans to destroy Earth’s sun. You can’t get much simpler than that. To fill in the rest of the film, various comedy bits are interspersed throughout that lend absolutely nothing to plot development.
One scene has Sam’s mom eating drug-laced brownies she bought, believing them to be in support of the green living movement. She then stumbles and babbles all over Sam’s college campus while he and his dad try to control her.
Another scene has a pretty coed in hot pursuit of Sam, who tries to avoid her and remain faithful to Mikaela. When we learn the coed is really a Decepticon in human form, it causes confusion. Transformers are machines and aren’t supposed to be able to morph like some kind of Terminator.
The battle scenes are impressive and the scenery, shot in Jordan and Egypt, is exceptional. Against this backdrop, the clashing metal wrestling matches and ground-splitting explosions resonate. The race to stop the Decepticons from activating the machine which will restore energy to their world while destroying our takes on urgency and meaning as Sam and Mikaela struggle to reach Optimus Prime.
A welcome new character appears in the form of an ancient Decepticon who has been hiding out in the Smithsonian Museum as an airplane exhibit. He brings comedy, information and ultimately is a force to be reckoned with.
The major objection to this film is its more mature content. The rating of PG-13 already implies it’s not appropriate for children under thirteen. This seems in dire contrast to the fact that the toys on which the film is based are marketed to kids between 5 and 9. Many parents will take their younger children to see this film and be dismayed to find drug references, language and some sexual content. Perhaps Transformers 3, already in progress, will address these issues.