Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009)

Director: Michael Bay
Plot: Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle.

Awards: Nom. for 1 Oscar - best sound.

Rating: PG
for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material. 

Movies do not get any dumber than this. Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen represents everything that is immoral about Hollywood today. At the center of it all is director Michael Bay whose name is synonymous with brainless action and explosions. That is not a bad thing to be associated with if one understands the virtues of cinema.
But Bay, for all he is worth, does not really know how to direct a big-budget blockbuster, let alone make a
film that is at the very least watchable. He is responsible for the mess that is Pearl Harbor (2001), Bad Boys II (2003), and Armageddon (1998). Even the prequel to Revenge Of The Fallen is below average, though it seems like it actually makes sense in comparison.

Revenge Of The Fallen has one of the most incomprehensible screenplays in recent years. First, the actors speak as if there is a snake slithering beneath their clothes. Their fast-paced garble neither helps to advance the story nor develop their characters. Instead, it serves to provide humor that is far from funny, fill up time that is far from necessary, and ensures that the movie remains consistently irritatingly loud so that we are far from dozing off.
Second, I do not think there is a plot to follow at all. There is scant effort by the writers to convincingly chart the origins of the Decepticons, the villainous Bots that can appear almost anywhere, even in the form of, gasp!, a human guise. For a moment, I thought I was watching Revenge Of The Terminators. The only conclusion I can draw from the appalling screenwriting is that it is an excuse to film Autobots versus Decepticons Round Two. Round Three anyone?
The casting is fine but the acting is not. Shia LaBeouf may be labeled as one of Hollywood’s hottest properties, but it seems like no one wants to pay for his acting classes. Megan Fox and the other supporting cast have roles that only require them to converse really fast, shout really loud, and run really fast to, well, outrun explosions. That is the thing about Michael Bay. If you can act but cannot outrun explosions, you are worthless to him.
The director’s use of the camera is poor. Whenever a Bot is transforming, Bay would film it closeup as if observing parts of it transform would be more awesome than watching it transform as a whole. Most of the action is also filmed with a shaky camera, which means that viewers are in for a dizzy ride. And unlike J.J. Abrams’ successful Star Trek which had a wonderful story, Revenge of The Fallen is a dizzying ride to nowhere. The only aspect worthy of a good mention is the film’s outstanding visual effects which is likely to be rewarded with an Oscar nomination. The painstaking digital rendering of the Bots must be admired and the visual artists praised.
This is a critics-proof movie, thus it will still do well at the box office. That is the thing about Hollywood. For all the glamour and stars, and the occasional ability to make great films, they are nothing more than a system which operates on greed, one that seduces viewers to part with their dough, luring them to watch more bad movies than good ones. They have in Michael Bay one of the world’s greatest illusionists, a guy who makes terrible films appear great. Are we that gullible and dim-witted?

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