Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

PLOT:

In 17,000 BC, ancient Transformers called the Dynasty of Primes scoured the universe with the intention of draining the energy from stars to create Energon and power the AllSpark, the life source of the Transformers, using a machine called a Sun Harvester. The Primes agreed that life-bearing worlds would be spared, but one of their own betrayed the others and constructed a Sun Harvester on Earth. A battle broke out which resulted in the Dynasty sealing themselves away, dying in the process, in order to hide the Matrix of Leadership, the key used to power the Sun Harvester. The treacherous Prime was dubbed the Fallen, and vowed to seek revenge upon Earth.

In the present day, set two years after the events of the first film, Optimus Prime leads NEST, a military organization consisting of American and British troops and his own team of Autobots. The Autobots consist of old and newcomers, Prime having sent an invitation message to all Autobots to come to Earth after the destruction of the AllSpark, which doomed their home planet of Cybertron. The new Autobots include Arcee, Sideswipe, Jolt, and the Twins Skids and Mudflap. During one mission, one of the Decepticons, Demolishor, declares, “The Fallen shall rise again.”

Sam Witwicky heads off to college to continue a normal life, leaving behind his Autobot guardian Bumblebee and his girlfriend Mikaela Banes. He finds a piece of the Allspark, and gives it to Mikaela for safekeeping. Wheelie attempts to steal the shard but is captured by Mikaela. Sam meets his college roommate, Leo Spitz, who runs an alien conspiracy website. He also meets Alice, who makes aggressive advances towards him.

Soundwave, a Decepticon intelligence officer, hacks into a satellite to eavesdrop the NEST forces, learning the location of the dead Decepticon leader Megatron and another piece of the AllSpark. He deploys Ravage to retrieve the shard, which is then used to resurrect Megatron. Megatron flies through space to a Decepticon spacecraft, where he is reunited with Starscream and his master, the Fallen. The Fallen instructs Megatron to capture Sam, as his mind now contains the Allspark’s knowledge, including the location of the Sun Harvester. Sam has a mental breakdown in his astronomy class, writing Cybertronian symbols on the chalkboard. Mikaela comes to his aid just as Alice attacks, revealed to be a DecepticonPretender, a Transformer in a human guise. Sam, Mikaela and Leo drive off, running over Alice in the process, but are then captured by Grindor. Scalpel, a Decepticon doctor, prepares to remove Sam’s brain, but Optimus and Bumblebee appear and rescue him. In the following battle, Optimus takes on the Decepticons on his own, killing Grindor, however, he is ultimately killed himself, stabbed from behind by Megatron.

Megatron orders a full-scale assault on the planet. The Fallen speaks to the world and advises them to surrender Sam to the Decepticons or they’ll continue their attack. Sam’s parents are captured by Rampage. Sam, Mikaela, Leo, Bumblebee, the Twins and Wheelie regroup, Leo believing his online rival “RoboWarrior” may be of assistance. The man is revealed to be former Sector Seven agent Simmons. Simmons reveals his hidden alien archive and explains that the Transformers have visited Earth before, as their language is written on ruins all over the world. Wheelie identifies the language as that of the Primes but only a Seeker can translate it; Seekers being used by the Primes to locate suitable suns for harvesting. They find such a Seeker, an aging Decepticon named Jetfire, who defected to the Autobots.

Upon learning the situation, Jetfire teleports the group to Egypt via a space bridge and explains that the tomb of the Primes is located in the surrounding desert, and only a Prime can kill the Fallen. By following the clues, the group find the Matrix in a tomb in Petra, but it crumbles to dust in Sam’s hands. Believing the Matrix can still revive Optimus, Sam instructs Simmons to telephone Major William Lennox to bring the other Autobots and Optimus’ body. The military arrive shortly after, but so do the Decepticons and another battle ensues. During the battle, Bumblebee rescues Sam’s parents from Rampage, killing both him and Ravage in the process. Devastator is then formed and unearths the Sun Harvester in one of Egypt’s pyramids before being blown to pieces by a railgun fired from a nearby destroyer. The airforce carpet bomb the Decepticons, but Sam is caught in the blasts and falls to the ground, seemingly dead. While Sam is being resuscitated, he is instructed by the Primes to revive Optimus with the Matrix, which is rebuilt. Optimus is resurrected but the Fallen, with aide from Megatron, activates the Sun Harvester. Jetfire is mortally wounded by Scorponok whom he then kills, and then gives up his life and bodyparts to give Optimus the strength he needs to fight and defeat The Fallen. Optimus destroys the Sun Harvester and then fights both Megatron and the Fallen, destroying the Fallen and leaving Megatron heavily wounded and forced to retreat alongside Starscream.

The film concludes with Optimus stating that the Transformers and humans are connected by their histories.

REVIEW:

I’m sure by now you’ve read, or at the very least heard how people are bashing this film left and right for one reason or another. Well, now it’s my turn to put my two cents in.

As I stated with my review of Transformers and Transformers: The Movie, I am a fanboy, so I’m slightly biased, but at the same time I will be objective.

Something I want to getout of the way first and foremost, is how “offensive” the twins, Mudflap and Skids are. Look, its more than obvious they are there for comic relief, yet folks are saying their offended because of their “African-American” personas. Quite honestly, I didn’t get that impression from them. They just seemed like twin brothers who have a sibling rivalry and have wannabe urban personalities. I’m sure we all know someone like that, or have at some point in time. The fact that people are making a big deal out of this is utter stupidity. Now, I will say we could have done without the gold tooth and them not knowing how to read, but even thosethings aren’t anything to raise a fuss about. for goodness sakes, these are alien robots!!!!

On to the film…A big qualm I had with the first film was that they spent too much time on the humans and not enough on the robots. A big reason for that is economics, and that’s understandable. CGI isn’t cheap. However, with a bigger budget and a couple years under their belt, I had high hopes that this one would feature the robots more. To an extent it does, but they still spend too much time on them.

Don’t get me wrong, a good portion of time they spend on the humans, makes sense, such as the storyline with military and the national security adviser, but other parts are there just for the sake of being there, such as, and it pains me to say thins, many of the scenes with Megan Fox. If there is a third film, Michael Bay needs to either maie it worth our while to see these God-forsaken humans, or cut back on their screentime. Again, I have to say, this franchise is called TRANSFORMERS, not humans, so let’s see more of them. I understand the cost and all, but there comes a point where you may just have to start working street corners for CGI, rather than sticking in more pointless human scenes.

While i’m on the topic of the humans, Michael Bay maintains his hard on for the military, but this time they’re actually helpful, and its the national security office (paranoid folks as they are, anyway) that is causing all the inner conflict.

Shia LeBeouf has done a lot of work since the previous film, and its obvious his acting has improved, but he’s still not god’s gift to acting. you could literally have a drinking game with the times he runs around saying “No! No! No! No!” or something similar.

Megan Fox is reduced to nothing but eye candy here, nothing wrong with that, per se, but her character has lost that depth she had in the first film, and is bordering on becoming the bitch girlfriend. Somethign tells me, if there is a third film, that’s what we’ll see from her.

Tyrese Gibson, John Torturro, and Tyrese Gibson all reprise their roles, in much smaller fashion. That’s pretty much all I can say about them.

Ramon Rodriguez comes in as Leo, Sam’s tech-savvy roommate. This guy seems cool enough, but from the minute he finds out about the Transformers until he seems to disappear, he is whiny and annoying. The guy seems like he has talent and potential, but it doesn’t show here.

Let’s talk Autobots, shall we? If you go into thins expecting to see a movie in the same vein as the G1 cartoon, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. Fact is, it’s all about Optimus Prime. Bumblebee, Mudflap, and Skids get a good portion of screentime. Ironhide has a lot of lines, but, he’s still underused, but at least he’s in most of the Autobot’s scenes, unlike Ratchet who is rarely even seen, except for a couple of scenes. New Autobots that have joined the force are, the aforementioned Mudflap and Skids, Sideswipe, Arcee, Jolt, and joining later in the film Jetfire and Wheelie. Arcee and Sideswipe have cool chase/fight scene at the beginning, but that’s about it. Jolt has no lines, and except for being instrumental in bringing Optimus Prime back to life, you don’t even see him. Wheelie is much less annoying than his G1 counterpart, and is another example of comic relief. Jetfire looks like Davey Jones and sounds like he should be a part of the Monty Python troupe, but he plays a very important role to the film, albeit confusing. There were rumors of Jazz returning, but that unfortunately didn’t happen. No Autobots died this time around, though. Not sure how I feel about that.

The Decepticons get a large portion of the Transformer screentime. One of the things that I loved from the original cartoon was the relationship/rivalry between Megatron and Starscream. This has been preserved, for the most part here. Soundwave was left out of the first film on purpose so that Bay could have leverage for a sequel. A good idea, but I think Soundwave was overhyped. I’ll have t see the film again to make a final decision on him, though. One thing I can say about him, though, is that, like optimus Prime, they got the original voice actor (though he doesn’t quite have that same sound) and kept his personality in tact. With Soundwave, you have to have at least one of his minions, they decided to give us Ravage, who is some sort of bony, one eyed cat that can project nanobots. The Constructicons merge to form Devastator. Do I really need to say more on that? Well, actually, I do. There was no need to give him balls! The Doctor is an interesting addition to the Decepticons, especially since he is some sort of spider-like creature.

The Fallen can officially take his place among the baddest villains in film. Voiced by Tony Todd, this guy just looks plain evil. Our first look at him is of him sitting in a throne like char as Megatron and Starscream come greet him. This brings me to my next point/qualm.

Megatron, in every incarnation (including Galvatron, after Unicron releases his hold on him), has been the psychotic villainous, mastermind on top of everything, so to hear him call someone “Master” takes away from the mystique. It seems as if they were going for the whole master/apprentice thing. Not sure what Starscream’s role is, though.

With every Michael Bay film, you are sure to get tons of explosions. This is no exception. Once we get past the initial introduction and get started, he never lets up. The opeining battle sequence dwarfs anything in the previous film. What really got me was the entrance of Optimus Prime. Anyone who has seen the original cartoon, knows that Prime is the ultimate everything. He didn’t give off that impression in the last film, though, but this one was vintage Prime. The only thing missing was his trailer. They seriously need to find a trailer to add to him.

While I’m on that subject, again I must discuss these horrible “realistic” designs of each robot. I guess its just my oyalty to the originals, but I am not a fan and don’t see why they can’t resemble the originals more closely. The upgraded vehicvle modes are acceptable…though Sideswipe couple have kept his original Lambroghini form. In the previous film, it was hard to tell who was who. Even Bumblebee, who sticks out more than anyone, got lost in the shuffle. With the influence of Hasbro and the fact that they learned from the previous film, they actually gave some color to a few of the robots. Still not enough for my taste, though. I mean, it doesn’t need to look like a 60s era living room or anything like that, but they are not the same color, and even the ones that are have different shades and markings. Like I said, that’s more the G1 fanboy in me being all nitpicky.

Ok, so this film has ups and downs. The story has some holes and everything, but chances are if you’re taking the time to watch this, you’re not watching it for some sort of cinematic masterpiece, but rather to enjoy yourself. Yes, it 2 1/2 hours, but unlike many films, there isn’t that lull that drags the film down. The action keep you interested and the humor keeps it from being too much.

Speaking of the humor, many complained about it being too much in the first film. I remember reading reviews saying that there was no need for any humor, and that this needs to be a dark, brooding film (referring to the first), blah, blah. So, my guess is Bay read those and wen the other way with it. Personally, I like it. My guess is that he read those and in his mind, figured that if he put more humor in, then people would like it,

Hopefully, I’ve given you some insight into this great film. It’s not perfect, but it is entertaining. Pay no attention to those stuff critic reviews. Go see it for yourself and make your own decision. Fanboy love aside, I loved it, and think people that aren’t influenced by what they read will be, as well.

5 out of 5 stars

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