Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen is directed by Michael Bay and jointly written by Alex Kurtzman, Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci. It stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox , John Turturro, Ramón Rodríguez, Josh Duhamel & Tyrese Gibson. Ben Seresin is the cinematographer and the music director is Steve Jablonsky.
The Autobots and the US military have formed an alliance called NEST, their singular goal is to rid the World of Decepticons. But now they face their biggest challenge, because heading for Earth is the ultimate destroyer, The Fallen.
Michael Bay has never been the most subtle of film directors, he knows how to have fun, and in the main he knows how to drag his target audience along with him for a slam bang good ride. After the hugely enjoyable Transformers film, and after its subsequent success, he has crafted a sequel that he felt needed a more is more approach, where everything is bigger and louder and nothing pauses for breath. The end result is a dizzying ball of entertainment that's sadly devoid of substance. If ever there was a film to be put forward as OTT then Transformers 2 is a leading candidate. The plot is thin yet unnecessarily made complex by the writers, who you feel are trying to be heard in amongst the eye candy carnage, while Bay even resorts to cheap moments of crudity to get some laughs for his film. His cast are fine, yes Megan Fox seems to only serve as a drawing in weapon for the randy teenagers, but she still works well off of the ever likable LaBeouf, who in turn continues to deliver a good line in action comedy performance. Pity, tho, that in a film that's so big, with everything expanded, that John Turturro doesn't get more screen time. Only he, with his visual comedy at optimum, can make a metal testicle scene seem less crass than really it is.
When all is said and done, all the human actors are playing second fiddle to the Bots/Cons and metal critters. To that end the film is exciting, undeniably so. Sure some of the set-ups riff on other movies that have gone before it, but Bay is the master of Bayhem, there's just too much fun to be had if one is prepared to forgive its shallow center. With a third film on the go and set to be released in 2011, without out Megan Fox (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley slipping into the considerably short skirt this time), it's anyone's guess what we will actually get this time. Will Bay pull back a touch and give us a story, with characters given time to breath? Or will it be bigger and noisier than part 2? You hope it's the former, but even if it's the latter, it will be fun for those after a certain level of popcorn explosive cinema. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen is like a great ride at the funfair, one you have been on four times in a row. You know you have had a great time, but as your head starts to spin and your stomach feels queasy, you wonder if it was just too much overkill? 7/10
on 10 March 2011
Nothing wrong with the film, or discs, but if you are buying this for the extras then be aware they have all expired. The digital copy and the 3D holographic experience both expired on 30th November 2010.
on 4 May 2010
Despite not being sure about the idea at first I was very impressed with the first Transformers, for me it was the surprise of 2007. The mixture of humour, action and special effects was spot on as well as making a star out of newcomer Shia LaBeouf. With Revenge of the Fallen, it's not a complete loss but it treads awfully close to being a one-star disaster.
Any problems that may have been slightly apparent in the first one, director Michael Bay just seems to have taken them and made them so much worse, within the opening 20 minutes a major one is apparent: the comedy. With Transformers the whole family dynamics element was amusing because it was light and believable, here it is just taken too far, especially with Sam's mother who is just so over the top, the most cringe worthy part is where she's running around Sam's college like an idiot, I couldn't wait for the scene to end.
I'd also like to ask Bay why Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) are so underused, they were important characters in the first film and with the part they have here they might as well have been written out. I'm sure plenty has been said already about the Transformer 'twins' so I won't go into it much except they are a complete disaster and are almost what Jar-Jar Binks was to The Phantom Menace. It's probably not too much of a spoiler to say, but in another act of madness there is a 'human' Decepticon, this is the worst thing Bay could've done because not only does this defy the whole point of the series it also begs the question: if they can transform into humans then whats the point in prating about with cars, planes etc. if they want to infiltrate a military base or something?
In a more positive note the action sequences on the whole are very good with the special effects perhaps being even better than the first one. The opening in Tokyo is fantastic as well as a fight with Optimus Prime going hell for leather in a forest. The desert finale is not bad, but perhaps like the ending of the first it suffers from being a bit repetitive and how many times do we need to see LaBeouf and Fox running in slow motion! It was also completely pointless Sam's parents being involved, they should only be in the film as comic relief and it was overstuffed as it was.
On the performances, Shia LaBeouf (who surely has a great career ahead of him) remains a likeable lead and does his best with the script. John Turturro (who stole the first one) provides solid support and is always good to watch, Ramon Rodriguez as Leo is pretty annoying and well outstays his welcome and like I said before Duhamel and Gibson are so sidelined they are hardly worth mentioning. I wasn't too keen on Megan Fox as Mikaela this time, despite what most people said about her in the first one I thought she gave a charming performance, however with Fallen she just looked like she couldn't be bothered therefore I didn't care at all about her character. Whats worse is the most attractive female from the first (Australian actress Rachael Taylor as analyst Maggie) wasn't even in this one which was very disappointing; hopefully there's a chance she'll return in the third.
From this review it's clear how little I've mentioned the actual story, thats simply because I don't know what to say about it! Similarly to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, all sense of fun has been drained out and all we get is an over complicated, overlong film. I couldn't even tell you who the Fallen is and what he's getting revenge against, so either the film wasn't clear enough about him or it just got to the point I couldn't care anymore.
So as it is, Revenge of the Fallen is a major disappointment and just shows that you should never assume a great idea can only get better. Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg, along with screenwriter Ehren Kruger (Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman bailed after this one thinking the idea could go stale) seriously have their work cut out for the third film (which is due out summer 2011) and need to tone down extensively in many areas and hopefully recapture the magic of the first film. Despite how many feel about Bay I think he's a good filmmaker (see The Rock & The Island) and I'm confident he can still turn the Transformers franchise around.
A sequel to the 2007 movie that brings us back to the main characters from that. Two years have passed for them. It doesnt make much concession to those who didnt see the first film but it shouldnt be hard to get into anyhow.
Main character sam is off to college and is getting along nicely with girlfriend Mikaela. He's also trying to distance himself from the whole alien robots whom he got involved with in the first film. The good guy autobots are helping the military destroy the evil deceptions. But the latter have a whole new plan that involves a figure from their history. As that kicks into action, nobody is safe, and it's time for sam and mikaela to help save the world again.
This builds things up to a much greater scale than the first film, and it brings in a lot more of the robots, both good and bad ones. This is the right decision but there's so many new characters, few of whom get anything other than cursory introductions, that those who don't know the transformers characters from other media might be a bit confused. There were times when I thought a scorecard would have helped.
Some have rather silly voices and some are used for comic relief, but these ones do at the same time have a fair amount of character as a result, so they work.
The plot also being move involved means you do have to work at it, a little more than you might expect from a piece of escapist entertainment.
And yet, whilst it's not as focused as the first film, it does come the big action battle climax manage to get you caught up in things. As humans and alien robots alike battle evil forces and strive to do the right thing and are quite prepared to put their lives on the line, it's not hard to find yourself rooting for them all the way.
Parents please note that this is 12 certificate because of a few jokes about drugs and other things of an adult nature so it has parts that may not be entirely suitable for young children.
Having said all this though, when I watched it a second time, I found it worked better. Now that I'd gotten used to the plot and all the new characters I could take in all the detail instead. And once you can do that, it's not bad at all. But if there's so much detail in the first place that you need two viewings to fully appreciate it, then maybe it's a bit too involved for it's own good.
A good piece of entertainment all in all though, and I look forward to another film in the series. Hoping at the same time that it will be a bit more focused.
The two disc edition of the dvd is quite a decent package.
It has the following languages and subtitles:
subtitles: english danish dutch finnish norwegian swedish
The first disc has a commentary from the director and the two writers.
The second has a two hour and ten minute long making of documentary, that can be watched all in one or in seven shorter sections. Incredibly comprehensive with lots of behind the scenes shots - not least the director fine tuning the visual effects images two hours before the premiere - this is absorbing viewing.
A day with Bay is a thirteen minute long look at the directors visit to japan for the world premiere, and all he had to do on the day of it. It's quite interesting viewing, to see what such people go through from day to day.
Transformers data hub shows you lots of production designs for a few of the robot characters.
Deconstructing visual bayhem shows the cgi storyboards for various scenes, each with a commentary from the designer. These can be watched all in one - running for twenty three minutes total - or one at a time. Interesting visuals and a good commentary make it a quite interesting look at how films like this are made.
25 years of transformers is a rather short feature about the transformers brand. It's not a documentary about the characters over the years, rather about how the brand has adapted over the past couple of decades. Once you accept it's going to be the latter not the former it does get engrossing.
There are also three rather short deleted/extended scenes [one of which gets a bit adult so isn't necessarily suitable for children]
The cinema trailer for the movie.
And a pop video for a song that appears in the film. Decent song. Good video.
So not a bad package for a fairly good movie.
I hated this film and I am so sorry that I stupidly bought it. The reasons why I hated this thing are as follows:
- absence of any kind of scenario
- boring, repetitive action scenes
- lack of humour
- too much of darn Sam Witwicky which also means much too much of darn Shia LaBoeuf
- Sam parents are just obnoxious jerks
- you can't really watch this film with your kids - the language is too strong, even for a 12 years old (it should really be rated "15");
- noble Optimus Prime is misused in this film in every possible way
- a completely ridiculous vilain
- Megatron is reduced to be a sidekick (!)
- Starscream is reduced to a pathetic, miserable, crawling lackey
- grotesque, ridiculous, gross robots with golden teeth (!)
God, I hated this film! After like 50 minutes I just wanted it to finish already but I kept watching it hoping for at least a great finale - but it never came... Let's say it again, I deeply regret that I bought and watched this.
AVOID THIS THING LIKE NANOTECHNOLOGICAL PLAGUE FROM CYBERTRON!
on 15 February 2014
A little back story first; I'm notorious for buying DVDs on the cheap on Amazon just for the sake of adding to my collection- Own over 600 DVDs at this present moment in time, spanning all types of genres and eras. Never understand why I do it, but I usually 'binge buy' and end up getting 5-6 films at any given time, only to not watch them until months later.
This happens to be one of 'them' films- I brought the first Transformers film a long while back now, and being the kind of person who buys films in a series just so I own them all (am I the only person out there who does this??!) ended up buying this and 'Dark of The Moon' at the same time (for a combined price of under £3 at the time too- bargain!)
Literally have only just got around to watching this movie 4 & a half Years after it was released (todays date being 15th February 2014) after a heavy day studying for an accountancy exam- After a solid 8 hours or so of revising I felt I deserved to relax for the evening and scanned my collection for something suitable to watch.
As I stated before, I own a wide variety of movies, but wanted a typical 'Saturday night' kind of film- Something that I could switch off and zone out to watch, something that typically doesn't have much of a plot or any noteworthy acting in, but something that would entertain me all the same.
This certainly ticked all the boxes; the CGI was good, it was fast paced for the most part of the film, and although it will never be in my favourite films of all time, it did the job required of it- Considering i'm not the biggest fan of the action genre (typically films heavily reliant on action scenes to progress a story along rather than a good script are my biggest nightmare in films but on a given time or day I can deal with them) nor the greatest fan of Transformers (I grew up in the 80's, but was always a Ninja Turtles kid...) think the biggest compliment I could pay the film is I actually enjoyed it!
Maybe I had low expectations after hearing so much negativity about it or maybe it's the fact that it was such a simple film to sit down and watch but recommend it all the same.
(Still think Shia LaBeouf is a fool mind you...)
on 13 October 2012
Michael Bay really doesn't care. His first and only sequel since Bad Boys 2 is marked by swaggering confidence, wild excess and a string of bad-taste jokes. Dogs hump each other, robots hump human legs and the camera spends so much time ogling Megan Fox's torso you start to wonder if it's being operated by a 13 year-old boy. There are now way too many robots, including one that looks like a jaguar, one that can turn into ball bearings to access high-security areas and one in the form of a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
You can't say that you don't get good value for your money, because, just like the last film this one runs for another two and a half hours, god help me! What's worse is that it's a case of same meal, bigger portion, with the flaws of the first not only present but accentuated. You'll be even more hard pressed at the end of this one to remember which robot's which, few get more than a scene before Bay's attention goes elsewhere. Even the Fallen, an Emperor figure to Megatron's Darth Vader, and the title character, seems to only have a brief cameo.
The plot, meanwhile, is as baffling as before, not only bringing back the sodding shrinking cube thingy but throwing in a new thingymajig called the `Matrix of Leadership'. It tries harder to be funnier than the first film but is actually less so, despite Shia LaBeouf working his comedy muscles hard and the always awesome Rainn Wilson in a single scene as a rock-star astronomy teacher.
You know when you watch a really good film and it ends and you think "wow, that was pretty good, I wish there was more?" you wish there was more but secretly, if you really think about it, you don't want more because, you know the good film was probably good because it knew when to restrain it's self and it knew when it was time to bring the story to a close. Revenge of the Fallen is a film that doesn't know where to stop, even comic-relief characters get their own comic-relief characters, like the offensively irritating Twins, who bicker in hip-hop slang, or Wheels, a Decepticon who for some reason talks like a `30s gangster.
Like I said in my review of the first film the effects are very impressive and they are just as impressive in this sequel, but of course that brings the same problems that I had with the effects in the last film, at times the frame is so packed with whirring cogs and twirling cranks that you could replicate the effect by throwing the innards of clocks at the camera, it probably would have been cheaper. But despite the visual confusion on the screen I still can't help but been in awe of the talent that must have been required to design these giant robots, there are actually more flawlessly rendered money shots in the last 40 minutes of this film alone, than all the other Michael Bay films put together.
It's just a shame there aren't more ideas behind the bells and whistles, the first sequel is meant to be an improvement on the original film, not just more of the same at a higher volume. Since we're not given much in the way of compelling reasons to root for one computer generated giant robot over another, long before the end of the film the story just starts washing over you, yeah, sure its impressive to look at, but it was impressive to look at in the first film, and now the novelty is starting to ware off quite fast. I wasn't a fan of the first film but this one has become a mind numbing and tiring viewing experience.
on 18 February 2012
The first film in the re-imagined Transformers created by Bay was ok as a basic and brainless action film. This however is just a messy and rather crass, directionless streak of crapulence. It can only be taken as an insult to the senses by a massively misanthropic Bay or else he's clinically insane. There really is no other logic I can think of that would lie behind something like this.
I've grown up watching all shades of action films and have on the whole been entertained more often then not for a variety of reasons. All you really need is basic plots, likeable characters, pithy one-liners and maybe a few symmetrical people to brighten up your day. That is really all it takes. Bay with his deranged directional brilliance for producing utter dross managers to fluff all of these in a way only he could.
The plot for starters is just one huge mess. It has far too many threads that make the film drag on far longer then it should. This also means that alot of the things that Bay has spent time building up are then wasted, simply because he's trying to resolve far too much on screen at any one time. This encapsulates perfectly why Bay is unsuited to directing, for the simple reason that he can't do it. There's a reason I'm not a brain surgeon or a microchip designer, the reason being I can't do these things. If I can face the limitation of my own abilities why can't Bay?
The list could go on, but there really is no point. Don't watch it or waste your time with it, there really are better films out there (virtually any film will do). The only justification for this film was that bay was trying to open a conduit to Hell by tapping into peoples primal despair triggered by this movie. Don't let Bay raise Hell, don't buy this film! It would be bad.
If you want a special effects feast than this is worthy watching. If you want a descent story don't bother.
I really enjoyed the first film (4 or 5 stars) and while this continues the amazing visual (and sound) of the first one, here the constant action actually gets tiresome (much like Godzilla). The story is also not as good and the set up of the story is very grating with some annoying characters. The acting is mostly okay given the script and I loved the ice cream transformer.
I explain why its grating here, its ended up a bit of a rant, so skip if you don't want too see my explanations and some spoilers from the first 30 minutes of the film.
Shia has an amusing, if gremlin like, incident at the start when he happens to find a piece of the arch from the first film stuck in his jacket. The fact the only other bit is in a specially protected bunker makes you wonder why they're check weren't better at the time and why it's never given special powers before. What's worse is rather than thinking lets send it to the lab/officials, he decides of course Megan Fox should look after it.
Shia also decide to let Bumble Bee free as he's off to college and hasn't a parking space <sigh>. Then we have a little official man who comes into take charge of the auto bots against the wishes of the current team. A common technique in films but this is handled amateurishly. The fact he been sent from Obama (not a generic president) I found somewhat scurrilous.
on 15 October 2010
*Film only review
Transformers 2 - Revenge of the fallen is a sequel to 2007's relatively average attempt at the Transformers franchise. Directed again by Michael Bay (Bad boys, Pearl harbour) and starring many big names returning from the first film, including Megan Fox and Shia LeBouf.
Set 2 years after the first film many changes have occured in the relations between the Autobots and earth. Optimus prime leads a crack force alongside the US military (Well they would want the extra firepower) to hunt down remnants of the Decepticons. But after a mission a message is revealed that "the fallen shall rise again" and apparently this is very bad news. Evidentley the Transformers are not new to Earth and have in fact been there for thousands of years, searching for a hidden energy source called Energon (nearly as rare as unabtanium in Avatar).
While this is happening Sam Whitwicky (Shia lebouf) is off the college, but not before he trashes the house as "The Shard" turns everything into a enemy and he is set upon by a toaster. He then begins to see symbols which could lead to what the Decepticons are after.
Thrown into this mix is also Mikaela (Megan fox) who is Sam's girlfreind , she..... no actually she doesn't really do anything in the film, except wear tight clothes and be very seductive.
The storyline isn't great, what seems to have happend is that Michael bay thought up the explosions and all the really exciting stuff, then it was a work experience person's job to fit these into a film.
The first hour of the film is set-up for the second half, this could have been cut down a lot and nothing would have been lost because of it.
Along with Bay's usual balls to the wall action, there is comedy thrown in as well. If your kind of comedy is casual racism, farting parachutes and swinging robot testicles then you will be fine, otherwise it's too childish and it's a point which follows through the film that they dont know quite what age their target audience is.
His directing isn't completely bad, your always in the center of the action even though you may not know why it's happening.
The relationship shown between Sam and Mikaela is pretty love/hate throughout the film, which I guess is trying to show the average teen romance. But their is never any moment where you really care what happens to their relationship, as soon as you get close the film throws an explosion in incase people are bored with the story.
Acting-wise, Shia lebouf is meant to be the front man. It would be nice for him to really impose himself once in a while in the film, although the story is meant to be about him he never makes himself a big focus point, attention is always drawn towards robots and Megan Fox which leaves his acting looking basic.
Megan Fox didn't have to act in this film really, as long as she pouts her lips and regularly shows some skin then she is beating the rest of the cast.
Any fans of the Transformers series will be glad to see both new and old faces in this film including Optimus prime, Ironhide, Starscream and Bumblebee. If your not a fan of Transformers then it can be a little difficult to distinguish between them during some fight scenes as it all becomes a blur.
One of the main hooks of the film is of course the CGI wizardry, and it does come in by the truckload. Big explosive set pieces and fighting robots look stunning and are very well crafted, during close ups of the Transformers you really notice how intricate their design is and a lot of praise has to go to the creative team. However, one thing about the amount of CGI is that you soon become a little desensitized to it and the big moments dont feel as important as they should because of this.
Sound and picture are always pretty objective to what system you have, with a decent sorround system and a good telly this is a very nice film. A lot of sorround sound is used to give you a feel that the action is going on around you and immerse yourself in it, the quality of image in HD is also top notch with dirt and scratches showing up on the robots shiny bodies.
Similarly the Musical score does a good job of capturing the moment and raising the atmosphere. It helps cover some of the acting and improves the feel of the film as it progresses.
I would also like to mention that this film is a 12, which surprises me because it does have a few bits of strong language (Mainly when Sam's mum gets high) and quite a lot of sexual suggestion which can be quite awkward if your watching it with family members.
For example when Sam meets a robot/women in a short skirt to rival Megan, as she lays Sam down on the sofa the camera proceeds to swing round to an angle where you can see a robot tail coming from a pants.
I would say that it's a film to watch when you don't want to think , you just want something exciting and includes Megan Fox.