"Revenge of the Fallen" sets boyish fantasies ablaze

June 30, 2009, midnight | By Grace Wang | 12 years, 5 months ago

"Transformers" saga returns to the screen with even more exciting adventures

Director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg have done it again, connecting action and romance to bring on a film that screams heroic adventures. In the first "Transformers" movie, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) gets involved in the dangerous war between two groups of alien robots, the brave Autobots and the nefarious Decepticons, fighting for control over the All Spark Cube, the object that created the first of their race. Now, the war continues as the Decepticons reveal themselves to people on Earth.

In "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," Sam struggles to be a regular boy as the world slowly falls apart around him. The existence of the Transformers, alien robots that are able to transform themselves into various types of machinery, is realized by more and more humans after a catastrophic attack by a group of Decepticons hiding in China. When Sam finds a sliver of The Cube caught in an old sweatshirt, all hell breaks loose. Decepticons seek to destroy his house and even after leaving for college, Sam discovers that he is being heavily pursued by the evil robots that yearn for information from the cube that Sam has obtained, and that crave to reach his protector, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen).

Bay makes sure to add a bit of romance to this otherwise testosterone-heavy flick between Sam and Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox). Slow-motion shots for dramatics allow the males in the audience to enjoy stunning images of Megan Fox as she runs across the desert in an attempt to reach Sam. The pair's flirtatious chemistry is a welcome break, as the movie would be too much of a juvenile boys' bash without it.

Fox and LaBeouf are especially charming because they play their roles convincingly. Fox is perfect as the strong and beautiful Mikaela, helping Sam fulfill his destiny in this battle. LaBeouf, who seems to get taller and leaner with each new movie, shows his share of bravery as Sam, thinking fast to save the day.

But the true gem of this flick is the comedy. From Sam's parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) fretting about their garden, embarrassing Sam and stereotypically crying about him going to college, to his paranoid college roommate (Ramón Rodríguez) hesitantly accompanying Sam for the ride, the humor element helps keep all the metal from melting down. In a particularly funny scene, jester and hero Agent Simmons (John Turturro) is shown acting inappropriately and a Decepticon, characterized similarly with a pet dog, can be seen affectionately hugging Mikaela's leg for attention.

Even through the humor, Bay allows sentimentality and morals to shine through. Sam's relationship with his parents grows throughout the movie as they realize his destiny in becoming a hero and find within themselves a willingness to let him sacrifice himself for the better good.

Although the film progresses very slowly towards the end, the film is still quite attention-grabbing. Quick rotating camera-angles effectively portray the many action scenes between Transformers and Government Officers. Linkin Park's song "New Divide", and different interpretations of it, provide an appropriate background during these shots and create an exceptional atmosphere for this science-fiction action film.

Despite the excitement in the film, the movie is plagued by faults that even the most eager 10-year-old boy could not ignore. Continuity gaps occur in several parts of the movie. In one scene, a bandage for Sam's burnt hand magically appears even though he is stuck in a desert and in another, a crew is visible within one of the robots even though the Transformers are supposed to be depicted as self-driving vehicles. Furthermore, the film takes much too long to get to the point, which could have easily been made in less than two hours.

Regardless of some filming goofs in the movie, "Revenge of the Fallen" is a thrilling action film to watch. Even with the constant battles, there are enough breaks from all the action to connect the plot together while still capturing the attention of the audience.

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (150 minutes) is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence, language, some crude and sexual material and brief drug material. Now playing in theaters and IMAX everywhere.

Grace Wang. As a junior in the magnet, Grace somehow manages to fit in time to do things other than stress over the homework load. Besides spending most of her life being Asian by dancing in a Chinese Dance Troupe, she loves to play volleyball (even though … More »

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