Movies Reviews

‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ is bigger, not better

Amid a blurred frenzy of helicopter gunships, airborne cars, cluster bombs, barked military orders, missiles, scattered brick and mortar, tanks, frantic shouting, the wanton destruction of ancient landmarks, that patriotic American music, and giant robots auditioning for the WWE, somewhere in the Egyptian desert, balding, overweight 50-something suburban dad Ron Witwicky runs for his life.

“I don’t know what’s going on!” he gasps.

Don’t worry, man, nor do we. And don’t even bother asking the director.

There’s something about the Decepticons (the big baddie robots) finding a fragment of the Allspark (that big block thing from last time), reviving their leader Megatron (the main badass), uncovering the Matrix Of Leadership (a metal artefact that looks like a ninja weapon) and powering up the Sun Harvester (a giant device that sucks the energy out of suns) so that The Fallen (an ever badder ass) can destroy the earth. But not if the Autobots (the goodie machines who just happen to change into the latest models from General Motors) can help it, as they again enlist the nominal help of Megan Fox and Sam Witwicky (the kid who spent most of the first film with his mouth open to convey amazement).

Got that?

Never mind, it’s not important. The storyline just gets in the way of Bay blowing stuff up. Not exactly known for his subtlety – 10 years ago his ‘Armageddon’ was described as “an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain [and] common sense” – the ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Pearl Harbour’ director has again managed to redefine “excess”. In fact, there’s so much CG imagery in this $200-million sequel that some of the computers generating the visuals actually blew up.

It shows. The special effects are stupefying, the cinematography slick and the action sequence edits dizzying. But Bay just doesn’t know when to stop.

Seemingly worried fans may forget the film’s title, there’s a robot transformation roughly every 74 seconds. Apparently afraid that his audience may decide to get another box of popcorn halfway through – I did – frenetic action sequences beat you into submission every 15 minutes.

And, showing off his idea of restraint, lingering close-ups of Megan’s legs, butt and boobs provide the necessary human touch.

It’s every 13-year-old boy’s wet dream: there are also ball jokes, dogs humping each other, wisecracking robot sidekicks, tired sitcom jokes, Megan’s puffy lips, and bad Hallmark love story dialogue (oh, will Sam tell Megan he loves her?). But there’s little to keep anybody else engaged for even an hour, let alone close on three.

The year’s biggest, loudest and dumbest film, ‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ is also the most pointless – a bit like this review, really. No matter the flak it gets, this 147-minute advert for toys and cars is guaranteed to be a hit.

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