TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN - It's Bayhem Time!
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (fantasy thriller)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Matthew Marsden, Rainn Wilson, Josh Duhamel and John Turturro
Director: Michael Bay
Time: 148 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: It's the Summer 'Bayhem' time again and director Michael Bay is giving us more of everything. A whole lot more, folks. This sequel is longer, louder, faster-paced and flashier. Bay sure takes care of the six-Cs of crazy action flicks: more clashes, chases and crashes, more comedy, carnage and cleavage.
Loaded with such dynamite, you can bet it is gonna 'explode' the box-office!
THE SKINNY: The alien Autobots and the US military have teamed up to form NEST, an elite unit dedicated to wiping out the Decepticons. However, after an incident involving a rogue robot disrupts the peace in Shanghai, it is clear that something sinister is heading for Earth: a diabolical entity known as ‘The Fallen’.
A hunt is on for a precious device that will destroy the Earth (in the first film it was the “all-spark”, here it’s “the matrix”) Optimus Prime seeks the help of our all-American hero Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), now a freshman in college, to save the world. Tagging along for the ride are Sam's girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox, below) and college mate Leo (Ramon Rodriguez).
HITS & MISSES: Like in the first movie, Bay and his scripters have kept the pace fast, the chicks hot and the intellectual level low. Sam's parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) are shown as near-nitwits - with White going over-the-top as an airhead ("I feel smarter already," she says, after getting a whiff of the air at Sam's college). Still, Dunn and White provide the much needed comic relief during the lull between the mayhem in the first half of the movie.
They are replaced by John Turturro (reprising his role as ex-Agent Simmons) in the second half which takes the action to the deserts of Egypt and Jordan. Indeed, the CGI effects are awesome, especially those of the robot attacks on an aircraft carrier, of little ball-bearings grouping together to form a snoop-robot - and 'bots that behave like horny dogs. Bay seems to have become so adept with manipulating the Transformer robots that some display emotion more realistically than the human stars. Why, the robots even get the laughs and sometimes I wonder if Bay had purposely 'directed' the 'bots to perform better than the human cast?
Scenes of the Autobots and the Decepticons fighting each other can be confusing, as there are times when we can't tell the good ones from the bad. Also, the repetitious mayhem gets tedious after too much of it. Bay should have reduced the metal-clashing sequences and make the film shorter at say, two hours. Indeed, too much of a good thing can be tiresome - even shots of Megan Fox's heaving cleavage that we get every time she is on camera.
THE LOWDOWN: Awesome feast for the eyes and ears but not for the mind.