Wednesday, July 1, 2009


By D.E.Levine

Director: Michael Bay
Writers: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Isabel Lucas, John Benjamin Hickey, Matthew Marsden, Andrew Howard, Michael Papjohn, Glenn Morshower, John Eric Bentley
Running Time: 150 Minutes
Country of Origin: USA
Language: English
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

I saw the original Transformers on three continents in three different languages and never understood what all the hoopla was about. True, the CG effects were remarkable, with cars and trucks turning into Autobots, Decepticons and Otherbots, but the story lacked many vital ingredients and I never fully bought into Shia LaBeouf's character as a high school student chosen to save the world.

So in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, here we go again. Personally, I found it difficult to follow the plot, if there was one. We see Shia's character Sam going off to college without his transforming car.

He's renounced his robots and his hot girlfriend in order to live a normal life at college. Rooming with a technology nerd, Sam will find his roomie's technology knowledge helpful once he starts battling evil forces again.

The Autobots, Decepticons and Otherbots are back, with a strange mix of Brooklynese, British and hip hop slang accents. Once again they are battling each other and the human armed forces are sending a lot of ammunition straight at them (although never harming them). Josh Duhamel is wasted in his role, which can barely be distinguished within the context of the film.

With Sam safely deposited at Princeton, his parents embark on a trip to Europe (Paris) and then inexplicably drop out of the sky in Egypt, near the pyramids. The parents then join the armed forces in running away from explosions in slow motion.

Naturally, when Sam's converting Camero car shows up at school to rescue him from a transformer disguised as a sexy co-ed, he too winds up in Paris with his sexy girlfriend and his nerdy roommate and then is transported to the Middle East, where lo and behold, he reunites with his parents just in time to rescue them.

Bluntly, while the CGI effects are spectacular and virtually seamless, I found this Transformers film as boring as the first one and am bewildered by the popularity of a film that as little plot, bad dialogue, and tedious battle scenes.

Every frame is filled to CGI overload and since the plot doesn't hold up, as the film progresses the film becomes more and more boring, despite the special effects, the noise and the battles. The viewer seems to be surrounded by continual fog during battle, which may explain how real friendly fire occurs.

I haven't summarized the plot because I haven't figured it out yet. The film starts off about two years after the first Transformers film and for about 20-30 minutes I thought I knew the plot. But then, as multiple story lines merged and none followed through to completion, I became more and more confused.

The violence and CGI are bound to make this high expense film a box office blockbuster, although explaining public taste is frankly, inexplicable.