much we haven't told you Sam"
As Sam Witwicky
(LaBeouf) heads to college and has to think of a way of having a long distance
relationship with girlfriend Mikaela (Fox), Captain Lennox (Duhamel) and
Optimus Prime are hunting down the last of the Decepticons. Back on Cybertron,
the true leader of the Decepticons is planning his revenge against the Autobots
and the people of Earth. With Soundwave coordinating everything from orbit,
the key to their success is an ancient weapon and the only person on the
planet who knows where it is, is just about to start his first class.
As the Autobots
won the day in the first movie you should have known that the Decepticons
would be back for revenge but they forgot to bring the story with them.
When Michael Bay
and Steven Spielberg got together to bring one of the biggest toy franchises
of the 80s to the silver screen the fans went crazy but when the first film
became a massive hit all around the world in 2006 a sequel was inevitable.
The first movie set new standards in visual effects, returning that wow
factor to computer generated characters after they have become such a common
factor of big budget movies over the last seventeen years since Steven Spielberg
himself set the standard with 'Jurassic Park'. Now two years later that
standard is rising again but this time they have forgotten to include much
of a story to give us a reason to have these amazing set sequences.
The story is extremely
slight. With Starscream escaping at the end and returning to Cyberton, the
remaining Decepticons, who can't fly away, are been hunted down by the US
Army and Optimus Prime and the Autobots. Our hero, Sam Witwicky, is on his
way to college and having a long distance relationship with his stunningly
beautiful girlfriend Mikaela. While packing, a piece of the All Spark falls
out of a jacket and fills his head with a map to a huge source of Energon
on Earth. Of course the Decepticons are looking for this but with Megatron
dead and at the bottom of the ocean, the true leader of evil Transformers
is now pulling the strings. That is basically it but it is used to try and
hold together a movie that last 147 minutes. This is made even more disappointing
when you realise Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman wrote the script and they
did some much more with J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek'.
What the movie does
well and what the fans wanted to see more of was huge robots fighting and
the sequel delivers that in spades. This movie is filled to the brim with
Transformers and some firm favourites make their first appearance in live
action form. Sideswipe, Arcee, Wheelbot, Jetfire, Ravage and Soundwave make
the step up, as well as the Constructicons coming together as the Devastator
and the new bad guy, the Fallen. Each of these is amazingly brought to life
with some stunning CGI to join Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream, Ironhide,
Ratchet and Optimus Prime.
There are some major
problems however. Disappointingly twins Skids and Mudflap are stereotypic
representations of ethnic minorities to the point that they could even be
interpreted as racist. Even though this is a 12A (PG-13 in the US) there
are a lot of sexually oriented jokes that are inappropriate for younger
Transformers fans. While the violence between fighting robots is fine, there
are a lot of human casualties caught up in the fight between the Autobots
and the Decepticons. Shia LaBeouf is starting to get really annoying and
can we please give Megan Fox more to do than just run a lot and look stunningly
beautiful, but most men wouldn't make that complaint. Finally Michael Bay
has rediscovered his complete love for the revolving camera and the slow
motion combination that will make you completely dizzy by the end.
Revenge of the Fallen' is filled with problems and not as good as the first
film, it still delivers on the big robots fighting each other. As a brainless,
massive budget blockbuster it is good fun, just don't expect a story that
will get you thinking or change your life. The Transformers are back but
just don't expect to have a good reason why.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Widescreen 2.40:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good.
Commentary by Michael Bay, Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman
The director and his writers provide a separate commentary for ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’. With Michael Bay talking about key scenes and the writers talking about the evolution of the story, this track is a little disjointed, jumping from director to writers when it would have been better to have them all in the same room. This is still a decent insight into the making of a true blockbuster.
The Human Factor: Exacting Revenge of the Fallen (129 mins)
Spanning over two hours, Michael Bay and his cast and crew reveal everything you need to know about the production of ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’. Split into sections covering development and design, production: United States, production: Military, production: Middle East, editing, visual effects, post production and release, this making of documentary is another fine example of how Michael Bay has embraced bonus features.
A Day with the Bay: Tokyo (12.56 mins)
Following the director during his Japanese press junket, we see the pressures a man at the helm of a huge movie is under, especially when the film is needing to be finished before the evening premiere of the movie.
25 Years of Transformers (10.23 mins)
The people from Hasbro take you through the history of their beloved franchise and showing how the Autobots and the Decepticons have changes over the years.
NEST: Transformers Data Hub
View profiles on your favourite Autobots and Decepticons and fine out who would win in the coming battle.
Deconstructing Visual Bayhem (22.42 mins)
Split into section entitled ‘Hunting Party’, ‘Wheelbot freeway’, ‘Lamborghini jump’, ‘Optimus Parachute’, ‘Kitchen & Backyard’ and more, with introductions by Michael Bay and commentaries by Pre-Vis supervisor Steve Yamamoto, this give you an insight into the pre-production of the movie.
Deleted/Alternate Scenes (6.01 mins)
Entitled ‘Sam & Alice at the dorms’, ‘The Witwicky’s in Paris’ and ‘Leo refuses to go to Egypt’, these deleted or alternate scenes suffer from the lack of a commentary or introduction to explain why they were removed.
Linkin Park – New Divide
Watch the music video from the soundtrack to ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’
Watch the trailer that heralded the release of the movie in cinemas and online.
The DVD treatment for ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ is excellent. As any fan of Michael Bay will come to expect, the 2-disc special edition is filled to the brim with bonus features, meaning this is a must buy for all fans of the Autobots and Decepticons.
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