Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Review

If you liked the first Transformers movie, you’ll enjoy this one just as much for what it is: an entertaining popcorn action flick. Michael Bay brings us the same energy and enthusiasm as it’s predecessor. Megan Fox is as hot as ever and Shia Labeouf’s vigorous performance once again kept me feeling like doing something drastic as soon as I got out the theater. But I just ended up going home and making smores with my cousins. Hey, that’s pretty ballsy. We made ‘em in the microwave. Who knows what that kind of radiation can do to marshmallows. The Stay Puft Marshmallow man could’ve busted out of there.  We live on the edge. Radioactive smores… oh yeah..


…wait, A.D.D. is kicking in…


OK, I’m good…


…here’s the synopsis:


The movie opens in 17,000 BC with primitive human beings discovering “The Fallen,” an army of robots who end up attacking them. An event that is short-lived on screen in order to flash forward to modern times where Sam Witwicky (Labeouf) is packing to go off to college. He soon discovers a piece of the AllSpark, the cube rock from the first movie that turns machines into robots, in his closet and all hell breaks loose. But even though his house is blown into pieces, his parents (the coolest parents in the world) still manage to pack his things and take him to his new college. No problem, the insurance will cover the damages. When Sam gets to his dorm room, he meets his roommate, Leo Spitz (Ramon Rodriguez), who conveniently runs an alien conspiracy website and just found footage in China of robots attacking a town. Sam plays it off as though he doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff. He’s so modest that Sam. 

Back in the land of government stuff, we see that the Autobots made nice with the humans and formed an organization called NEST to fight against the Decepticons that are still on Earth. The robots eventually find Sam who is starting to see coded numbers in his vision. Throw in some Megan Fox, who surprisingly has somewhat of a purpose in the film, and you got yourself a movie!

You see the thing about a movie like this is that you get what you ask for, an exciting action film. It is exactly what it’s trying to be and it’s not asking for forgiveness. I enjoyed this film, and my little cousin did too.

Sure they could’ve been more visual with the historical things in the story and I would’ve loved to have seen that. Instead Bay keeps it very modern, as he did in the first, touching on a lot of aspects of pop culture: the blogger culture (HOLLA!), the designer clothes that are on the protagonists that manage to withstand hell and high waters, and even their references to our new President Barack Obama. (If you recall in the last film, it was very anti-Presidential, intentionally poking fun at George Bush in one scene. An interesting commentary I think).

Shia Labeouf’s performance seems to have been contagious because all of the protagonists’ performances were kicked up a notch in this film. Ramon Rodriguez does a good job at playing the “stupidly scared” sidekick. You can see him in a film that my friend Juan Caceres produced "The Startup." John Turturro is funny and exciting in his new role as a former agent turned deli owner. 

The special effects were naturally incredible. A little too detailed at times as I couldn’t tell who was winning the robot fights when they went into close-ups. The robots were valid characters in the story though. The only thing is that I felt they went a little over-board with the accents in their voices. In the first film they introduced the logic that the robots got their speech patterns from different radio and television personalities that they picked up from satellite signals. But the fact that all the robots had New York accents was kind of obvious. But it did offer good comedic relief.

Overall "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen" is a good popcorn movie and I would recommend seeing it at the theater. It’s probably the only way to do justice to the incredible sound design by the same Oscar nominated team from the first film.

As far as a rating system, I wanted to do something different and creative but I think I’ll just keep it simple and give it a star rating. 

So with that said, I will give this popcorn flick a 3 out 4 star rating.

Hasta la proxima. Ciao!

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