Overview: Michael Bay finally did it. He finally made a movie worse than Pearl Harbor. Paramount Pictures 2009; Rated PG-13; 149 minutes.
Not Mindless. Brain-Dead: Every once in a while a movie comes along that is so frustratingly bad that you honestly can’t believe a human being allowed it to be made. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is that movie. I quite enjoyed the first Transformers movie. It wasn’t high-quality entertainment by any means but there was a sense of fun to it all. The first Transformers is decent blockbuster fare worth a trip to the movies. Revenge of the Fallen isn’t even worth your time if you stumble upon it on cable. If you ever posses Top Secret government information and terrorists capture you and torture you by making you watch this movie, just give up the information. America will understand.
Michael Bay was never a subtle director. His movies are loud and filled with so much action that it’s numbing to the senses. I would have taken mind-numbing action. This is just loud machinery smashing into each other. All the painfully stupid plot devices and dialogue might be forgivable if there was some decently-conceived action thrown in the mix. Transformers punch and shoot at each other without context or logic. Robots are indistinguishable from one another. Lumps of metal that have no characterization or identifiable traits unless they’re named Optimus Prime or Bumblebee. Choppy editing and in-your-face camerawork don’t help either. There is a decent forest fight scene with impressive special effects. If only you could see the damn effects at work.
Between the action beats, there’s nothing even remotely resembling a plot. A character dies and goes to robot heaven. Robot heaven. Speechless. Horrible attempts at humor result in racist caricatures and crappy one-liners. The first Transformers didn’t exactly balance the humor and action perfectly, but that movie is a masterpiece compared to this behemoth of a disaster. Towards the end of the film, several Decepticons merge together to form a giant evil robot with robot testicles. That’s the type of humor we’re dealing with here.
Final Thoughts: Don’t call this movie a childish cartoon, that’s insulting to children and cartoons. Michael Bay should be ashamed of himself and his family because no one in his family had the good sense to slap him when they saw test footage. Revenge of the Fallen is so bad that pre-production literally crashed the economy. Smashing garbage lids over your head is a less excruciating experience than watching this schlock, and if you filmed yourself doing the smashing you’d have a better action sequence than any of those in this movie. Avoid this one at all costs.