Having missed the opportunity to watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in theaters, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it had been released on DVD. It went to the top of my Netflix queue, and we sat down eagerly to watch it last night. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to finish it this morning.
The fact that it didn’t seem jarring to split it into two segments should be telling.
As someone who grew up in the 80s watching Transformers cartoons and playing with the Hasbro toys, I was really excited when they announced they were producing a feature film in 2007. And I really enjoyed that movie, with its amazing action sequences and a pretty solid cast of actors. (The fact that they got Peter Cullen, the original voice of Optimus Prime, certainly didn’t hurt!)
The sequel was entertaining, though not as mesmerizing as its predecessor. The storyline is beyond absurd — the plot is tiresome and utterly distracting from the real strength of the film, which again are the action sequences and some pretty good performances by the actors. Unfortunately they’ve taken some of the cutesy pieces from the 2007 Transformers and squeezed every bit of charm out of them, such as adding slapstick transformers that are silly and cheesy, and frankly more than a little racist.
The movie is also waaay too long. Entire plotlines within the film could’ve been removed to tighten the run time and skip past cheesier bits of the story, letting us focus on the thrill of giant robots blowing shit up (with the occasional life lesson thrown in for good measure.) It feels like they tried to do too much with this, introducing new “back story” and mega-villains that hadn’t been mentioned in the previous movie or (as far as I can remember) the cartoons.
At its core, though, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a fun movie. Sit down on the couch and watch the DVD, looking forward to crazy chases and guns and explosions. When the scenes inspired by National Treasure kick in, take the opportunity to refill your drink and wait patiently for the adrenaline to kick back in.