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July 18, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review

As I said earlier, we went to see two movies last night. One of them was the new Transformers movie, and I have to say that I loved it, though maybe not as much as the first movie.

The special effects were even more expansive than they were in the first movie, but yet I found the fights between the Transformers a bit easier to follow. The Autobots all had a bit of colour to them while the Decepticons were all evil-looking, silver monstrosities. Occasionally, it was hard to tell the difference between some of the Decepticons, mainly Megatron and Starscream, but that was fairly minor and usually mitigated by the dialgoue.

Even more than the first film, though, the human characters weren't really much more than vessels for the action and the story. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox as Sam and Mikaela have a couple of emotional scenes, and there is a great scene between Sam and his father (Kevin Dunn), but mostly they are there to move the story along, get through some funny situations or try to live through the explosions. I understand why Fox kind of complained about the movie not being a good showcase for her acting talents (though it definitely showcased her other talents quite well).

I've already gone on about Bay's evident reverance for the military (some could almost call the movie "military porn", considering all the hardware we get to see), so I won't do so again. However, I do have to say that the movie has some unsubtle shots at Obama foreign policy. If I had to guess, I would say that Bay (or the scriptwriters) are closet conservatives. It's made even less subtle by the fact that Obama is actually name-checked earlier in the film (the military officers are told that, after the Decepticon attacks all over the world, President Obama has been taken to his bunker). This isn't some fictional president like in many movies, and it seemed even odder since Bush wasn't name-checked in the first movie two years ago.

But that's neither here nor there. Those of us who grew up with the Transformers most likely loved every minute of both of these movies. It gave me chills when I heard the original voice of Optimus Prime come out of the movie theater speakers in this live action version as well.

Sure, the story doesn't make a whole lot of sense; the movie drags on a bit too long with some of the extended action sequences (I found Sam's college roommate to be an annoying character, though he did provide some good comic relief too), and it takes a little while to get going. But, as I said in my review of the first movie, "It's giant friggin' robots!!!" You can't go wrong with something like that.

Not if you're a real guy, anyway. (As opposed to a "real man," which is completely different than being a "real guy")


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