Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (PG)

Film image

The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner17/06/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 144 mins

Bigger, louder and more annoying, this won't disappoint fans of the first film, but the deficiencies in script and character are even more apparent this time round and Bay's contempt for his audience is almost palpable.

What's it all about?
Since the events of the first film, the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (original cartoon voice actor Peter Cullen) have joined forces with the military (Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson) to hunt down the remaining Decepticons. However, after chasing a giant wheelie-bot through Shanghai, they receive a warning that a sinister entity known as The Fallen is heading for Earth.

Meanwhile, fast-talking teenager Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is heading for college without his smoking hot girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox, now with even less clothes), but thanks to a sliver of The Cube (don't ask), he once again finds himself slap bang in the middle of the mother of all robot smackdowns, headed by a newly resurrected Megatron (Hugo Weaving).

The Good
As you'd expect from a Michael Bay sequel, everything is bigger this time round – there are loads more robots (it's actually impossible to keep track of them all) and the CGI is even more impressive, with spectacular robot-based effects sequences coming thick and fast. That said, the highlight is a stripped-down, Kong-inspired Optimus scrap in a forest, because you can actually tell what's going on.

The Bad
Basically, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is so damn loud and stupid that it's like being shouted at by idiots for two and a half hours. The resulting cacophony completely drowns out the dialogue (which is clearly viewed as secondary to requirements), the comedy is largely juvenile and insulting (although a giant pair of clanging robot balls gets a laugh) and the characters are so paper thin that it's hard to care about any of them.

The plot makes even less sense than in the first film and the action sequences all sort of blend into each other after a while, so that it's actually rather boring and you really feel the 150 minute running time. Similarly, the film occasionally has some good ideas (e.g. a creepy fembot) but it immediately chucks them away, like a child tiring of a new toy.

Worth seeing?
The effects are great and fans of the first film won't be disappointed, but is a spot of genuine emotion and intelligence really too much to ask for?

Film Trailer

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (PG)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has been reviewed by 8 users
image
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

image
02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

image
03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

image
04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

image
05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 17/12/2017 08:09

Latest Film Reviews

Film Blog

Urban Pundit

Keep up to date with everything in film and cinema at Urban Pundit, the exciting new blog.

Film of the Week

The Conjuring (15)

Hugely enjoyable, genuinely scary horror flick that provides a welcome throwback to classic 1970s chillers, thanks to impeccable production design, a superb script, powerfully atmospheric direction, intense set-pieces and terrific performances.

Latest Close Up

Noah Baumbach Interview

The Frances Ha director discusses co-writing the script with Greta Gerwig, shooting against the backdrop of New York and the real lives of the city’s people, Greta Gerwig’s performance, the music in the film and the picture's visual style.