Thanks for checking out our Transformers 2 review. If you’d like to see a video version of our Transformers 2 review you can see it at the bottom of the post.
It’s no secret that I LOVE Transformers. I grew up playing with the toys as a kid. Aside from the Star Wars prequels I’ve never looked forward to a movie as much as I did for the first Transformers a couple of years ago… and I LOVED the first movie (weaknesses and all). So it’s no surprise that Transfomers 2 (aka Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) has been my #1 most anticipated movie of the year.
The other night I had a chance to go and see it in IMAX here in Los Angeles and I can tell you this right up front. This movie is bigger than the last one, has more action than the last one, has better effects than the last one but over all is not as good as the last one. As one friend of mine wrote to me “It’s more spectacular than the first one… but not as good”.
THE GENERAL IDEA
The synopsis for Transformers 2 looks something like this: “When the story begins, the Autobots and the military have been waging a secret war against the Decepticons. As more of the giant robots continue to resurface, though, it becomes apparent the Transformers have been part of Earth’s history for longer than they’d led mankind to believe. One group of bureaucrats even wonders if the Decepticons are only appearing because of the Autobot presence. Desperate not to leave Earth undefended, Optimus Prime turns to Sam and asks him to become a human advocate, someone who will convince mankind that the Autobots should be allowed to stay. Sam refuses to believe he can help though, wanting to go to college and live a normal life – as normal as possible with the strange thoughts and visions that have haunted him since being exposed to the All Spark’s primal energies two years earlier. Alas, Sam’s refusal will have harsh consequences for himself, the Autobots and possibly the entire world. The Decepticons fallen leader, Megatron has been resurrected and brings with him an ancient evil from the Transformers own history.”
My dear heavens I never would have thought that the effects in Transformers could be outdone… but Transformers 2 did it. The Autobots and Decepticons look far more real and awe inspiring than they did in the first one. They become especially impressive when you see them interacting with real world actors and sets. It’s so hard to believe that these gigantic warriors aren’t real. Exactly what Transformers fans wanted.
The action. Holy sweet nuts cakes the action! This movie just goes and goes and goes. The movie OPENS with a HUGE scale action sequence that just makes your jaw hit the floor in amazement. “This is what they’re STARTING the movie with?!?!” went through my head a couple of times in the first 60 seconds. So many more action sequences and battles than the first one. Exactly what Transformers fans wanted.
There is A LOT more screen time for the Autobots and Decepticons than in the first film (something that a bigger budget allowed for I guess). We even get to see a much longer Megatron/Starscream squabble which is something painfully missing from the first movie. Exactly what Transformers fans wanted.
There is a much deeper history revealed about the Transformers in this flick that I thought added some much needed richness to the whole mythology of the Cybertonian race. We learn more about “The Primes” (a certain leadership sect within the Transformers of which Optimus is obviously a direct descendant of). We learn more about Energon (no, we don’t get to see “Energon Cubes” unfortunately) and the history of the Transformers on earth as well as the grander plans (evil ones… dun dun duuuunnnhhhh) the decepticons have for Earth. Exactly what Transformers fans wanted.
Yes, it seems Transformers 2 takes all the good things about the first movie and builds on them. Exactly what Transformers fans wanted. BUT… they unfortunately also built on all the first movie’s weaknesses and put them on steroids, which leads us too…
I absolutely must start with this one. THE TWINS! Oh dear heavens the Twins. These two new Autobots are the new Jar Jar Binks. They absolutely ruin this movie. They are the most offensive and racist stereotypes I’ve seen on the screen in a LONG time on top of being unfunny and as annoying as hell. I personally don’t mind stereotypes in general because they’re often just an expression of reality… but when you use stereotypes to express nothing but negative connotations of entire people groups I get really uncomfortable. Basically, the “Twins” are two dumb autobots who don’t even know how to read (no really… they don’t know how to read) that talk jive and look, and act like two “hood niggas”. For fuck’s sake they even have buck teeth on one of them has a gold tooth. I wish I was making this up. Who thought this was a good idea?!?!?! To make matters even worse, these two Jar Jar’s have more screen time than Megatron and Optimus Prime! No, I’m not kidding (maybe if I clock it I might find out I’m incorrect on that… but it certainly felt like that). It was horrible. I HATED them with a deep and abiding hatred. They are the stupidest thing I’ve seen on screen in a long time and I’m simply astonished that ANYONE thought they were a good idea to go forward with.
It’s hard to believe, but the dialog in this one is worse than in the first one. Let’s face it, dialog in Transformers is entirely unimportant. We all know why we see the Transformers, and the spoken word isn’t really one of the reasons. Still… the pure amount of cheese in the lines was painful to both listen to and think about.
Even though a lot of people had issues with John Turturro’s character from the first movie (the Sector 7 super agent), I actually liked him. However, in this film they made him a ridiculous parody with some of the most inept nonsense you can think of. No way this guy was a respected agent in the government at one time. The Transformers are supposed to be the animated characters… not Turturro who ends up being just one step removed from Yosemite Sam. Horrible horrible horrible.
A lot of Transformers fans got excited when we heard that fan favorite Soundwave was going to be in this movie. Well… I don’t know who that was… but it was NOT Soundwave. In Transformers 2, Soundwave is basically a giant fat metal blob satellite hovering in space that looked more like Jabba the Hut than a Transformer. That’s all he does in the movie… floats in space. Thanks.
Holy Shit “Wheelie” is almost as annoying as the Twins. You’ve probably seen the clip online of him getting chased around by Megan Fox. He changes sides from Decepticons to Autobots for… well… for no apparent reason whatsoever. He just decides to become an Autobot and I’m still not sure why.
Speaking of Megan Fox. Have I ever mentioned this girl CAN NOT ACT!?!?! Look, I’ve met this girl. She is absolutely one of the hottest women on the planet and seems like a very nice girl. But acting in any sort of role that requires her doing anything other than showing of her midrif or possibly performing fellatio is just way beyond her ability. She’s a joy to see on screen. She’s a nightmare to HEAR on screen and her “performance” in Transformers 2 does nothing but solidify my opinion of her.
I don’t want to give any spoilers away here… but since when does Megatron kneel to ANYONE? In the movie Starscream tries to explain to Megatron why he took over command of the Decepticons after the “death” of Megatron and Meg says the BEST line in the movie in response to him: “Even in death there is no command but my own”. How awesome is that?!?!?!?! Then it gets ruined when he then turns to “The Fallen” and calls him “Master”. How does that make any sense?
Transformers 2 takes all the good things about the first movie and makes them bigger and better… but it also does the same for all the bad things about the first movie… x1000000. Great action. Fantastic effects. More Transformers in both numbers and time on screen…. but HORRIBLE dialog, The Twins and a terrible misuse of a lot of the characters puts my enjoyment level of this movie far below my enjoyment of the first one. I have to see the movie again tonight to even be sure if I “liked” it or not. It is everything a big summer blockbuster should be… and everything it shouldn’t be. Just because of the action and effects I still recommend you go see it for sure… but I’m only going to give Transformers: Revenge of the fallen a 5/10.
You can see our video version of the Transformers 2 review here: