Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
When a fragment of the All Spark is discovered the Decepticons use it to resurrect Megatron (Hugo Weaving) and he, along with the first ever Decepticon, The Fallen (Tony Todd), leads the Decepticons into battle against human soldiers and Autobots as they plan to destroy the sun.
With double the budget of the 2007 original there are twice as many robots, three times as many battle scenes, and countless more flashy, fast-paced car chases, et cetera. The action pieces are impressive and eye-catching, fast-paced and full of jaw-dropping effects, as the robots battle each other with engines of rage and determination. The effects easily top those of the original, with the transformations from vehicles to robots being twice as quick and detailed as before, with deliberate zooming in on specific sections of the robots, to show it all in glorious detail like never before; and with new highlights including four Decepticon bots merging together to make one giant one in a very bold and effective piece of CGI, which is very impressive to see, especially on a big screen.
The main downside, however, is the number of new robots. With at least a dozen of them they are all very one-sided, underdeveloped characters, who are simply used as props as the Special Effects Department create stunning sequence after stunning sequence. There is basically no point to most of them, it has to be said, and some of them, such as twins Skids (Tom Kenny) and Mudflap (Reno Wilson), become very tedious fairly quickly (which comes from the fact they make Peter Griffin of Family Guy look smart), and disgusting (they are racist and offensive), though not so tedious as Sam's (Shia LaBeouf) mother (Julie White), who is simply most people's nightmare mother - over-doting, over-emotional and an all-round embarrasment, and that's before she unintentionally get's stoned.
The other downside is the lack of substantial narrative and development, as the film focuses so much on creating bold action sequences that there is not proper narrative development, the scenes between the action pieces are just filler scenes, and a lot of the time feel like they were just chucked in to fill the full two and a bit hours. On top of this the film is also very sexist, with the women of Sam's (Shia LaBeouf), like Mikaela (Megan Fox), all sexualised as much as possible, wearing short skirts and cocktail dresses in scenes where they aren't down to naught but a towel, or in Mikaela's case draped over a motorbike in either short-shorts or leather. With such little screenplay dedicated to character development the cast give very patchy performances, the most annoying and poorly thought out being White's.
With major drawbacks Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is occasionally engaging, but only thanks to the CGI and the action sequences. However, as a film of substance - no. It is artificial and dragged out, with too many underdeveloped characters, and a lot of dialogue that is politically incorrect, sexualises women and even has a crude reference to swine flu.
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Tony Todd, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez, Mark Ryan, Tom Kenny, Reno Wilson, Jess Harnell, Robert Foxworth, Charlie Adler Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Benjamin Hickey, Isabel Lucas, Grey DeLisle, Andre Sogliuzzo, Matthew Marsden, Glenn Morshower, Frank Welker, Erin Naas, Calvin Wimmer, John DiCrosta, Rainn Wilson, Michael York, Kevin Michael Richardson, Robin Atkin Downes.
Oscar nomination: Best Sound Mixing (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Geoffrey Patterson).