At the end of Monday night's sneak preview of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
, the capacity crowd gave the film a hearty round of applause. I'm sharing this so you'll understand that mine is a minority opinion.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
is directed by Michael Bay - who also helmed the first Transformers
, as well as Bad Boys
and its sequel, Pearl Harbor
- and it's nearly two and a half hours long. That's probably all the information most of you need, but to avoid a page with an overabundance of white space, I will soldier on.
Overabundance. That's a large part of what's wrong with this flick. There are too many robots that are covered with too many pieces, too many hyperactive battle scenes, too much pretension, too many cheesy gags and too much movie. One hundred and forty-nine minutes! About 15, maybe 20, of which are entertaining.
is more or less a feature-length fight scene punctuated by a moronic love story and some of the most hapless comic relief I have ever seen. This is the kind of film generally described as a thrill ride, but here's the deal: The Beast - King's Island's grand roller-coaster - remains my favorite thrill ride. Put me on it once and I'll have a ball. Offer me a few rides in a row and I'll be delighted to take you up on it. Strap me in for two hours and 29 minutes and I'm going to be tired, bored and ready to kick your ass when I get off, as soon as I pee.
There are filmmakers that could pull off an action scene marathon, but again, this is directed by Michael Bay - Michael "I've never met an explosion I didn't like" Bay - and it's based on toys. Transformers 2
is loud, abrasive, insipid, poorly composed and packed with so much bullshit that the creative team should be ticketed for driving without a dramatic license.
The plot? Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) heads off for college, leaving his parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White), his girlfriend (Megan Fox) and his robot-buddy car at home. Meanwhile, the giant robots renew their fight. All the aforementioned humans get involved, along with Army guys (Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson) and wacky sidekicks. One of them is John Turturro, who sports a G-string for a few horrible seconds.
The story, formatted like The Mummy
and Indiana Jones
movies, adds humor, sorta. By humor, I mean the aforementioned G-string business, a mom on pot who behaves like she's just taken some speed with a nitrous oxide chaser, little robots that hump Megan Fox's leg and two excruciating sidekick robots that do the kind of lame jive-talk banter that would have fit right in an episode of the '70s sitcom What's Happening?
The only time I laughed during the movie was when I heard the way Shia LaBeouf's character screams.
The humans have lousy dialogue and little to do except run and holler. The robots - the real stars of the film - transform and fight in scenes so overdone (constant camera movement coupled with too many close-ups and way too much visual clutter) that I checked my watch almost as much as I checked the screen. I could go on, but I'm running out of insulting adjectives. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
is a mega-drag. Several hundred people gave it a round of applause at the sneak preview, though. I'm glad they had fun.
Click here to get movie times