Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#14 - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - 2009

My 7th and final movie to end out the SciFi/Fantasy week was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I loved Transformer toys as a child growing up however I was a little leery on how good it would be as a movie. I never even saw the original in the theater and even after watching it at home I didn't feel it was as good as everyone made it out to be. I just thought it was okay. I was more interested to see the second one however and did so in the theater with my wife and in laws. Below is my detailed description of this movie.

Obviously most of us know the main characters in this film. There is Shia LeBeouf as the main character Sam and then Megan Fox as his girlfriend Mikaela. I think I'm one of the select few on earth who doesn't think Megan Fox is the hottest girl on the planet but she still fits in these movies perfectly. Josh Duhamel plays Major Lennox and Tyrese Gibson plays Master Sergeant Epps. My favorite character though is Simmons who is played by John Turturro. He will always remind me of his role in Mr. Deeds and he was very funny in this film as well.

This film starts with an explosive action sequence in Shanghai led by Optimus Prime and his team of autobots. They have formed an alliance with the US Military called NEST who are a combined force of autobots and human US military personnel. This action scene started the movie out on the right note for sure and I especially loved the rollerblading transformer in this first battle scene. Back at home Sam was getting ready to leave for college as his parents were about to embark on a month long trip to France. Some comedic moments occurred in this portion of the film, mostly thanks to Sam's Mom and Dad, especially his Mom. While in his room getting ready to leave Sam finds a splinter from a destroyed transformer and upon contact it fills his mind with symbols that he has no idea what they are. After a small spark is ignited small decepticons are present and start tearing apart the house and attacking Sam. Bumblebee, Sam's hot rod Yellow transformer of a car comes to his defense and destroys the small decepticons while causing massive damage to Sam's home. In an attempt to keep the splinter safe Sam gives it to his girlfriend Mikaela.

The Presidential advisor heads to the home of the NEST and speaks to Optimus Prime and under Presidential authority suggests they leave because the The decepticons are only on earth to hunt the autobots and if they leave there shouldn't be a problem. Optimus tries explaining that the United States needs them. Meanwhile the decepticons hack into the US government satellite and learn the location of the
decepticon leader Megatron. In one of the cooler visuals in the film a cheetah like decepticon literally runs across water to the location that a piece of the AllSpark in hidden at. After dropping marble like balls in the location they form to one large decepticon in a spectacular visual.

Sam has arrived at college and meets his new roommate Leo. Leo heads an alien conspiracy website with two other friends and also helps run the hot freshman 50 site as well. In several hilarious scenes Sam's mom who got high off the "student brownies" causes embarrassment beyond belief for the new freshman even going as far to tackle a college student playing frisbee. Later that night Sam has a breakdown at a frat party and starts writing out symbols with cake frosting on a table. A girl named Alice approaches him and starts up a conversation and eventually wants to dance. Sam's awkwardness during this time was hilarious but even funnier is when Alice said she just wanted to have a little fun and Sam suggested "checkers" and pulled up a chair. The comedy continued as Sam's car Bumblebee approaches and a college prick suggests beating Sam up but Sam replied that his friend was out searching for a tighter shirt for this students friend, that line made me laugh so hard. Just Sam's delivery and the entire scene. Alice eventually hopped into his car with him and they took off. The Car (Bumblebee) started playing on the radio Cheating Hearts, Superfreak, and the Jaws theme then slammed Alice's forehead into the dashboard before dousing her with what looks to be washer fluid. After this we see the cheetah like decepticon awaken Megatron from the bottom of the ocean.

Back at school Sam is in a class being taught by Professor Colan (Rainn Wilson) who plays a smug elite perfectly and he starts having his breakdown again. He steps onstage and upstages the professor and his stutters and shakes through this breakdown were pretty cool looking and a testament to his acting skill, it was really believable. Sam calls Mikaela to notify her what's going on and she flies out to see him. As Sam gets back to his room he again starts flipping out and writes all over the wall and goes nuts. Alice shows up and seduces him but we learn very quickly she is a decepticon trying to get information from him but unfortunately for Sam she sheds her metal and goes back to human form right as Mikaela walks in the room. Mikaela turns and leaves in disgust but later hears Sam's faint scream as he was being choked by Alice and goes back to help. Leo gets a glimpse of what's going on and the three of them, Sam, Mikaela, and Leo all are running for their lives. They eventually escape Alice but get caught by other decepticons who probe Sam to get the symbols. The special effects during the probing scene are very cool and realistic especially when they metal tentacles go through Sam's mouth and out his nostrils. The autobots barge in and the trio escapes in Bumblebee where the battle of autobots vs. deceptcons takes place in the woods. In one of my favorite and easily the most picturesque scene of the film a battle takes place and the vividness of the trees, the transformers, and the grass in this scene alone were striking. Definitely better in bluray for this film no doubt. The decepticons eventually kill Optimus Prime and Sam and his group leave to get to safety.

Now that Prime has died the Fallen are freed and Megatron calls on an all out attack against the world. Large fireballs are visible all across the world and at one point a news station reports that up to 7000 people worldwide have been killed in the attacks. After regrouping while hiding out Leo suggests that he believes there is an individual who can help, his name is Robo-Warrior and he knows anything about anything with aliens. Leo takes Sam to meet him and it turns out he is actually former Sector 7 agent Simmons and he knows Sam. All of them including Wheelie who Mikaela captured while back at her work go into Simmons basement at his shop and start investigating the symbols and information. After learning the locations of where they need to find information they first head to the Air and Space Museum where they awaken an old former decpticon turned autobot, Jetfire. Jetfire to me sounds like the voice of Bruce from Finding Nemo but it is not. Its weird though, very similar. Jetfire explains what has to be done to save earth and transports everyone to Egypt.

While in Egypt the group finds the tomb of the primes and more importantly the matrix (key) that can bring back Optimus Prime. The key diminishes into dust after Sam picked it up but they know what they have to do. They call the military and give coordinates to where they are located and to bring Prime there. The setting for this final scene sequence is gorgeous set in Egypt with crystal clear brown sand and large pyramids abound. There is a gigantic transformer that literally sucks up everything in his path which Simmons and Leo have to avoid meanwhile Sam and Mikaela are trying to get over to Prime. At one point Sam's parents who were captured by decepticons while on vacation in France are dropped in Sam's path. In another funny moment Simmons kept repeating "one man alone trained by the country he loves", it was classic. He eventually would scale the pyramid in attempt to save all humanity and the special effects of these pyramids and when they get destroyed are incredibly cool. As battles take place all over the place Bumblebee comes to Sam and his family defense and kills the cheetah like decepticon. Once Sam and Mikaela finally reach the military Sam then heads over to Prime to try and save him but it attacked on the way over. He looks to be dead but is not and he awakens and wakes up Prime who eventually saves earth by stopping the Fallen from starting the harvester with the key. In the end Optimus thanks Sam for saving his life.

I felt this was a very good movie. It had plenty of action, a good amount of humor, and pretty decent storyline. My only problem with this film was that it could sometimes be hard to figure out which transformers were good and which were bad which is actually a complaint I had with the original. There also is so much information in this film it is sometimes hard to follow everything and truly understand it. On the flip side the action scenes were awesome and the humor in the movie was great. I really like LeBeouf as an actor as he has a smartass type attitude but can be funny as hell too, think Disturbia. The addition of Turturro as well added even more comedy which was great for this movie. Above everything else the special effects are what made this movie and they are superb! Overall I would give this film a firm B+!

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