Review: How Transformers morphed into the lousy Revenge of the Fallen

Where can you go after you've made the ultimate male childhood fantasy? Obviously, the next natural step is to completely overdo it and blow it all.

When we liked Transformers, we gave Hollywood carte blanche to do another one their way. To quote a superior blockbuster sequel, perhaps it's not the sequel we want, but it's the sequel we deserve.

As if they need a reason to bring transforming robots back, they make it a point to explain that new Decepticon forces go after the remaining piece of the Energon cube. The Autobots try to stop them and Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is busy going to college. He's even distracted from Mikaela (Megan Fox), who loyally waits for him on webcam. Then Sam inherits old Cybertron code that will help the Autobots stop the Fallen from destroying earth's sun and blah blah blah.

Come on, just make the robots fight again!

Before it gets there, the film wants to philosophize on humans' capacity for violence. No, dude. You're the giant robot fight movie. Also, by specifying that we are in the real world of President Obama, the film implies that Obama hands control to the military as soon as giant robots show up. Is there a secret right-winger in Hollywood, or just irresponsible scripting? They did go the extra mile to ADR a swine-flu reference in, so someone is trying to be hip. Not as hip as those "urban" slang-talking Autobots though.

The silly new characters of college web hackers (not bloggers, as far as we see in the film) seems like an attempted love letter to the community who try to scoop each other on Transformers movie news. Or maybe this is just what they really think of us—I mean them.

The movie blatantly rips off classic sci-fi films ranging from Star Wars, The Matrix and Alien to Total Recall. Come on, not like giant robots are 100 percent original or that this isn't based on pre-existing material, but did they think the audience for this movie wouldn't recognize H.R. Giger imagery or nose probes? Okay, the nose probe might be a reach on my part, but the "Emperor" type is no coincidence.

Notice I haven't talked about the robot fights yet? That's because they suck! They even blew the robot fights! They're just so busy there's no awe or wonder. Blowing them up on IMAX doesn't make them more intense. The film does not use IMAX to capture a mood or tone, as The Dark Knight did. It's just bigger.

Hard to believe that a film about giant destruction suffers by getting bigger. Even with a few graceful parkour moves and some fun scale with Optimus Prime standing next to international artifacts, Revenge of the Fallen has lost the fun of Transformers. It's mechanical, pun intended, going through a plot that doesn't matter to get to visuals that are not impressive.

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