Dave’s 3-Word Review:
What a mess.
I still have yet to see the fourth in the franchise, but from what I remember from the first three films in the Transformers saga – I disliked the second one the most. I couldn’t remember why exactly, so I popped it in and gave it another try, and for the most part I now remember what was so bad about it. It’s definitely a forgettable movie, but now I can explain the reasons behind that. While people will tell you the whole thing was just a horrible idea, I disagree – I just think the execution was way, way, way over-the-top. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had a good idea somewhere in the muck, and I’m here to try to dig that out.
Alright, so apparently there have been Transformers on Earth for centuries, and they built this machine that they were never able to turn on. The Decepticons are now ready to turn it on, and it’s basically the humans and the Autobots job to stop them. Once again, the Autobots need to find Sam Witwicky, because he has a shard of the AllSpark – which implanted the Cybertron language into his brain – and they need that to find the location of the machine – and the key to start it.
I tried my best to explain the plot, because to me, that’s the main plot – the stuff in Egypt. However, that doesn’t even start until the movie is 90 minutes through. The stuff before that was mostly very episodic subplots. Stuff like Sam going to college, and the Transformers working for the military. Stuff like Sam and Mikaela’s relationship – saying the “L” word and such. Things like humanoid Transformers and hilarious scenes of Sam trying to balance the symbols he sees in his head. Then of course, there’s Megatron’s return and the political advisor that wants to banish the Autobots, because he thinks they are the problem. It just never stopped, and was so, so messy.
They even throw Sam’s parents into the main plot just for more laughs, instead of keeping them as the comedic relief. For that, they introduced the twin Autobots that kept cracking jokes.
I’ll tell you how I would have made the movie:
It would have had college as a setting, not a plot
It would have had a cameo by Megan Fox, not a supporting role.
The symbols that Sam saw were really unique, I would have kept that, as it lead to the main plot.
The main plot would have been about the Fallen still, and the Matrix key, which takes place a majority in Egypt.
Then it would have ended with a bunch of new, unique Transformers – including the megazord guy and the humanoid transformer(s). Boom. End of movie.
What I would have cut:
No political advisor guy trying to banish the Transformers – isn’t that in the third movie anyway? Just keep it there.
No Megan Fox whining about Sam not telling her he loves her. I know you need character development, but don’t make it with Megan Fox, who no one cares about anyway.
No more AllSpark and Megatron stuff. – I know he’s the main baddy, but they offed him in the first, this just felt like recycled stuff we’ve already seen in the first and it annoyed me…it’s already long, let’s not make it longer, alright?
No Sam’s parents other than comedic sides – keep them out of the main action plot.
If the movie went with the pacing I would have chosen, it would have been shorter, yeah, but it would have made a lot more sense, wouldn’t have been as messy, and it would have still kept the cool elements. I do like the humanoid Transformer, but because the movie is so forgettable, no one cares anymore. I also like the basic story about the Fallen, but it took so long to get there that again, I don’t care anymore. The execution of the film was so horrendous that what was actually good – was watered down to the point that absolutely no one cares about – it just gets old and boring really fast.
Somewhere in the muck lies a solid story – which was a new, unique threat in a new setting with new Transformers. The comedy in this was also pretty good, especially with Shia and his symbolic visions. I also like the idea of a humanoid Transformer.
However, everything that is good about this film is so horrendously executed that it just doesn’t matter anymore. It tends to feel so drawn-out and so boring because there are so many useless subplots. In a way, it’s God-awful, but at the same time…I want to give credit to what is honestly good…even if the crap watered and flattened it out to almost nothing.