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Awfully Good: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen + Maximum Overdrive video!

06.25.2014

 

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

 

Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro

Shia LeBeouf and some robots wander around the planet in search of a plot.

I don't expect too much out of the TRANSFORMERS franchise. Take, for instance, the poster for the fourth movie AGE OF EXTINCTION: A giant robot wielding a giant sword riding a fire-breathing robot dinosaur. I realize that's really, really stupid, but that's exactly what I want from these films. Check your brain at the door for big action, stellar visual effects, and… well, that's pretty much it. Unfortunately, REVENGE OF THE FALLEN expects you to completely destroy your brain before it gives you anything else.


Michael Bay's remake of MILO & OTIS was predictable.

Granted this first sequel is something of a special case. The 2007 Writer's Guild strike hit right as production was ramping up and forced the film to shoot without a finished script. Obviously with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman behind the words there wasn't too much hope to begin with, but in this case it was the worst case scenario—they turned in a 60-page treatment the night before the strike, leaving Michael Bay to fill in the blanks as they shot. And REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is exactly what you get when you let Michael Bay make things up as he goes along: unnecessary humor, broad stereotypical characters, a nonsensical story that is literally just a collection of action beats, and humping. Oh, so much humping.

I feel like I could write an entire thesis on all the ways this movie fails, but let's cover the highlowlights:


Oh, look. Ron Jeremy's cell phone is transforming.

The length. There is no reason on God's green earth that this movie needs to be two and a half hours long. Even if the action scenes weren't repetitive and oftentimes incomprehensible, there's so much unnecessary, extraneous stuff that makes the film something I never thought a Michael Bay film could be—boring. You could take out the entire college section. Sam's parents. The roommate character who tags along for no reason. The government bad guy who is literally jettisoned from the film when it figures out it has nothing for him to do. You could easily trim an entire hour out of this movie without affecting the "story" whatsoever.


Nothing says solidarity between two alien races like peeing off an overpass together.

The "story." After a prologue that suggests epic historical battles between cavemen, tigers and alien robots, we learn that in the two years since the first movie, the Autobots have teamed up with a secret military squad to hunt Decepticons all over the world. That's an awesome movie! Why can't we have that movie?!

Instead they just rehash the first film. Sam finds a shard of the All-Spark in his clothes (which he apparently hasn't washed in the two years since) and it embeds itself in his DNA and drives him insane—even though he grabbed the entire All-Spark barehanded in the last movie. Also, the Decepticons steal the All-Spark and use it to bring Megatron back to life, even though it was what killed him in the last movie.

This all somehow leads to an aimless apocalyptic adventure around the world. Towards the end of the film, the filmmakers realize they never explained the plot, so a character actually projects a mini-movie explaining what's going on: Super bad guy The Fallen has a device called the Matrix of Leadership which controls a machine that will destroy the sun. Earlier Transformers stole it and hid it in a tomb made out of their own bodies, which Sam now has to find. Though if he doesn't find it, the Fallen will never get it, so…


Caffeinated drink. Pictures of random hot girls. Assorted tech equipment. Minority character off to the side. This shot perfectly encapsulates Michael Bay.

The direction and the script. Your typical Michael Bayisms are all present. A constantly moving, often spinning camera. Slow motion, orange-tinted humans. Hiring a badger on PCP as the Director of Photography. And a gigantic ego that would allow Shia LeBeouf's character to drawn attention to a BAD BOYS II poster hanging up in his dorm. However, the screenplay is the real downfall here. How bad is it? Not only does it use exposition to awkwardly explain things to the audience, but also to drive the plot forward. My favorite example is the government agent who perfectly sums up Megatron's precise location, where they're keeping the All-Spark and who's guarding it—all in casual conversation in front of a Decepticon spy.

The "humor."Here are things Michael Bay finds funny: Robot testicles, robot penis guns, robot farts, robot humping and dogs humping, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a robot Cleveland Steamer in the fifth movie.


Shia LeBeouf reaches maximum douche.

Shia LeBeouf. He's there. He runs around a lot. And for some reason refuses to tell Megan Fox he loves her despite the fact that they've been dating for two years and she looks like Megan Fox.


This photo is the extent of Megan Fox's character arc in this movie.

Megan Fox. Fox may be bored out of her mind, but thankfully she's so hot she can turn an evil Decepticon in to a slobbering horndog that goes from trying to kill her to humping her leg.

Sam's parents. They're included for comic relief, which in this movie includes taking turns fighting, being horny and eating pot brownies. Their dogs are also constantly humping each other as visual metaphor for what Michael Bay is doing to your humanity.


"I call this The Bat Wing. Up next is The Goat." -John Turturro

John Turturro. When he's not staring at mechanical gonads or showing you his ass in a thong, the talented character actor is delivering lines like, "Oh God, this is it. The Pyramid's built right over the machine! They turn that machine on... no more sun. Not on my watch. Not on MY watch!"

The college roommate. Jonah Hill was originally offered this role, but turned it down when he realized how stupid it was. Sam just happens to room with a Tansformers conspiracy theorist hunting down the truth about robots in disguise. Which begs the question—how is the government managing to cover up their existence? They publicly attacked L.A. in the last film and Shanghai at the beginning of this one. Was nobody on Earth paying attention?


Having the character break the fourth wall to ask the audience for some watermelon was the last straw.

The twins. Sam is forced to travel around the world with the Transformer versions of Jar Jar Binks: Skids and Mudflap. With their gold teeth, ghetto speak and admissions of illiteracy, the twins are painful racial caricatures that are as annoying as they are offensive. Who thought this was a good idea?


Yep, that's a girl covered in Bumblebee juice. Stay classy, Michael Bay.

The human Decepticon. While at college, Sam runs in to a girl who shows a keen interest in him. They go back to his place where she reveals herself to be a Decepticon with boobs. She then chases Sam and destroys a library because that seems like something Michael Bay hates. So, let me get this straight… the Decepticon applied to college, was accepted, and enrolled in classes on the off chance that she would be assigned to Sam's dorm? This raises so many questions. Can they all transform in to humans? How do they create organic material? And more importantly, why does she bother to seduce and make out with Sam before trying to kill him?


It wasn't hard to spot what was edited in the TV version.

The ending.No matter where they were on the planet previously, everyone shows up in Egypt for the pyramid-destroying finale—Megatron, the Army guys from the first movie, even Sam's parents. (Although they're pretty quick to drive away and abandon their son when things go down.) During the chaos, Sam actually dies in an explosion. For some reason, he goes to Robot Heaven where the other ghost Primes tell him the Matrix of Leadership is not found, it's earned. Then they send him back to Earth. <-- This really happens.

Just as in the first movie, Sam puts a random device in to a robot's chest. This time he stabs Optimus with the Matrix and brings him back to life. (Oh yeah, Optimus died at the beginning and sat out most of the movie.) Predictably, The Fallen finally shows up out of nowhere and steals the Matrix so he can destroy the sun (…ugh). But it's okay; Optimus didn't really need it. An elderly Autobot who farts and walks with a cane named Jetfire offers to sacrifice himself and give Optimus all his parts. For some reason, fusing himself with the skin of some old dude gives him a "power you've never known" and wings, like Red Bull.

At this point, you've suffered through one of the longest, purposeless movies on record, so get ready to be rewarded with the shortest, most anti-climactic fight ever. Two Prime Transformers fighting to the death should be amazing. Instead, the duo exchange a couple punches before Optimus just rips off The Fallen's face and punches through his heart. The end.


Woosah!

Excuse me, I need to go watch BAD BOYS II to get the taste of robot dung out of my mouth.

The "best" of the twins, Autobot one-liners, and Shia LeBeouf acting like a crazy person five years before that was a real thing.

Robot testicles, robot penis guns, robots farting, robot humping, dogs humping, and the entirety of the disappointingly anti-climactic final fight.


So it's possible in this franchise for one Transformer to teabag another? Got it.


You've got the touch! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Something is supposed to be funny
  • Someone runs in slow motion
  • The camera spins around a character
  • The twins do something racist
  • Someone gets humped or tazed
  • There's obvious product placement

Double shot if:

  • Another Michael Bay movie appears

Thanks to Ryan for suggesting this week's movie!

And check out this week's video of Awfully Good Movies: MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE!

 

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: I saw this movie at a screening with Michael Bay back in 2009. He told an amazing story about yelling at a Navy admiral to "get his f*cking aircraft carrier out of my shot."
Source: JoBlo.com

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1:18AM on 06/26/2014

Fuckin Robot Heaven

This movie was so terrible that I have excised most of it from my memories, but I will never be able to forget about fuckin Robot Heaven, god that shit was stupid...
This movie was so terrible that I have excised most of it from my memories, but I will never be able to forget about fuckin Robot Heaven, god that shit was stupid...
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+0
10:45PM on 06/25/2014

Worst adaptation?

The Shining miniseries was reportedly way more faithful to the source material than Kubrick's film was, so it's a stretch to call that his worst adaptation unless you dislike the original novel as well. Better choices for worst King on film would have been Dreamcatcher or The Langoliers.
The Shining miniseries was reportedly way more faithful to the source material than Kubrick's film was, so it's a stretch to call that his worst adaptation unless you dislike the original novel as well. Better choices for worst King on film would have been Dreamcatcher or The Langoliers.
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8:07PM on 06/25/2014
Stephen King on coke is like Scorsese on coke,awesome sauce work.King wen`t on a three day coke binge and at the end of it he had written Cujo and he had no idea he had even put pen to paper.MO is so bad its good but you have to be drunk or high to fully enjoy it.
"You certainly make love like a hero."
Stephen King on coke is like Scorsese on coke,awesome sauce work.King wen`t on a three day coke binge and at the end of it he had written Cujo and he had no idea he had even put pen to paper.MO is so bad its good but you have to be drunk or high to fully enjoy it.
"You certainly make love like a hero."
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+1
12:37PM on 06/25/2014

4/10.

Many decades ago, having great effects was something so cool. Fans don't understand why that doesn't continue. If I had to explain to them, I'd use this as an example. Michael Bay provides us so much movement and noise that we can't understand what's going on. Also, there are plot holes and I felt that the plot was being made-up as they went along. That being said, there only like 2 boring scenes. Megan's acting isn't good and Shia isn't as good as in the 1st movie, but they both have
Many decades ago, having great effects was something so cool. Fans don't understand why that doesn't continue. If I had to explain to them, I'd use this as an example. Michael Bay provides us so much movement and noise that we can't understand what's going on. Also, there are plot holes and I felt that the plot was being made-up as they went along. That being said, there only like 2 boring scenes. Megan's acting isn't good and Shia isn't as good as in the 1st movie, but they both have chemistry.

By the way, at one point the mom gets high, but Julie White was acting the same way in other scenes. Why is that?
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+1
12:31PM on 06/25/2014

I don't understand...

All the hate for Michael Bay. He was an amazing actor in his role as "Frat Boy" in Mystery Men.
All the hate for Michael Bay. He was an amazing actor in his role as "Frat Boy" in Mystery Men.
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+3
12:20PM on 06/25/2014

I miss 90s Michael Bay

One more thing I forgot to add...
I miss Michael Bay of the 90s. You know, the guy who made awesome action films. They may not have been great films, but they were just simply awesome, with fun attitude and fun characters. There is a difference between Bay of the 90s and Bay today. After Bay's failed attempt with Pearl Harbor, he stopped caring about plot, characters, making things "real" fun, and the audience.WTF happen to you after the 90s Michael????
One more thing I forgot to add...
I miss Michael Bay of the 90s. You know, the guy who made awesome action films. They may not have been great films, but they were just simply awesome, with fun attitude and fun characters. There is a difference between Bay of the 90s and Bay today. After Bay's failed attempt with Pearl Harbor, he stopped caring about plot, characters, making things "real" fun, and the audience.WTF happen to you after the 90s Michael????
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12:11PM on 06/25/2014
The Decepticon girl was from a line of a transformers called "Pretenders", Michael Bay did his research, now do yours.
The Decepticon girl was from a line of a transformers called "Pretenders", Michael Bay did his research, now do yours.
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2:27PM on 06/25/2014
Yep, Pretender she was. Though I get why they "humanized" her sexually to gain Sam's attention, it is kinda goofy too. As a fan of the series, ROTF has MAJOR problems, no different than the Nolan Batman movies, which I am sure people are gonna say "WTF?" to, but that is my opinion.
If you compare Dark Knight Rises to ROTF, they are both chalk full of issues, entertaining movies, but LOADS of problems.
Also, maybe it's just me, but it isn't hard for me to see who is who or what it what. Aside
Yep, Pretender she was. Though I get why they "humanized" her sexually to gain Sam's attention, it is kinda goofy too. As a fan of the series, ROTF has MAJOR problems, no different than the Nolan Batman movies, which I am sure people are gonna say "WTF?" to, but that is my opinion.
If you compare Dark Knight Rises to ROTF, they are both chalk full of issues, entertaining movies, but LOADS of problems.
Also, maybe it's just me, but it isn't hard for me to see who is who or what it what. Aside from Decepticon Protoforms, they all look different. I dunno.
3:58PM on 06/25/2014
It sure as hell doesn't make a lick of difference if they existed in the franchise before. Is the human Transformer ever explained in this horrible ass movie?

We watch a movie and a half of alien robots who we are told are able to turn into vehicles to hide in plain sight, and then boom out of the blue we get one that's a flesh and blood human and no one ever cares to explain what the hell we just saw. Please.
It sure as hell doesn't make a lick of difference if they existed in the franchise before. Is the human Transformer ever explained in this horrible ass movie?

We watch a movie and a half of alien robots who we are told are able to turn into vehicles to hide in plain sight, and then boom out of the blue we get one that's a flesh and blood human and no one ever cares to explain what the hell we just saw. Please.
+2
11:43AM on 06/25/2014

Bay is a director in overload. Big time over his head and ego

I've met him, he's got a stick so far up his own ass it's ridiculous. Even his own crew says he's a dick. He shoots a 30 second car ad using between 2 to 3 miles of film. Bay has show talent in some of his early films, then came Transformers which was the film to get Bay back on his feet after the low box office numbers for The Island. The first Transformers was not bad, it was promising. However, when it came time for Transformers 2 and 3, Bay pissed all over his own material. He admitted
I've met him, he's got a stick so far up his own ass it's ridiculous. Even his own crew says he's a dick. He shoots a 30 second car ad using between 2 to 3 miles of film. Bay has show talent in some of his early films, then came Transformers which was the film to get Bay back on his feet after the low box office numbers for The Island. The first Transformers was not bad, it was promising. However, when it came time for Transformers 2 and 3, Bay pissed all over his own material. He admitted Transformers 2 was not good, and promised amazing things with Transformers 3, which was just as bad. I love Bay's action and explosions, I hate his view of the world. Women are all young looking and really hot models. Everyone wears the best and most expensive fashion. People do and say the dumbest things to wreck not only the scene but the whole movie. Example: Ian Malcolm's daughter swinging and kicking a raptor out a window in Spielberg's The Lost World, Michael Bay's recent films are infested with these moments. Also, Michael not everything needs to be shot like a damn music video.
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12:36PM on 06/25/2014
I don't know what film you watched, or if you even watched it, but TF3 was fucking AWESOME, and way better than 1 and 2 put together. You're talking just to talk.
I don't know what film you watched, or if you even watched it, but TF3 was fucking AWESOME, and way better than 1 and 2 put together. You're talking just to talk.
12:48PM on 06/25/2014
I saw TF3 with a hardcore TRANSFORMERS fan: 20 minutes in, we were heckling the flick a la MST3K. My buddy's best line: "Rose Huntington-Whitely's acting makes Megan Fox look like Natalie Portman!"
I saw TF3 with a hardcore TRANSFORMERS fan: 20 minutes in, we were heckling the flick a la MST3K. My buddy's best line: "Rose Huntington-Whitely's acting makes Megan Fox look like Natalie Portman!"
12:59PM on 06/25/2014
@Stratburst there was one review that said Rosie Huntington-Whiteley made Megan Fox look like Meryl Streep. The Nostalgia Chick also nicknamed her "Surprised Duckface", which is apt. Transformers 3 was better than the second but only marginally. Thankfully, Age of Extinction is better, but only relative to the low standards of 2 and 3.
@Stratburst there was one review that said Rosie Huntington-Whiteley made Megan Fox look like Meryl Streep. The Nostalgia Chick also nicknamed her "Surprised Duckface", which is apt. Transformers 3 was better than the second but only marginally. Thankfully, Age of Extinction is better, but only relative to the low standards of 2 and 3.
11:29AM on 06/26/2014
Jeff Knite- What were you watching? Cause the TF3 I saw sucked! It was good, with a Rifftrax, but without the rifftrax it sucked for multiple reasons. So..you like Ken Jeong annoying the shit out of the audience? You liked watching a brainless model have to verbally bitch slap Megatron just to get him to fight? TF3 was better than TF2, but by 1/2 a star. Also 36% on rottentomatoes, world viewers have agreed and decided, the movie was shit.
Earth called it wants you to leave cause your taking
Jeff Knite- What were you watching? Cause the TF3 I saw sucked! It was good, with a Rifftrax, but without the rifftrax it sucked for multiple reasons. So..you like Ken Jeong annoying the shit out of the audience? You liked watching a brainless model have to verbally bitch slap Megatron just to get him to fight? TF3 was better than TF2, but by 1/2 a star. Also 36% on rottentomatoes, world viewers have agreed and decided, the movie was shit.
Earth called it wants you to leave cause your taking up too much space.
11:42AM on 06/25/2014
This is (almost literally) a condensed rehash of the Everything Wrong With... video that was posted in the Cool Videos section a while ago.

Bay can do good, and he can do very bad. It's great, though, that he managed to bounce back from this turkey and make a very solid third entry.
This is (almost literally) a condensed rehash of the Everything Wrong With... video that was posted in the Cool Videos section a while ago.

Bay can do good, and he can do very bad. It's great, though, that he managed to bounce back from this turkey and make a very solid third entry.
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11:10AM on 06/25/2014

michael bay

I am a huge fan of him and At this point in his career he can do no wrong! i seriously hope "age" gets some love during awards season, he is long due some love.
I am a huge fan of him and At this point in his career he can do no wrong! i seriously hope "age" gets some love during awards season, he is long due some love.
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11:03AM on 06/25/2014
On the upside all Transformers movie are good Blu Ray demo discs that give home cinema system a good exercise. The only thing I hate about Revenge of the Fallen is annoying Human characters. I hate that Tech guy who keeps saying "Feel/Fuel the jet" repeatedly and it's freakin' annoying. And they could do without the Wrecking Balls. So far, excluding Transformers 4, I like the first movie the best. Hopefully Transformers 4 will breath a good life to Transformers movie.
On the upside all Transformers movie are good Blu Ray demo discs that give home cinema system a good exercise. The only thing I hate about Revenge of the Fallen is annoying Human characters. I hate that Tech guy who keeps saying "Feel/Fuel the jet" repeatedly and it's freakin' annoying. And they could do without the Wrecking Balls. So far, excluding Transformers 4, I like the first movie the best. Hopefully Transformers 4 will breath a good life to Transformers movie.
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11:00AM on 06/25/2014

michael bay

I am a huge fan of him and At this point in his career he can do no wrong! i seriously hope "age" gets some love during awards season, he is long due some love.
I am a huge fan of him and At this point in his career he can do no wrong! i seriously hope "age" gets some love during awards season, he is long due some love.
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10:51AM on 06/25/2014
I completely understand the hate on Michael Bay. He has a distinct style and has crafted some very glamourous shots, a skill honed directing music videos. However, even setting aside how much of a douche he has proven himself to be in interviews and behind the scenes material, he is often very indulgent and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the perfect example of what happens when Bay is left to his own devices. Thanks to the Writer's Guild strike, Bay wound up re-writing large chunks of
I completely understand the hate on Michael Bay. He has a distinct style and has crafted some very glamourous shots, a skill honed directing music videos. However, even setting aside how much of a douche he has proven himself to be in interviews and behind the scenes material, he is often very indulgent and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the perfect example of what happens when Bay is left to his own devices. Thanks to the Writer's Guild strike, Bay wound up re-writing large chunks of dialogue by himself on the fly, resulting in truly grating attempts at humour.

Revenge of the Fallen has too many superfluous side plots, annoying characters and nonsensical story directions to actually count. Far more so than in the first movie, there is a lot of fat to trim. That is true to different degrees for all four movies: somewhere in there, there are fun, entertaining summer blockbusters. But at over 2.5 hours long, it's overkill. In Revenge of the Fallen in particular, there is so much noisy, incoherent clanging that it is really difficult to care when Optimus is actually killed, because it just feels so numbing and inconsequential. The level of racism, sexism, jingoism and obnoxious product placement are at an all-time high in this one. Definitely the lowest point of this film series.
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10:34AM on 06/25/2014

I will never understand...

... all the hate on Michael Bay ! This guy is a great director !

RIP Eli Wallach... " When You have to shoot- shoot, don't talk ! "
... all the hate on Michael Bay ! This guy is a great director !

RIP Eli Wallach... " When You have to shoot- shoot, don't talk ! "
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10:50AM on 06/25/2014
I took the time to log in just to give your comment a thumbs down. No....just no...he is a skid mark on the underwear of cinema.
I took the time to log in just to give your comment a thumbs down. No....just no...he is a skid mark on the underwear of cinema.
11:04AM on 06/25/2014
Id love michael bays star wars!
Id love michael bays star wars!
11:14AM on 06/25/2014
to Michael Bay haters : you have the right to think he sucks, I totaly disagree (for me he is a genius) but you have the right to think that....

but I am sure that you still watch every movie of MB at the theaters.... It's a normal thing, I hate some kind of movies and some directors, but I watch often those movies because I want to watch the movies everybody talk about.... that"s why movie studios doesn't care about our opinion !
to Michael Bay haters : you have the right to think he sucks, I totaly disagree (for me he is a genius) but you have the right to think that....

but I am sure that you still watch every movie of MB at the theaters.... It's a normal thing, I hate some kind of movies and some directors, but I watch often those movies because I want to watch the movies everybody talk about.... that"s why movie studios doesn't care about our opinion !
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