collegiatetimes.com june 25, 2009
‘Transformers:’ More than meets critics’ eyes The battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons rages on in the sequel to the surprise hit “Transformers” from 2007. MATT In“Transformers: Revenge of the ARTZ Fallen,” a short features amount of time editor has passed since the events of the first “Transformers.” The Autobots have joined forces with the United States government to form an elite tactical squad to search out and destroy remaining Decepticons still hiding on our planet. Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky is preparing to go off to college and try to be a normal kid, despite having an unreasonably hot girlfriend and a car that transforms into a robot who acts like his personal body guard. Unfortunately for Sam, the war between the two robotic races will interfere with his life once more. A small shard from the destroyed Allspark from the previous movie is left behind in Sam’s possession. It causes him to have strange visions with unknown meanings that he must figure out before it’s too late. The plot of the film is fairly standard
stuff as far as movie premises go. The problem the plot faces is that it jumps around quite a bit, causing some viewers to be confused by scene changes. That said, it’s very easy to ignore this because the film keeps the viewer interested. S c e n e MOVIE REVIEW c h a n g e s always lead to some plot development and new action sequences. The action grows throughout the film, but peaks early. What seems like the closing note in the battle leads to a final confrontation that is enjoyable to watch, but not as awe-inspiring as the images before it. That being said, the film does a great job of showing us some dramatic, special effects-driven action. It would seem director Michael Bay takes the sentiment “actions speak louder than words” a step further with astounding computer-generated graphics and live-action explosions. There are portions of this film that are never explained that will cause casual viewers to be dumbfounded. Thestorylinebehind“Transformers” is very convoluted, both in the movies and in its previous mediums such as comics and cartoons. There are so many iterations of them that it’s hard to keep them straight. Bay seems to adapt mate-
Optimus Prime prepares to battle multiple Decepticons in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” rial from the entire Transformers The Fallen, the titular villain, is the universe in order to make his films, best example, as he has powers and but doesn’t do a great job explaining abilities that aren’t explained in the characterstics of the new robots. film. In order to understand the background of this movie, it would be a good idea to re-watch the first one before going. This film is, from start to finish, a feast for the eyes. Visually, Bay and the artists at Industrial Light & Magic know how to make robots transform and, more importantly, fight. Action movies pride themselves on non-stop rollercoaster rides, but often have long periods of downtime. This movie does not have that downtime. The biggest surprise to this film is how fight sequences are shown. Had the robots been replaced with people, the movie would have easily been rated R because of the graphic ways in which robots are dismantled. Robotic hearts and heads are pulled apart in slow motion form that can only be describe as amazing. Comedy is another underrated portion of this film. The previous movie had multitudes of cute, matter-of-fact humor. The scenes in this film are more straightforward comedy and it comes in boatloads. Sometimes, it does try a little too hard to express it, especially through the robots Mudflap and Skids. Sam’s parents are also back, causing more family-related drama that transpires on screen to a hilarious version of what college students go through when they leave home for the first time. The acting in this film is comparable to the last film. The main actors from the previous film return to give mixed performances. Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky and fits right back into the role. He can’t seem to get away from
being a smart-mouthed young adult, but it is a performance he is good at. Megan Fox returns as eye candy for the film, although she does have more emotional depth the second time around. I was pleasantly surprised by her in this film.
Showtimes Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 11:30 a.m., 12:10, 12:50, 1:40, 2:50, 3:30, 4:10, 5:00, 6:10, 6:50, 7:30, 8:20, 9: 30, 10:10, 10:50 p.m. Regal New River Valley Stadium 14 The Air Force Special forces from the previous film that include Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel are back, but seem to have taken a backseat to simply being the military enforcers who help the Autobots when needed. A huge change in the film is the Transformers now have much larger parts in the film. The number of giant robots are almost quadrupled, giving them almost as much screen time as the actors. This gives way to the new importance of Optimus Prime. He is just as much an actor in the film as any of the others. His performance in the film draws from the cartoon show, as well as his dialogue. He seems like a corny, Saturday morning cartoon character stereotype of a leader, but that is who he is and the film is faithful to recreating that image. This film is in every way the bigger, better sequel to the first Transformers film. Non-stop action and thrills make for a great movie, so long as the sometimes confusing plot development can be ignored.
Thursday, June 25, 2009 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times