OK, I’m a bit of a Hasbro geek. I loved playing with GI JOE and Transformers as a kid. Having all out battles with man versus machine on our rock fireplace or launching them off the trampoline in the backyard was a highlight of growing up. The thing is, there were really only two cool toys for boys back then.
I have four boys now, and besides LEGO, there is no ‘unifying’ toy that everyone at school plays with. There are a thousand versions of lame manga cartoon toys out there: Pokemon, Bakugon, Avatars, etc, etc. NERF still makes dart guns, but other than that it’s sort of like every kid has a new toy you’ve never heard of.
‘Back in the day’, every boy I knew had a Transformer, even if they hadn’t memorized Rodimus Prime’s spiritual journey, kill stats or fighting abilities, they still knew how to transform him, and mash his plastic trailer into Optimus’ metal face.
So imagine how amazing it is to see your favourite toy, life size and kicking butt on the big screen. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is the loudest, best-looking action film I have EVER seen. It is 150 minutes long, and rarely does 5 minutes go by without a metal-crunching, jaw-dropping transformation sequence, epic battle or sweet missile launch. It’s faster, cooler, louder and more violent than part one. Optimus’ original transformation in episode one was my previous nomination for best special effects sequence ever captured on film. It is far surpassed this year by Ironhide’s transformation in the first few minutes – amazing!
It’s certainly not perfect. Don’t say I didn’t warn you:
- Megan Fox is dustier, sweatier and her lips are even glossier. (I realize most 14-84 year olds will like this, but I’d say it’s exploitative. Her character is cool enough, and she looks good enough that you don’t have to have her ‘riding’ a motorbike to appreciate her)
- It is a running add for the US Military. I was looking for the recruiting station when we stepped out of the theatre.
- The story is not tight. Why didn’t the Decepticons destroy the Earth when they had the chance 3/4 of the way through the film?
- The language is a little rough, and they certainly amped up the cuss words from film #1. The transformers don’t swear of course (except for two new, crude little twin Autobots) but the humans say shit and ass as much as possible. Occasionally funny, usually unnecessary.
I don’t know if Micheal Bay is in the army, works for the government or has a best-buddy in the Pentagon, but he seems to have access to every thing he wants. Aircraft carriers, drones, tanks, soldiers, all figure prominently in the film. I don’t know how he gets the shots he does, but they’re pretty amazing. Bay certainly doesn’t seem to be an Obama fan, which is fine by me, it wouldn’t hurt to hear someone in Hollywood criticize him for the first time (even if it is for kicking the Autobots off of Earth)…
I saw the Tomatometer currently has it at a 22% critic rating. If you’re going to this movie hoping for a tight plot, character-driven storylines, or to see if Micheal Bay is trying to make some kind of pre-apocalyptic comment on the relationship of man and machine then you are an idiot. How could you? Shame on you! Go for the action, the explosions, the amazing special-effects or the fact that you think a giant semi-truck could be a hero.