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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.87%
Worth A Look: 10.24%
Average: 7.87%
Pretty Bad: 17.32%
Total Crap56.69%

7 reviews, 85 user ratings

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
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by Erik Childress

"Michael Bay : Satan : The Fallen"
1 stars

I have absolutely no problem calling Michael Bay a liar. I’ve called the guy just about everything I possibly could in print and in private to describe his below-below par storytelling skills and action framing, so why not a liar? The lie in question refers to a message board entry from Bay where he describes screening the film for Steven Spielberg and quotes him as saying he believed it was Bay’s best work. Actually the quote was that Spielberg felt the film was “awesome” and “better than the first.” Bay added the rest of the speculation and this is where I add the word “bullshit.” Sorry, don’t believe it for a second. Despite Spielberg sharing executive producer credit with Bay (my own personal version of the moment where Johnny Depp’s Ed Wood shares screen time with Orson Welles) I find it hard to believe that the guy who has delivered some of the best action set pieces ever filmed would look at Bay’s work and deliver such a compliment. Putting aside all of Bay’s previous work, including the original Transformers (based on the most puzzling of all toy lines from my youth), I don’t care whose name is attached to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This is the single worst film to be released thus far in the summer of 2009 and that’s a whole helluva pile of bad to overcome in achieving that title.

In a summer already filled with ill-conceived prologues, Revenge of the Fallen makes the biggest leap of all in reminding us of Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 B.C. That’s how long the Transformers have apparently been around on Earth, waiting in dormant for the moment when modern visual effects can finally do justice to their story. And when you can find someone to explain it to me, tell them to keep it to themselves. From what I can deduce from the jumbled histrionics on screen, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is headed to college and ready to leave megatron-hot mechanic girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox), behind. Before he leaves he gets a glimpse of the last shard of Spark cube that all the robots were after the first time and it leaves him with random visions of ancient symbols that make him write on the walls like a mental patient and create faces like a cartoon character who just laid their eyes on a Megan Fox.

The Decepticons want the shard to free their leader, Megatron, and proceed to hunt down Sam to find it. Their efforts include their apparent newfound technology to create a Whorebot in the guise of a horny frat party gal who, even in the world of Transformers, needs to be explained by the fanboys who ask us to take this crap seriously. You want me to believe an alien race of robots was spawned with the ability to disguise themselves as Earthbound technologies, using only their own moving parts and nothing else? Fine. What species on their planet was disguising themselves as a hot blonde to do anything but the necessary photo op on Bumblebee’s hood or serve as a silhouette for Optimus Prime’s mudflap? More plot is worked in including the government’s effort to limit the military’s co-habitation with the Autobots (which consists of one potshot after another against Barack Obama - including the knowledge that he's been whisked to a bunker once the country is under attack), the return of John Turturro’s disgraced government agent (complete with G-string action) and something or other involving a robot known as “The Fallen”. What serves as the screenplay co-written by Ehren Kruger and original writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (who also penned this summer’s Star Trek) stops midway – in what must now be referred here on out as the “Old Spock Moment” – to explain the backstory to us and instead only muddles things further. Just minutes removed from each new introduction to the ever-revolving plotting, I could remember next-to-nothing about how each element related to anything.

What I will remember about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are Mudflap and Skids, two Autobots who have been molded around the crudest of African-American stereotypes. It’s no joke that they are being referred to in some circles as Sambots. Voiced by Spongebob Squarepants himself (Tom Kelly), these annoying attempts at comic relief come complete with a single gold tooth, enough jive to rival the passengers from Airplane and a proclamation that they “don’t really do much reading.” Bay’s further destruction of a library with LaBeouf on hand seems like a direct counter to Spielberg’s theme of education that was so prevalent in last summer’s Crystal Skull. As always though, Bay is content to never limit his contempt for just one single demographic let alone literates. For those who didn’t get enough of the rat sex from Bad Boys II, Bay gives you two shots of dogs humping in this sequel, plus a tiny Transformer giving a little action to Megan Fox’s leg. Revenge of the Fallen puts guys at their superficial worst (and I’m no exception) as you’re liable to get a greater emotional reaction just staring at Fox in every scene she’s in (especially as a focal point of calm during the action sequences which are the worst Bay’s ever done – and that’s saying something.) Not a single female on campus is below model quality. The frat parties look like the inside of a Spearmint Rhino. Prior to the revelation of the Whoreicon’s true nature, Bumblebee (Sam’s mute robot car for the uninitiated) at one point taps into his inner fratboy by violently slamming her head into the dashboard for daring to make time with his faithful owner and, for good measure, spraying some gooey internal fluid into her face. Sam’s mom is also given extended screen time to run around campus high on pot brownies. Yes folks, watching Michael Bay stage comedy is like seeing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad perform at a Bar Mitzvah.

Action fans are here for the action though. With the exception of the first 20 minutes of the attack sequence in Pearl Harbor, Bay has never understood the concept of spacing, geography, time, planning or execution when it comes to his set pieces. Even worse, when his harshest critics call him on it all the time, its as if he comes back with an “I know better” swagger and just give us more extreme close-ups and no idea as to how to build excitement or a sense of what the motivation for each particular battle is all about. Most of us can put aside the idea that two unstoppable forces going mano-a-mano can still be exciting as long as the fight is good. (See the first three Terminator films.) I don’t know if even Spielberg or James Cameron could have provided the necessary personality to two giant CGI creations to make us care about the outcome, but I have enough faith in their abilities to believe we would at least know who was who when they are fighting. Can even the hardest core fans of the Transformers name ten of the robots on display here? Will they honestly be pleased by being able to do no more than point and say “hey, it’s tattooed jet - or pyramid pillager?” The film would have been better off dusting off Omar Sharif and his crushed car costume from Top Secret. More believable and his facial hair was real. Chase scenes start in one location and then mysteriously wind up completely in another such as a forest or the middle of a desert that all of a sudden becomes a police chase through an Egyptian town. For those who always wondered what Jumper might look like in the hands of Michael Bay, the film literally does just that halfway through to transport the action to the middle of Egypt. It wasn’t enough that he destroyed the Shantytowns of Cuba to climax Bad Boys II. Down with the pyramids goes Bay in the indecipherable final half-hour of this garbage.

Fanboys can come with their knives sharpened, sight unseen, to ginsu all of us for not seeing eye-to-eye on this unfathomably precious commodity. But if they are so easily able to dismiss all of the glaring flaws, poor taste and even poorer action on display then they are just as much a part of the problem with why this summer has been such a parade of crap on the blockbuster circuit. You need to demand more from films like this. Critics understand this isn’t Citizen Kane. We’ve heard your every line in trying to dismiss our opinions. But this isn’t even Megaforce. Yes it has good special effects, but so what? So did the first one. We’ve seen it. In fact, the couple new FX shots in the film (such as the Slutbot’s receding flesh and the Devastator’s sandsucking) are noticeably shoddy and cut down the argument that as a technical exercise it’s superior in some way. It is not. In no way imaginable. It’s stupid, offensive (it’s only missing a depiction of the mentally handicapped – though I suspect that was represented in the chair marked “Director”), overlong at two-and-a-half hours and boring. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is some action-packed extravaganza. Minutes 60-120 is nearly all exposition and what’s to come isn’t worth the wait. Turning Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen into a smash hit makes you all enablers. If you want to do your part to witness the saving of the human race, stop going to see Michael Bay films.

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originally posted: 06/24/09 14:00:00
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User Comments

1/21/12 Chris Not a fan of parts of it and it has low points but still has some ok action scenes 3 stars
11/21/11 cody a good sequel with great effects , good actions scenes, and good directing 4 stars
10/19/11 Magic To date, the worst movie I've seen in a theater. And I've seen Epic Movie in a theater. 1 stars
10/14/11 ashley rexrode its okay but megan fox cant act 3 stars
7/26/11 Meep A mixture of awesome shit and just plain shit 3 stars
5/26/11 chris c Stabbing my eyes out would be less painful to watch, fire Michael Bay 1 stars
5/08/11 MOJOJO Somehow a worse film than the first Transformers. Quite an accomplishment! 1 stars
5/15/10 mr.mike While pretty much non-stop action , it goes on far too long. 3.5 stars. 3 stars
4/13/10 Jeff Wilder A cheap amusement park ride disguised as a movie 1 stars
3/04/10 dude horrible 1 stars
1/22/10 Corey Weaver A film that thinks talking down to the audience is a good thing. 1 stars
12/27/09 randy todger bay is a hack.editing is piss poor.give big budget movies to talented directors 1 stars
11/12/09 cr a pretty good sequel , with lots of action and laughs, but to much language man. but cool 3 stars
10/26/09 Mr.Carrot66 Besides the fact that some are only there to fill the politically correct quotas but seem t 5 stars
10/25/09 Roy100 They put their hands in to the crystals and Ah'len amazes Trip by telling him that his favo 5 stars
10/25/09 Wolf45 This narration suggests that Veronica is explicitly speaking to an audience within the stor 3 stars
10/25/09 Koitus Wow, was this BAD... Two passable action scenes and Megan in leather does NOT make a movie 1 stars
10/24/09 SouthWind59 The definition of a stable model was generalized to programs with choice rules. , <a href=" 4 stars
10/24/09 BadGirl21 That's exactly the strategy which the party successfully followed in the local elections - 2 stars
10/23/09 Maxx68 For it clearly matters for its own sake. , 2 stars
10/23/09 JXL10 Oh but we already had a clue about the power of Africa to sanitize a reputation or a cause. 3 stars
10/23/09 BadGirl72 Institute of Museum and Library Services. , 2 stars
10/21/09 Felix Why do I get the feeling that nearly all the five-star rates are the same people?? PATHETIC 1 stars
9/25/09 george webster What a jumbled mess 2 stars
9/12/09 Sugarfoot So awful...I barely know where to start. 1 stars
8/03/09 David A. Two hours listening to robots grunt and groan--how bad can it get? 1 stars
7/26/09 arn magnusson i felt dizzy watching this on iMAX 1 stars
7/23/09 michael mann simply awful 1 stars
7/22/09 WTF? Gumby, you're a dumbass there are way better movies adapted from a cartoon you dumb cunt 1 stars
7/22/09 Gummby3 A+. You're viewing a movie adaptated from a cartoon. Expecting Shakespeare? 5 stars
7/21/09 Wow, Just Wow Wow.......I simply cannot understand why people like this movie. I simply cannot understand 1 stars
7/19/09 Stevo I never fall asleep at the cinema. Until I saw this film. Why? BECAUSE IT'S SHIT. 1 stars
7/18/09 optimus prime ilike you bumblebee 5 stars
7/18/09 farah hasyeena it great because many adventure and funny 5 stars
7/18/09 farah natasya its is awesome .itsi so interesting.the optumus prime and the bumblebee is so cute. 5 stars
7/15/09 Abhishek Chakraborty What a betrayal of expecations from the first film. fixed MTV style action camera though 1 stars
7/14/09 faiche13 Not UNentertaining at all - but somewhat insulting to one's intelligence. 3 stars
7/13/09 austin wertman okay, i loved the first movie, but i hated this one 1 stars
7/13/09 TrekFan Michael Bay is to JJ Abrams what Uwe Boll is to Francis Ford Coppola 2 stars
7/12/09 gc Yeah, dogs humping and robot balls are SOOO funny, definately put that in the script 2 stars
7/10/09 whitelaw This is the first movie that made me want to walk out of the theater, it's THAT bad! 1 stars
7/09/09 Special K Look, if you stop paying to see shitty movies, maybe they'll stop making shitty movies. 1 stars
7/06/09 The Grinch I didn't think it could get worse than the original. Guess Bay thought that was a dare. 1 stars
7/06/09 Oscar G Yeah It's not Gandhi, but escapist fun does not mean braindead. 2 stars
7/04/09 Rio This is what happens when Michael Bay's brain takes a dump. 1 stars
7/04/09 roger federer worst sequel ever. Decapitate Michael Bay 1 stars
7/01/09 pantera this is the worst blockbuster sequel ever made 1 stars
6/30/09 Crispy I hated this movie, because I have a brain. 1 stars
6/30/09 MEGATRON fantastic pornographic robotic sequences.. LOOOOVVVEEE it man!! 5 stars
6/30/09 Real-person reviewer This is not meant to be a meaningful movie like "Ghandi", but pure escapist fun, so enjoy!! 4 stars
6/30/09 GrandMaster T You get given $150mil to make a movie about transforming robots. How do you f*ck this up? 1 stars
6/30/09 Kent I won't argue with everyone's plot criticisms-- the visual effects were impressive, though. 4 stars
6/30/09 MVC its an 80's animated episode turned into a 2009 experience, enjoy it for what it is! 4 stars
6/30/09 Fruit Loops Such a BAD movie. I wish I had read reviews before I went to see it 1 stars
6/30/09 BoyInTheDesignerBubble stereotypes are hillarious. God save us!! This movie was trash. 1 stars
6/30/09 Luisa monotonous loud action became annoying; ran too long too 2 stars
6/29/09 alan good 4 stars
6/29/09 Used39 Eh... entertaining enough. Pretty stupid, but enjoyable. 2 stars
6/29/09 Tom Servo 'the action in this one was more intense than the 1st'-yeah so was the boredom 1 stars
6/29/09 Monty A True sign of the end times. 1 stars
6/28/09 god am anyone who liked this should be executed promptly - seriously. 1 stars
6/27/09 gandalf worst movie i have ever seen 5 stars
6/27/09 Michael Bay's Soul ROBOT TESTICLES R FUNNY! This movie is not. 1 stars
6/27/09 Brock Sampson It will be fun watching the illiterate fanboys defend this garbage. Insultingly bad movie. 1 stars
6/27/09 Dave if I could give this movie negative stars I would. 1 stars
6/27/09 pran absolute crap, cant believe a piece of art can be this bad. its a disgrace to human rac 1 stars
6/27/09 Jack From Jaws to this? Spielberg should take his money as exec prod. and go into hiding. 1 stars
6/26/09 Steve Michaud Dear God, is this what summer entertainment has come to? 1 stars
6/26/09 KingNeutron 4.5 / 5 *s - the action in this one was more intense than the 1st 4 stars
6/26/09 JR I feel sorry for those who actually enjoyed watching this POS. 1 stars
6/26/09 Aaron I'm not a fanboy, but I did enjoy the hell out of this. 4 stars
6/26/09 George Critics are so full of themselves. See the movie an judge for yourself people. 5 stars
6/25/09 TB I was sent to review this film for on-air, and walked out. IT'S THAT BAD. 1 stars
6/25/09 Craig Ranapia I didn't much like this film, but the experience was nothing like being raped. 3 stars
6/25/09 Maven Brick headed stupidity mixed with racism! Another 1-2 punch from Michael Bay! 1 stars
6/25/09 Pato This is entertainment people, not a doctoral thesis, it was fun!! Critics suck!! 4 stars
6/25/09 Brad Schroeder If your over 25 and thought this movie was good i feel sorry for you 1 stars
6/25/09 Kevin Meyer I thought the film was better than the first, and easily his best, most epic film yet. 5 stars
6/25/09 Viral Hey, fuck you. How can you say anything released this year was worse than Dragonball. 4 stars
6/25/09 V8Thrasher i stopped taking this review seriously once i saw how much he hated Bay. Prejudice he is. 4 stars
6/25/09 Anthony An honest review, but I think 98 percent of normal people disagree. 4 stars
6/24/09 Darkstar Just remember, it's Michael Bay not William Shakespeare. I didn't think it sucked. 4 stars
6/24/09 Daniel Kelly A massive annoyance, cool CGI but everything else is sub par 2 stars
6/24/09 Michael Yeah, I can admit too that I like "The Rock" and "Armageddon". 3 stars
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  24-Jun-2009 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Oct-2009


  DVD: 20-Oct-2009

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