Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Case for the Devastator

Actually, let me come right out and say this will not be a case for Devastator – I was not impressed by the return of the megalithic monster Decepticon. For one, he was not (and his components were not) coloured bright green and purple; nor did he stumble around in a loud, slow, thick voice droning “I am Devastator” and be easily beaten by the Autobots; and finally he sucked – literally.

The rest of the film did not suck so badly. At least, I don’t think it did – there are huge tracts of the time I spent in the movie theatre that I can no longer recall, possibly because I was asleep. To say I found this movie slow is not a good sign, given that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen should by definition be an action film. It got off to a fairly heart-pumping start, with Megan “the complete” Fox in uber short shorts straddling and waxing her large motorbike in a way inspirational to those who would be attending a different cinema later in the day. But from there, it all continued on with a multitude of lingering slow shots, Michael Bay relieving his attempts at artistry with the occasional big explosions and chase scenes.

The most successful character is Judy “Mom” Witwicky, her hysteria, histrionics and accidental drug taking adding many quick moments of levity to the glacial plot development, though she just has temporary insanity until John Turturro’s ex Federal Agent Simmons shows up to take over the crazy person role. The leads are all fairly dull, including (it has to be said) the Transformers themselves, who don’t actually get to say much – except for the highly annoying “twins” who must have been both voiced by Chris Tucker to be quite that irritating. The Fallen may have a voice deep enough to shake the theatre, but the Decepticons’ Master Plan is actually fairly dumb and poorly executed, and the whole leg hump scene is just disturbing. Rules of time, space, geography and logic are all abandoned in favour of trips for the crew to Egypt, the East and West Coasts of the USA and lots of orange.

On the bright side, the film is big, bold and bright and definite popcorn fodder, great for viewing with friends and not requiring a huge amount of concentration to follow what is going on (one is hard pressed to really call say the film has a “plot”). Not that this has stopped people from lapping it up, considering how popular it has been on release.

I was less impressed by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen than I thought I would be, but then I remembered that the original Transformers movie seemed shorter and slicker as I had purged all the extraneous subplots and characters that never made it to this film, so perhaps the film is actually on a par.

It will be interesting to see what path number 3 will take: my bet will be that Megatron will avenge his fallen Fallen, first by interrupting Sam’s honeymoon (Megan Fox will of course be in an ultra mini bikini splashing in the Hawaiian waves for the first 30 minutes of the film) and holding him hostage in Angkor Wat, which happens to be an old Decepticon portaloo. After much slow motion soul searching, Optimus Prime will go against the foolish US Administration representatives and lead the brave US soldiers to Asia to rescue Sam, destroying many ancient buildings in the process.

Verdict: More of the same, with a bit less menace, humour and spark, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is less about revenge and more about adding more Transformers to the toy range. Six transformations out of 10.


Kiwi in Zurich said...

I didn't particularly enjoy the first Transformer movie this time around, so after that review I not going to go out of my way to watch the second one.

R said...

My warning is heeded! Well done! :)