Better Than The First – Andy B On Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

Last night I did a strange thing. I went to the midnight screening of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. Strange, because I hated the orignal film. Hatred is not too strong a sentiment, either. The novelty of watching the robots transform didn’t last long for me, and while it was cool seeing Optimus Prime on the big screen, I found the original film’s story horrible, the performances atrocious, and the actual look of the movie hard to bear, especially with the quick editing that never allowed us to feel the Autobots and Decepticons were anything more than CGI creations.

So colour me pretty surprised when I actually found myself enjoying Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.

Director Michael Bay must have taken the problematic editing of the first film into consideration, because this time around I could actually appreciate the machine to machine combat throughout the movie. Rather than quick cuts, battles seem to just move more fluidly than in the previous film. There are some great action sequences; how could there not be, right? This is a Michael Bay movie. Storywise, we’re dealing with the ressurection of Megatron, the death of a core character, and the revelation that the Transformers had been on Earth long before anyone suspected. It’s all fairly simple, and considering that it was written by Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the men behind the script for this year’s spectacular Star Trek reboot, I can’t help feeling like it could have been better, bolder. But while the end was never really in doubt, I still found myself having fun with the film.

I typically don’t enjoy Shia LaBeouf, but he was certainly more entertaining as Sam in Revenge Of The Fallen than he was in either the last Transformers film or Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Megan Fox? Well, she literally had nothing to do except stand around at have Michael Bay shoot her in a variety of poses, a job well done. In a film where acting is secondary to effects, the one returning character who totally stole the show for me was Julie White as Sam’s mom. White has a few moments early on in the film where she is absolutely hillarious. In fact, humour is one thing that Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen actually has going for it in abundance. I didn’t think I would be laughing throughout the film nearly as much as I was.

How you respond to this latest entry into the Transformers world, however, may correlate directly with how you feel generally about the franchise. As someone who grew up watching the animated series, I still got a kick out of the subtle issues between Megatron and Starscream. I thought it was very cool that Soundwave’s voice was voiced by Frank Welker, who originally voiced the character in the tv show. And there were cheers in the theater I was in when Optimus Prime, voiced by Pter Cullen, another original voice actor, said his tag line “roll out”.

Ultimately, Revenge Of The Fallen is far better than I expected it to be, especially considering how much of a hate on I had for the original Transformers film. And while the movie may be totally predictable and lacking any form of substance, it still managed to keep me awake and entertained for two and a half hours in the middle of the night.

That’s something, right?

Now the next question is, how will another Hasbro toy property, G.I. Joe, fair this summer? Will it beat the Transformers or get crushed in the robot onslaught? Let us know what you think by voting in our Biff Bam Pop poll!

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