Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


Review by Mark Lengieza

Back in 2007, Michael Bay launched the latest franchise of mega blockbuster summer films with his excellent take on Hasbro’s popular Transformers toy line.  I thought the film was absolutely fantastic.  It was one of the most fun experiences I have ever had in a theater.  I ranked it as my #1 film of the year.  Needless to say, the sequel was by far my most anticipated film of this year.

I saw the film at a packed midnight screening.  The film is going to pull in massive numbers, but that is not what I am here to talk to you about - you want to know how good the film was.  Well, I can tell you that I was sorely disappointed.  I wanted to love it.  I wanted it to be a film that I would rush out and see again, one that I can’t wait for the DVD.  Unfortunately, it simply wasn’t that great.

I think the writers of the film just got way too lazy with Revenge of the Fallen.  They knew that it was going to be a sure-fire hit, so they decided that rather making sharp dialogue and a proper story, they catered to the mass audiences.  The film is just so filled with stupid humor.  When I go to an action movie, I am not looking to laugh.  Now I will say this: the humor from the first film is one of the reasons it was so enjoyable for me.  It made the characters likeable.  I thought it was handled very well.  Here it was just the opposite.  Some of the jokes worked (John Turturro was outstanding again, probably the best part about the film) but most did not.  Most were simply stupid gags that only 10-year olds would find funny (or, ya know, the people that made Paul Blart a huge hit).  There were even two characters that made me utter the words “These guys are the Jar Jar Binks” of the Transformers franchise.  (I’ll let you figure out who I mean.)

The action in the film was outstanding.  The explosions, the special effects, the visuals were superb.  Michael Bay remains the best in the business when it comes to this.  I just wish that his script wasn’t so dumbed-down.  There was definitely a lot of potential here.  There were several parts that I really enjoyed.  Optimus Prime is such a great and likeable character.  You really feel for him.  I just wish they gave some of the other Transformers more screen time and made the Decepticons more menacing.  I just think they could have cut about 45 minutes out of the film, took out a lot that made it stupid, and had a much better film, but like I said, they were catering to the masses with this one.  The crowd I saw it with had a great reaction, laughed at most of the stupid jokes, and applauded at the action.  It’s also never a bad thing to see Megan Fox looking more luscious than ever.  I had fun watching the film, but there were so many flaws, and it doesn’t even come close to the first.

3 ½ / 5 stars

Review by Chris Maitland

In 2007, the most epic blockbuster in a long time was released - Michael Bay’s Transformers. It was a loud, explosive and a just plain awesome spectacle of a film. I went to a midnight screening of that film with a bunch of friends and we all had a blast. It is now 2009, and the sequel for which I have been eagerly awaiting, my most anticipated film of the year, is here.


I have heard lot of critics and moviegoers bashing this film because it is “dumb and racist”. It is neither of those things, especially “racist”. Another complaint I have been hearing is it that the plot and the acting are bad. Another absurd complaint… it’s Transformers its not trying to be piece of high-brow art!


Revenge of the Fallen continues the story of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBoeuf), who goes off to college and plans to live a normal life. Unfortunately, he brings with him a piece of the powerful All-Spark, a highly-valued treasure for the evil Decepticons. So once again, The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, must duel it out again with Decepticons and their resuscitated leader, Megatron.


Simply put, this movie is awesome. Bay knows the kind of film he wants to make and he makes them very well. The action sequences are breathtaking and non-stop. The effects are mind-boggling and the explosions are top-notch. The acting and the story line aren’t the greatest, but who cares?  It sets out simply to entertain, and it accomplishes that. On another note, Megan Fox has never looked better ever she is so amazingly attractive that is also boggles the mind.


My only problem with the film was the humor, which was, even I must admit, really bad. These were jokes that I think only the younger audiences will find funny (younger even than I, who am 17). The jokes really dumb and kind of took away from the film. The really, truly only funny thing that worked in this film was John Turturro’s character. He was a riot whenever he was on the screen.


This was a bona fide summer blockbuster with no pretense of being something it isn’t, and as long as you don’t go in overanalyzing the plausibility of the events of the film, you will enjoy yourself thoroughly like I did.  Get some popcorn, a soda and some friends and go check it out.


4 ½ / 5 stars


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