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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Shia LaBeouf
Megan Fox
Josh Duhamel
Tyrese Gibson
John Turturro
Isabel Lucas
Rainn Wilson.
Directors
Michael Bay.
Screenwriters
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Ehren Kruger.
Running Time
150 minutes

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Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Bigger, badder, madder, faster, more intense!


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Plot
Autobots and the US military have united to form NEST, an elite unit dedicated to wiping out Decepticons. But when they catch a rogue ‘bot in Shanghai, it warns that something very bad is heading for Earth: a diabolical entity known as ‘The Fallen’.


Review
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Browse more images »
A notable moment occurs during the dementedly frenetic final act of Transformers 2. A robot-on-robot fracas is unfolding around Egypt’s Giza Necropolis, with Devastator, an especially massive mechanoid comprised of several construction vehicles, set on clawing its way to the peak of a pyramid. As it lumbers up the dusty colossus, a shot tilts up to its mid-section, revealing two wrecking balls dangling down. Yes, Michael Bay, the man who brought us cyber-micturition in this movie’s predecessor, has one-upped himself: Decepticon testicles.

If the thought of that gag makes you laugh, chances are you’ll have a ball with Revenge Of The Fallen. If not… well, Bay really doesn’t care. His first and only sequel since Bad Boys 2 is, like that film, marked by swaggering confidence, wild excess and a string of bad-taste jokes. Dogs hump each other, robots hump human legs and the camera spends so much time ogling Megan Fox’s torso you start to wonder if it’s being operated by a 13 year-old boy. There are now 42 robots, including one that looks like a jaguar, one that can turn into ball bearings to access high-security areas and one in the form of a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

It all looks good on paper, as does the added-value 150-minute run time. But it’s a case of same meal, bigger portion, with the flaws of the first not only present but accentuated. You’ll be even more hard pressed at the end of this one to remember which robot’s which — there are three or four new Gremlin-esque ones that chitter and skitter about like the first movie’s Frenzy — and few get more than a scene before Bay’s attention flits elsewhere. Even the Fallen, an Emperor figure to Megatron’s Darth Vader, who can hurl tanks around with the aid of his jagged staff, is only blandly nefarious.

The plot, meanwhile, is as baffling as before, not only bringing back the abstruse Allspark but throwing in a new MacGuffin called the ‘Matrix of Leadership’. It tries harder to be funny but is actually less so, despite Shia LaBeouf working some early new-kid-on-campus schtick, Rainn Wilson amusing in a single scene as a rock-star astronomy teacher, and John Turturro doing an entertaining reprise of MIB wannabe Simmons (“What you’re about to see is top secret: do not tell my mother”). This is a film that doesn’t know where to stop — even comic-relief characters get their own comic-relief characters, like the offensively irritating Twins, who bicker in hip-hop slang, or Wheels, a turncoat Decepticon who for some reason talks like a ‘30s screen gangster.

What saves it, just about, are the effects. At times the frame is so packed with whirring cogs and twirling cranks that you could replicate the effect by staring at the innards of a domestic appliance, but when these CG moto-men from another world duke it out, the images are often so screwy it’s impossible to do anything but sit and stare. The Shanghai-set opening sequence is lunatic fun, with Optimus Prime leaping onto the face of a colossal, rampaging unicycle and ordering it to, “Pull over”. And while Prime’s later forest face-off against a trio of Decepticons suffers by comparison to a recent film’s spar between a big ape and three dinosaurs, there are more flawlessly rendered money shots in the last 40 minutes alone than in a dozen less ambitious blockbusters.

It’s just a shame there aren’t more ideas behind the spectacle, since we’re not given much in the way of compelling reasons to root for one pixelly pugilist over another. Long before the final minute it’s become a numbing, wearying viewing experience. Next time could we have less balls and more brains?


Verdict
A super-sized second helping, but the novelty factor and some of the charm’s gone. Hey, at least there’s more Megatron / Starscream squabbling this time round.


Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Empire Star Rating

RE: Transformers 2

L: Tech_Noir I really think this is one of the best summer blockbusters ever. agree! It's up there with Bad Boys II. ... More

Posted by Scott_ at 19:10, 26 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

I really think this is one of the best summer blockbusters ever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tech_Noir at 19:09, 26 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

L: trueborndjross And come on - a transformer that can turn into an extremely hot girl? Really?! sp; Well, that is based on an established Transformer concept, the Pretenders - Transformers hiding in organic shells. Mind, those shells were of astronauts and monsters, not sexy women... ... More

Posted by The Disciple at 18:27, 26 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

Don't be silly. It's just action linked by shite. I really didn't enjoy it. ... More

Posted by blighty at 14:30, 26 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

Don't be silly. It's just action linked by shite. I really didn't enjoy it. ... More

Posted by blighty at 14:30, 26 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

So who will be going to see number 3 then ? ... More

Posted by Dirk Miggler at 13:24, 26 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

L: Wilbert L: Tech_Noir I've noticed your hatred towards the film has grown since your initial reaction. /quote] It's nothing to do with the racism, either. It's more to do with the beingshitism. hat music from BSG is really good. Have you watched Caprica? I started to watch it twice but couldn't get through it. Will try once more. up, watched it all the way through in one sitting and later the commentary. Different but interesting. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 17:01, 24 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

L: Tech_Noir I've noticed your hatred towards the film has grown since your initial reaction. /quote] It's nothing to do with the racism, either. It's more to do with the beingshitism. hat music from BSG is really good. Have you watched Caprica? I started to watch it twice but couldn't get through it. Will try once more. ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 16:57, 24 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

L: Wilbert L: Tech_Noir I really want to see Transformers 2 again - maybe in IMAX. But the nearest IMAX is Birmingham so that's a no no. ote] That's weird because I i] want to see it again but if I did I'd watch it on the smallest possible screen and I'd pay as little as possible. Ideally it would come free with a newspaper. 've noticed your hatred towards the film has grown since your initial reaction. TW, listen to the link below - going through Galactica nostalgia ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 16:36, 24 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

L: Tech_Noir I really want to see Transformers 2 again - maybe in IMAX. But the nearest IMAX is Birmingham so that's a no no. ote] That's weird because I i] want to see it again but if I did I'd watch it on the smallest possible screen and I'd pay as little as possible. Ideally it would come free with a newspaper. ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 16:30, 24 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

I really want to see Transformers 2 again - maybe in IMAX. But the nearest IMAX is Birmingham so that's a no no. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 11:18, 24 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Transformers 2

I've gone off the film. The first time I watched I had been drinking and I thought it was awesome. Watched it again the other day stone cold sober and I was a little bored...   ...I am going to put this in the same category of films that are better watched with beer and wine in your system (see also the Underworld films, The Rock, King Kong and anything with Adam Sandler in). ... More

Posted by waltham1979 at 10:16, 23 July 2009 | Report This Post


Transformers 2

I have to say I think the Empire review is pretty much spot on for this one. Having really enjoyed the first film I was looking forward to this but I have to say I was a wee bit disappointed (and a little bit bored by the end - running time was way too long!). Don't get me wrong the action is brilliant and the effects are amazing (although in places I was struggling to see just who the hell was hitting who there were that many bloody robots on the screen!). I think the problem with this is it's ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trueborndjross at 14:17, 19 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

Sorry for sending two versions of this review, folks. I didn't think the first version was sent. This was a technical fault due to circumstances beyond my control. ... More

Posted by 00Nothing at 18:33, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

Sorry f ... More

Posted by 00Nothing at 18:29, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

Just back from seeing it. Gotta say, I've very conflicted about the damn film to be honest with you. I suppose it is enjoyable, but the whole thing is way,way, waaaaay over the top than it really needed to be. I was pondering taking my eight year old cousin to see it with me and my friends (he loved the first one) and I'm kinda glad I didn't. For a film that is reputedly aiming for a family audience (I think it is anyway, I may be wrong) the humour throughout the whole film is downright near th... More

Posted by 00Nothing at 18:18, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

My name is Deviation and I love Micheal Bay and 300................   This is obviously all LIES! ... More

Posted by Deviation at 04:02, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

Okay this is third time I've tried to post, so here goes I love this movie, it's fun, it's got heart, it's got incredible effects and it's better than the first! ... More

Posted by JoeyPottr at 03:04, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

I loved this movie just a lot of fun, adrenaline and heart too. The special effects were amazing, better than the first! How can you not like this movie? It's just great fun! ... More

Posted by JoeyPottr at 03:02, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

I loved this movie, it was just an adrenaline rush with humor. I love Shia's freakouts and the realationships between the autobots and the humans. The special effects are absolutely amazing, just incredible robots, there's still a lot of heart in this movie too, which is not what you usually get from sequels. How can you not like this movie? It's amazing! ... More

Posted by JoeyPottr at 03:00, 18 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

I too do not have a girly Spanish name in reality Mr Olaf. am so sorry to have pulled the wool over so many eyes for so long. ... More

Posted by sanchia at 22:09, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

So... your parents didn't name you after a fictional nightclub in an 80s action movie...? Where does it end?!? ... More

Posted by Olaf at 22:03, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

L: igotnewlegs L: Tech_Noir L: Olaf All this deception makes me sad. 'd tell you all my real name but you cannot pronounce it with your primitive Earth language. Damn you're right! Whenever I try to pronounce 'Mehul' it just comes out as 'John'. hhhh - don't give away my name. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 14:57, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

L: Tech_Noir L: Olaf All this deception makes me sad. 'd tell you all my real name but you cannot pronounce it with your primitive Earth language. sp; Damn you're right! Whenever I try to pronounce 'Mehul' it just comes out as 'John'. ... More

Posted by igotnewlegs at 12:52, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Film review (short)

L: Olaf All this deception makes me sad. 'd tell you all my real name but you cannot pronounce it with your primitive Earth language. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 12:19, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


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