run time: 150 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
director: Michael Bay
starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Ramon Rodriguez, Isabel Lucas, John Benjamin Hickey, Glenn Morshower
movie summary: In the first installment of the Transformers series we witnessed an epic battle across the skies and streets of Mission City which led to the super villain Megatron being destroyed when the All Spark was merged with his core. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) stood up for his new Autobot friends and did his best to help Optimus Prime bring down the Decepticons. It’s only been a few months since Sam graduated from high school and is now off to college where he hopes to live a normal life with his long distance girlfriend Mikaela Barnes (Megan Fox). Sam only makes it two days into school before Optimus shows up informing him that another war is coming and he must be prepared.
Before Sam leaves for school he finds a piece of the All Spark in the pocket of his clothes from Mission City. It falls to the floor and when he picks it up the shard passes along all kinds of images and maps. The shard turns super hot and melts the floor down to the kitchen where it energizes every appliance into a Decepticon. Bumblebee, who now lives in the Witwicky garage, springs into action eliminating any threats. While Sam finishes packing and drives off to college the Decepticons have been busy putting themselves in key positions across the globe to locate Megatron who iss buried in the deepest part of the ocean. They are now under the control of The Fallen, an evil ruler who the 7 Primes once tried to defeat in 17,000 BC. He has waited a very long time to launch the Sun Harvest machine to destroy the Sun and earth.
Optimus Prime has been busy with Major William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Master Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) traveling around the world looking for Decepticons. After another disastrous battle on the streets in Shanghai, the US government begins to question their partnership with the Autobots considering the Decepticons are not dead and refuse to go away. The theory is they are hunting Autobots, not trying to take over the world. National Security Advisor Theodore Galloway (John Benjamin Hickey) decides it’s time to stop helping Autobots and that they should prepare to leave the planet. Optimus warns of trouble should they leave but Galloway cuts him off saying everything will be fine, Megatron is dead and any remaining parts of the All Spark are protected.
On the other side of the country a Decepticon breaks into one of the highest guarded buildings in the US to steal a piece of the All Spark to bring Megatron back to life. In college Sam meets his super crazy weird roommate Leo (Roman Rodriguez) who is a huge conspiracy theory buff. He has a website that spreads news of aliens and alien attacks. Sam keeps his life and connection to the Autobots a secret until Bumblebee shows up at a party to get Sam. Optimus tells Sam that Megatron is alive again, The Fallen is coming to steal their sun, and that he needs prepare for war. Sam calls Mikaela to come to the school so they can figure out what to do with the piece of the All Spark that Sam has. Megatron and the Decepticons attack the school looking for Sam because his mind holds the key to the location of the Sun Harvestor. In an attempt to protect Sam from any danger Optimus sacrifices himself and is killed when Megatron’s sword rips through his core. Bumblebee becomes the new leader of the Autobots as they battle on to get Sam to safety.
Leo gets caught up in the attack and when the dust settles he knows the perfect person to decode the symbols in Sam’s mind. The trio hit up a meat store where Sam finds former Sector 7 agent Simmons (Jon Turturro) running his mom’s business. Simmons is shocked to see Sam and wants no part of the action since he cost him his job, Sam tells him Megatron is alive and that the Decepticons are looking for the Sun Harvestor. Simmons takes the kids downstairs into his library and they begin to piece together all the information they have. Mikaela captured a mini Decepticon named Wheelie who tells them that only a Prime could read the symbols since it was their language. The group head to the Smithsonian to find Jetfire, a Decepticon who defected to the Autobots before the great war. Jetfire was reactivated for the first time in decades and doesn’t make much sense at first, Sam explains the situation before Jetfire transports the whole gang to Egypt. He explains that the Sun Harvestor is somewhere in Egypt and that the symbols will lead the way.
Sam, Mikaela, Simmons, Leo, Bumblebee, Skids, and Mudflap begin to search the great deserts, tombs, and pyramids of Egypt looking for the tomb of the Primes. Inside the tomb is the Matrix of Leadership which can help bring Optimus back to life if it is merged with his spark. The Decepticons who have put out an all points bulletin for Sam find him when he crosses the border in Jordan. Megatron instructs all remaining Decepticons to head to the Egyptian desert to kill Sam and the gang. The Fallen learns that Optimus is dead so starts his descend to earth because no one can stop him now. Simmons calls Major Lennox and Sergeant Epps to tell them that they need to get Optimus to Egypt as soon as possible because Sam has a plan to bring him back to life. Just when the group discover the tomb of the Primes, Megatron and the bad guys show up to ignite a rain storm of missiles, bullets, and explosions leaving them to flee for their lives. Lennox and Epps land a team of men to provide a little cover but their future looks bleak because they are out numbered, over powered, and Optimus Prime is dead. Sam is willing to sacrifice his life to help the Autobots win but even that might not be enough to win this war.
my thoughts: Alright, let’s pause for a moment and let the story sink in a little before I tell what I thought…take a deep breath because I’m going to tell you I LOVE this movie. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was what hooked me into the franchise, the Autobots, and Optimus Prime. The first movie is great and I personally feel this second movie is just as great. A lot of people hate this movie and for good reasons, I see their point but can’t deny the joy i have in watching the historical tie ins with the battles and explosions. Yes I understand this story is a lot longer then it needed to be, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and has so many fringe characters that you forget they even existed, but Revenge of the Fallen was made for entertainment purposes and that’s what we get.
The Autobots and Decepticons have been at war for centuries, Optimus Prime and Megatron will rage war where ever they find a spot and this second Transformers movie is just another isolated battle amongst the many. There’s a little bit of continuous storyline in terms of who is dead, who came back to life, and who still works with the Autobots with a few major twists thrown in. Transformers are unique machines that could take decades to fully understand, this time around we learn about the Matrix of Leadership and how impactful it can be in regards to ongoing war with Decepticons. There’s the Sun Harvestor that is a very powerful weapon that came out of nowhere to be the major focal point of the second half of the movie considering it’s been secretly buried on earth for centuries.
I love the thrill of the hunt story here, Sam and Simmons learn more than they could have ever imagined about Transformers while discovering some of the darkest secret of human history. Speaking of Sam, his character is now the worlds most wanted man but that won’t stop him from putting his girlfriend, family, and friends in harm’s way. He still acts like an immature man-child who really isn’t mentally equipped to handle being the go to guy for the Autobots. He does hide behind his powerful friends but in return is willing to kill himself to end a war that isn’t even his. Somehow he managed to keep Mikaela as his girlfriend, I have to admit I loved Megan Fox in the first movie, but she turned up her sex appeal in this movie and looks even better than ever. Their on again off again bickering about who loves who is a minor story in their presumably someday doomed relationship that is only held together on the fact they have experienced some pretty traumatic stuff together.
Simmons returns and takes his crazy Sector 7 secret agent to a whole new level when he turns in a bitter man who is willing to sacrifice himself despite his government turning on him. He will spend the majority of the film with his new side kick Leo who gets dragged into this war, survives, and is never heard from again. Lennox has been promoted to the leader of NEST which are the ground troops for the Autobots, his battery mate Epps brings his same sarcastic humour to the military ops side of the story. The Autobots have enlisted a solid group of humans in this film that will help destroy a few Decepticons and force Megatron to take a nasty blow to the side of his face that forces him to run with his tail tucked between his legs. In the prototype super human bad guy role, Megatron rises from the dead (think every serial killer in a horror movie) grows his army by leaps and bounds, and when on the run vows to come back even stronger.
my final thoughts: Lots of people and critics hate Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, there are varies reasons to love or hate this film but you will never know until you give it a chance. If you’ve seen any of the Transformers movie this is no different then the others in terms of characters, explosions, slow motion sequences, and things transforming. It’s an epic adventure across the globe to prevent the world from ending (again).
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb.com: 6 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 19% out 100%
rogerebert.com: 1 out 4