THE REVENGE IS TAKEN OUT ON
published June 26,
Transformers: Revenge of
now playing nationwide
I won’t judge you solely on the fact that
you want to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
I’m sure there are good deeds in you past
that can somewhat atone for it. But I’m not sure there is any level of sainthood that can fully cleanse yourself from this.
The sole innovation of Michael Bay’s giant
metamorphosing alien robot epic is somehow turning a Gremlin hatchback into a 40-foot tall racist caricature. It tests the American lower
limit for the juvenile and finds it shockingly bottomless. It’s such a miserable experience that it’s not even fun to write about.
The plot is virtually unexplainable, besides that it involves an ancient race of Transformers, a Sun-destroying
mega-weapon and something called The Matrix of Leadership. The Autobots (good guy robots) are fighting in an Earth-based war against the
Decepticons (bad guys). It’s a secret from the public, although how people haven’t noticed the giant robots standing on top of their
skyscrapers, I’m not sure. College-bound teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) gets yanked from college to the Egyptian desert with an
elderly Transformer, where he must solve a series of rune symbols involuntarily running through his head in order to save the world. Now
imagine having a group of mysterious symbols running through your head and having only Megan Fox to help.
The film could be partially redeemed if the
action were strong. The first film was helped slightly by its final dogfight along the Las Vegas strip, presented with an interesting sense of
scale. This one , not so much. The scenes are shot close in, to the point that it becomes just so many chunks of computer-generated metal. In
one of the worst action montages that I’ve seen in a while, LaBeouf goes from shackled in a warehouse to running from the warehouse to
speeding away in a car to suddenly running through the woods. It’s worse than it sounds.
I’ve never understood why anyone would be
interested in Transformers beyond an eight year old for whom they made pretty cool toys. The best that I can say about Megan Fox is that she
knows the joke is on all of us. Shia LaBeuof has a tremendous amount of charisma, but will he ever star in a good movie?
kevinbowen @ stageandcinema.com