The 10,000 lb. metal force of nature has landed once again with bigger everything…. effects, robots, explosions, story, and even more than a few miscues…. but hey, it’s all fun we need.
Part two picks up after the first film and the Autobots (the good guys) have teamed with the Marines in a secret assault unit to hunt remaining Decepticons (the bad guys) across the globe. The Decepticons are up to a plot involving the return of one of the first ancient Transformers, the Fallen and the movie opens up about the history of the world as influenced by the Transformers. Intertwined to the robots once again is Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who becomes an avatar of Cybertronian (the home world/language of the Transformers) symbols that lead to the what the Fallen and his Decepticons are after… oh and Sam is in college and trying to maintain his relationship with his hot girlfriend, Michaela (Megan Fox).
Totally uncomplicated but on paper, it sounds that way. Playing out, it works enough to keep the story moving for 150 minutes. The good stuff begins with the Transformers…. there’s more of them and in different sizes and forms. The robot warriors get more screen time, and they should because the movies are about THEM, not the humans. I felt more connected to these Transformers than the humans, as entertaining as they were partially. Mentioning the names of each one is useless because really the movie doesn’t really identify them throughout the film; click here for a list.
Next is the action…. lots and lots to spare to fill about three movies likely. Stuff is zapped, shot, bitten, exploded, slimed, vacuumed and otherwise destroyed one way or another and I loved every second of the mayhem. The fight scenes this time don’t look like a cluster jumble of metallic parts. Everything is clear and easy to follow plus their quite violent and graphic…but you know its all robots so it’s OK (LOL). Special recognition to the forest showdown in the film that will have you jump out of your seat in excitement!
I also love that the long running time doesn’t feel long or boring. The time literally flies and I also like that you are able to get a few breaths of air before the next adrenaline shot. In the next paragraph, I drop the hammer on the human characters, but I loved Sam’s parents. They redeem the human race in this film. The final good is that the movie is quite fun.
The bad things are as follows. A few characters are just underused, misused or bad. The college roommate is bad and grating. Don’t like him at all.
The Marines (Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson) are underused compared to last time….I liked them but they don’t do anything short of shooting and shouting on a radio. That goes really for most of the human characters too. They have nothing to do but scream and run for their lives… as they should since shit is exploding left and right, but still they all had more to do last time.
A number of Transformers (Autobot and Decepticon) are there solely to get the crap kicked out of them or to blow something up. Even the newer ones like Arcee, Sideswipe or Rampage are just there to be there….we don’t get the character development like we did the first time… just their presence. So if you’re looking for a certain character…. look hard because sometimes, its just a random robot and you don’t really know who that is, unless you caught the name or you already knew ahead of time. Otherwise some of them you can’t miss because they’re so distinct.
The Fallen is a OK villain, but not a grand one like we’ve been propped to expect. Like Nero in “Star Trek,” he’s cool but not the epic bad guy we were hoping to get. Granted, he has some extreme powers, but for a guy that is equated to being the Judas of the Apostles in Transformer lore, I expected more from him as a character and also I personally wanted a guy who was a literal force of nature.
There is also talk from a number of reviewers of the movie being racist which is unfounded in my viewing of the movie–I found nothing racist about it, and yes I did go back and check. Then there are the misogynistic references and I say this…that’s accurate. Movies are made for a specific audience by specific people. So the director, Michael Bay knows his audience and what they like and what he likes, so he films it. Period. I’m not making excuses, just saying that is what it is. My girlfriend and her best friend enjoyed the movie and they’re not big action fans at all, let alone fans of Transformers as a whole, and they’re hard to please. Overall the offensive level, to me, was no higher than watching an episode of “Family Guy.”
So my final call, dismiss what the reviewers are telling you and judge the movie for yourself. That is how I think you should always judge your movie experience. Don’t knock it until you try it. If you liked or loved the first movie, see this one. If you’re curious, see this one because in a lot of ways its better than the original. Some things that we were given in the first are sacrificed to give more of what the masses called for….action and more action. Hey we voted for it in dollars and the filmmakers pay attention to demand of fans, so you can’t fault them for that.
In the end, you’ll love it or hate it. It’s not a perfect film, but it is not a horrible film like some are defaming it out to be. I loved the experience and recommend it to those who know how to have fun at the movies.