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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen IQ

30 June 2009 by superlative

I went to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen last night, with some trepidation as I had heard from several sources that it really isn’t very good. However, Chris is quite a Transformers geek and would happily be turned into a giant transforming robot if they offered the operation on the NHS, and so we went anyway.

It wasn’t terrible. It was alright. The kind of alright that you pronounce ‘alriiiiiiiiiiight’, and often add ‘I suppose’ onto the end of.

I felt that overall it was fairly entertaining, and the special effects are really very good. I kept forgetting that the robots are computer generated and aren’t actually there, because they’re textured so well.

However, it wasn’t nearly as good as the first film, and for some reason they had decided really to dumb down the general feel and humour of it. It’s not as though the first film was massively high brow, but they really have gone for the lowest common denominator this time. It was basically the human characters’ fault, as some of them behaved in an almost slapstick fashion. The robots were generally more mature. But mostly they seemed to go for a lot of toilet and bodily function humour. Did we need to see the ugly ex-Section 7 agent in a thong? No. Did the little robot need to fart fire? No. Did Devastator need to have two bollocks made of wrecking balls? No. It was all needless and it debased the film and the franchise.

And then on top of that there was the fact that large parts of it really bore no relation to the original stories and characters, or even to the first film. I realise that they change things when writing it for the screen, but I think they wandered too far, and made it hideously inconsistent.

For some reason Bumblebee had transformed (no pun intended) into a needy, rather thick kind of pet. Forgotten was the fact that he’s actually an advanced organic robot from outer space who just happens to have a broken speech modulator. That doesn’t make him thick.

There were two new characters called the Twins, who appeared to be the Jar Jar Binks of the Transformers world, in that they were an inane racial stereotype with an IQ of about 40 shared between the two of them, and they were pretty much as annoying.

And they’d done something really bizarre to Megatron. Megatron, who usually kicks ass and is a ruthless, dominating leader, and who only ever really seemed to be afraid of Unicron (a planet-sized Transformer, for those of you who don’t know). But what had he become in this film? Some sort of meek servant of the Fallen, scurrying around and doing his bidding. The real Megatron would have waited until the Fallen’s back was turned and then opened him up like a melon.

Lastly, there were the logical inconsistencies that you get with any weakly written script. The Fallen can only be defeated by a Prime, apparently. Therefore Megatron is scared of him. But Megatron kicked Optimus Prime to death in the first half hour of the film. And then when it actually comes to a fight between Optimus and the Fallen, it lasts for all of about five minutes before Optimus cries “Give me your face”, and tears the Fallen into little pieces. And then Megatron runs away. Hmm.

So, as you can see, it wasn’t great. It was only OK.

Highlights were a girl getting her faced smashed against a dashboard by a jealous sports car, and Soundwave who was WAY COOL (as he should be, he always has been) and who should have been featured much much more. The whole film would have been better without Megatron or the Fallen and with Soundwave running the show. But there you go.

So, go see it if you want two and a bit hours of light entertainment and ITV-style humour, but if you’re a Transformers fan you might be disappointed.

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