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Fallen in Disgrace

Movie Title: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Spoilers: No

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Those who took the time to read my blistering review of the 2007 Transformers movie will be none too surprised at my dire disgust at this one, an even worse film than the original Michael Bay bowel movement. Whereas the first one was an explosive splat of cinematic diarrhea, the second one is puke—loud and clamorous, poorly developed with rotten writing. There are no redeeming qualities.

2007’s Transformers showed us Michael Bay’s masturbatorial love for crafting serious seizure-like fight scenes and then combining them with a story of unrelenting humor. The result was the removal of even a semblance of dignity from the transforming robots of power and greatness that so many of us grew up to love. But this 2009 expulsion of unfinished food did much worse than even I expected. You have poor filming quality on top of a tortured plot that unfolds with the smoothness of a kangaroo fighting to get out of quicksand.

Shia LaBeouf is at it again as "Sam Witwicky," breaking hearts and being the good-looking American boy that reminds me of a 1940s Chevy salesman. The girls want him, but they can’t have him. And you have Megan Fox as "Mikaela Banes" being just as out of reach with the boys. It’s all about the kids nowadays. It’s become an unwritten rule when making films to cater to those who spend 7 hours or more a day texting and editing their MySpace pages.

Sam’s annoying parents, Ron and Judy Witwicky (Kevin Dunn, Julie White), are complete mental cases, with the onscreen grace of two possums rummaging through trashcans at night. They act as though doing a Viagra commercial. Agent Simmons (John Turturro), the cheesy F.B.I. guy who reeks of being an out-of-work actor desperate for a part who helped to make the 2007 Transformers movie the steaming bowl of toilet soup that it was is back. But, incredibly, he’s the most pleasing addition to the cast (if “pleasing” can be used to describe anything or anyone in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen).

As I’ve gone on record saying, the 2007 film could have been titled “A Parody of Transformers” because humor was all that the flick offered. It couldn’t be taken seriously at any point. But the 2009 film lacks even that quality. You have two “ghetto” robots who behave like two “brothas” who sit on a porch with bottles of 40-ouncers, using Ebonics to express their rigid disagreeableness. You have Bumble Bee who cries buckets-full of water. You have a noisy screenplay and a near-constant virtual blur of crashing, twisting, rotating metal in motion. The entire presentation is an onscreen conniption fit—hard to follow and buried in a grave of lacking contrast. You don’t even want to like it.

Not to be forgotten, you have the pyramids playing a key role—heaven fucking forbid that the pyramids just be the tombs of ancient kings as they are. But instead, they have to be elevated to key components in wars between robots. Transformers II has all the qualities of a big budget film gone B-movie. But it’s not a B-movie. That means that when Revenge of the Fallen falls, it falls harder and stays down longer. Watching is a proven way to develop a migraine.

I have little doubt that this will be on my list of 2009’s worst movies.

(JH)

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Grade: F (0 stars)
Rated: PG-13
Summation: Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers.
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf “Sam Witwicky,” Megan Fox “Mikaela Banes,” Josh Duhamel “Major Lennox,” Tyrese Gibson “USAF Master Sergeant Epps,” John Turturro “Agent Simmons,” Ramon Rodriguez “Leo Spitz,” Kevin Dunn “Ron Witwicky,” Julie White “Judy Witwicky,” Isabel Lucas “Alice,” John Benjamin Hickey “Galloway,” Michael Papajohn “Cal,” Glenn Morshower “General Morshower”
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi

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