Pros: Lots of action, explosions, and mind blowing special effects.
Cons: Not much else.
Transformers: The Revenge of the Falling (2009) Directed by Michael Bay.
"Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing." Optimus Prime.
The Transformers are a classic toy line by Hasbro; they bought me many hours of peace and quiet when the twins were little; not only were their thirty minute commercials laughingly called cartoon guaranteed to mesmerize them, but I could get their rooms cleaned and the house vacuumed for one of these admittedly neat shape changing gizmos. Not all toy lines make a successful movie; witness He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. However, Transformers, the Movie had the great fortune to be given a director who has tried to make that movie in one form or another since he could pick up a camera.
So how is the sequel?
Well, it is just as ridiculous as the first; alien mechanical life forms with the power to disguise themselves as normal machines are in a civil war. The Autobots, (white hats) work with humanity to mitigate the depredations of the Decepticons (black hats). Their link to humanity is a teenaged boy, Sam Witwicky (Shai LeBeouf) who was there with them when the McGuffin at the center of the first movie, the All-Spark, was destroyed.
Now, the Decepticons are back in action; there is another McGuffin; there is a sliver of the Cube of the All-Spark, and there is a use for it; bringing back Megatron. But that is only the first step in a much greater plan...
Meanwhile, Sam is trying to go to college and be normal. Of course, that would be more than a little difficult with a shape changing alien for a car. (And let's face it; Bumblebee's relationship with Sam is about as healthy and comfortable as Mojo and Frank's.)
Of course at the same time, Sam's life is not going to be normal because his roommate is a conspiracy theory nut with a chubby for Autobot sightings, and his mom at the marijuana brownies, and there is a girl hotter than anything short of his own girl friend, Mikealia (Megan Fox) who is inexplicably determined to have him.
And naturally, all heck breaks loose as the Decepticons begin their assault on the new McGuffin. And naturally, Sam does not want to play, and naturally he must....
There are the annoying side kicks, (as if Sam were not annoying enough already.) Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) is a particularly annoying specimen; imagine Leo Getz of the Lethal Weapon movies in a smoking hot Latino body, but devoid of Joe Pesci's macho and charm. Sam's mom has always been annoying (Julie White) but get her hyped on marijuana laced brownies and...who boy. Nor are all the annoyances human; Mudflap and Skids (Tom Kenny) are a pair of mini coopers who can be a broken down ice cream truck (in the Autobot equivalent of a horse costume.) They are annoying and vaguely offensive. Ah, well.
So how does this movie manage to succeed? By hitting you so hard and fast with special effects and explosions and frat boy humour that you are into the next disaster before you have time to register..."my lord, that was dumb!"
And it is remarkably effective. When it pauses, the voice of taste and reason rears its quavering voice..."but what about substan..." but before you can finish the sentence BOOM! Something explodes, and you are off on the rollercoaster again.
And while I may prefer something with a bit more thought and substance (Aliens and Star Trek spring to mind) I have to admit for a fix of mindless schlock, pyrotechnics and spectacular special effects, this is the ticket of the summer.