The second installation of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen aka Transformers 2 movie by Michael Bay is bigger & louder but unfortunately is not better. And yet, it managed to capture more than USD800 million at the box office – Image source: Wikimedia
My son has been pushing me to take him to watch the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie for the past few days and when I was on leave on a working day, the time was just perfect to take the family to see one of the most anticipated movies of the year. As expected, there were just a few people in the theatre when we walked in and we got the perfect spot.
The movie started but after 10 minutes into the movie, my son started to sleep on my arm. Despite the great CGI, I too started to lose concentration. This Transformer movie did not reach the right quality as what was expected after one had watched the first Transformer movie.
The plot has been detailed enough on Wikipedia:-
It is revealed that thousands of years before Optimus Prime and the other Transformers arrived on Earth, there was a race of ancient Transformers who scoured the universe looking for Energon sources.
Known as the Dynasty of Primes, they used a weapon called the Sun Harvester to drain stars of their energy in order to convert it to Energon and power Cybertron’s AllSpark.
The Primes agreed that life-bearing worlds would be spared, but when one brother, who was thereafter dubbed “The Fallen”, constructed a Sun Harvester on Earth in 17,000 BCE, the remaining brothers sacrificed their bodies in order to hide the Matrix of Leadership, the key that powers the Sun Harvester, from The Fallen, who swore to seek revenge upon Earth once he found the key.
In present day, two years after the events of the first film, Optimus now leads NEST, a military organization consisting of human troops and his own team of Autobots—including newcomers Arcee, Sideswipe, Jolt, and the twins Skids and Mudflap.
(Read the plot further here)
The leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime is still powerful and is on the good side of the humans. Image source: Paulijane)
The Plot Holes
Want to watch many minutes of giant robots fighting whilst damaging buildings, bridges and cars and with human beings, looking like ants, scrambling for their dear life?
Then watch Transformers 2!
That’s right – a big bulk of the movie has been wasted on fights. One major fight would have sufficed but Michael Bay decided to have one at almost every turn of the story. It is nice to see the Autobots kick the Decepticon’s ass but having it way too often was making us boring…fast!
There were minor holes in the plot for example, how Sector Seven agent Simmons can simply call up the commander of an aircraft carrier from a public phone booth and ask the commander to shoot at particular coordinates? And the commander commands the firing of the secret rail-gun without any further checking on the source?
Unbelievable but I guess it can be dismissed with a “pinch of salt”
And don’t get me started on the romance part where the hero of the movie is seduced by a “robot that looks like a cute girl” or the one where the hero’s mom accidentally takes drugs and starts running around feeling high. Plenty of wasted “energy” for shooting those scenes.
(Devastator at work – you have to see it on the big screen to appreciate its dimension and terror scale. Image source: Transformers Fandom)
The CGI in the movie was first-class and very believable, especially the scenes where the Transformers transform themselves, the attack on the aircraft carrier and other destructions of buildings and landscape. And seeing the movie on the big screen means some of the Decepticons like Devastator look really frightening and mean.
Scott Farrar returned as visual effects supervisor and anticipated moodier use of lighting as well as deeper roles for the Decepticons. He stated that with the bigger deadline, post-production would become a “circus”. The producers expected that with a bigger budget and with the special effects having worked out, the Transformers would have a larger role.
Michael Bay hoped to include more close-ups of the robots’ faces. The heads had to be designed with more pieces in order to express emotions in a more convincing way. Farrar said the animators implemented more “splashes and the hits and the fighting on dirt or moving, banging into trees, […] things splinter and break, [the robots] spit, they outgas, they sweat, they snort.”
Shooting in the higher resolution of IMAX required up to 72 hours to render a single frame of animation. While ILM used 15 terabytes for Transformers, they used 140 for the sequel. Particularly problematic effects were the lighting, with scenes such as Jetfire inside the Smithsonian requiring 41 light sources, and the destruction of the pyramid, which appears in about five shots and required seven months to simulate the behavior of the blocks.
Orci hinted the majority of the Decepticons were entirely computer-generated in both robot and alternate modes, making it easier to write additional scenes for them in post-production. Rendering the Devastator took over 85% of ILM’s render farm capacity, and the complexity of the scene and having to render it at IMAX resolution caused one computer to “explode”.
Reviewer in IMDB:-
As expected, the effects were spectacular. The fight scenes were extravagant and fast-paced.
The story though, couldn’t keep pace. They kept stopping for a romance that was never developed (and no one really cared). The real thing that brought this movie down though was the constant stooping to this immature level.
They had to have said @ss and balls 10 times (and that’s a low estimate). Not only this, but those two twin autobots were introduced who were supposed to be “hip” maybe? They just turned out to be extremely annoying and to bring down the level of the movie as a whole.
As a fan of the original cartoon series, I have to say I was really disappointed they stooped the level of immature @ss-balls humor and creating new characters with low IQ’s. They could have done better. The action though, was amazing and I am still glad I paid to see it on the big screen.
Generally, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a watchable movie provided one doesn’t keep a close eye on the storyline.
The plus points: CGI and Optimus Prime
The negative points: Storyline – there can be fewer fighting scenes and more