Tag: Megan Fox
Reviewed By Henry B. Rosenbush
Sam Witwicky goes to college for less than a week before hell breaks lose in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a predictably loud, wild and overlong sequel to the 2007 Michael Bay megahit.
There is plenty of offbeat humor, aimed at the college-aged crowd, including: profane transformers, humping dogs, a pot-laced-brownie munching mom, and naturally Shia LaBeouf and his impossibly hottie girl friend Megan Fox. Whether it can top the $708 million worldwide gross of its predecessor is problematic but there is plenty of robotic battles and action sequences to draw attention from its convoluted plot which threatens to become more conventional thanks to human intervention.
With “revenge” in its title this film has already laid groundwork for vengeful face offs between the Autobots and Decepticons and some late plot machinations concerning the destruction of our sun is a bit silly and anti-climatic.
Despite some uneven acting, and several annoying characters inserted mainly for laughs, much of the human cast are either extras or military; the credit scroll thanks the entire range of Armed Forces for their help, much as it did in the first film.
Based on the 1980s Hasbro Transformers action figures the movie is less about its human characters than than machines capable of transforming into a wide range of devices Stealth bombers, cars, construction machinery, ball bearings and even remote control toys. The special efffects team at Industrial, Light and Magic and literally hundreds of computer programmers worked overtime on this entry providing no end of visual delights, including a visit to the Smithsonian Institute’s Aeronautical Museum which is home to “older” Transformers who were retired in the early part of the 20th Century.
There are enough metamorphing robots battling to satiate even the most jaded action fans hungry for new thrills and even Fox, first seen in cutoff jeans stradling a motorcycle, is later upstaged by the femme nymphomaniacal Decepticon, Alice (Isabel Lucas) who is equal parts terminatrix and every horny college guy’s wet dream-cum-nightmare. The moment when she is about to “have her way” with Sam just as Mikaela arrives is funny (“This is your girlfriend?” to the reply from Mikaela, as she closed the dorm room door, “Ex.”) and immediately sexually charged as a metallic phallic tail is revealed from beneath her dress which begins strangling Sam!
It is one of several overtly sexual themes planted throughout the film. Besides two humping dogs, there is a later scene of a tiny captured Decepticon humping Mikaela’s leg which received a huge audience response. The fact that Mikaela has tortured the little bot into submission is a bizarre twist on female empowerment that Fox seemed to relish.
Film starts off 15,000 years ago and details briefly that the warring robotic races of Autobots and Decepticons had visited earth and it is revealed, through voiceover by Optimus Prime (returning Peter Cullen who was the voice in the 1980s cartoon series, too), that the good bots have buried a powerful weapon that could signal the end of the human race and earth if used.
Even a causal observer knows the Decepticons, headed by Megatron (voiced again by “Mr. Smith” from The Matrix Trilogy, Hugo Weaving) are pissed off at Sam and intend to literally pick his brain (thanks to a shard from the powerful Cube of the first film, which has filled his mind with bizarre imagery and symbols that spew forth at the most inopportune moments) to learn the whereabouts of the weapon and put an end to the humans. The fact that part of the sought after weapon is a Matrix would seem to be another in-joke, of which the film has many.
After the prologue the film drops the audience into the first of many transformation battle scenes as we learn humans and Autobots have joined to form a joint group, NEST, to rid earth of Decepticons that are hiding in plain site in countries all over the world. Returning from Transformers are US Army grunts Capt. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson), now members of the elite squad. The opening battle sequence in Shanghai, China, between a heavily armed military and their Autobot support group against Demolishor and Sideways, is thrilling and a rousing begin to the film.
This sequence introduces new Autobots Arcee, Sideswipe, Jolt and the twins Skids and Mudflap. Sideswipe, Arcee and the twins killsSideways while Optimus Prime and Ironhide kill Demolishor, whose last words are a warning: The Fallen will “rise again.”
Unknown to our government is that Decepticons have pirated a a spy satelite to locate Sam and the “spark,” which is the remaining shard from the Cube destroyed in the first film, now in the possession of Mikaela Banes (Fox) while Sam tries to fit into college, which as earlier indicted only lasts long enough for an array of Decepticons to arrive and decimate much of the school, especially its library and dorms. Megatron, who is buried on the ocean’s floor is later released and returns to his home planet to report to “The Fallen” of the title, voiced by Tony Candyman Todd, who was banished from earth in the prologue and eager to return for the “Revenge.”
The first hour of the film concludes with a massive forest battle, in which Optimus Prime is “killed” leading to a Christ-like ressurection in the Egyptian desert but the film still has plenty of time left to kill before the conclusion.
John Turturro returns as the manic Agent Simmons (and voice of Jetfire) retired from Section Seven to work in his mother’s deli and he makes the most of his annoying character’s vast knowledge of the alien races. We even get to see him in a G-string (don’t ask) while Fox displays some cleveage and little else after the opening cutoffs scene, although there is a cheat of the possibility of cybersex with Sam that is never resolved.
Another character the film could have done without is Sam’s roommate, Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) a computer geek who produces Kitty Calendars and believes in government conspiracies and a cover up existed in the first Transformer film. Leo is an audience surrogate, to be sure, since the midnight crowd (it was showing in six sold out theaters locally) were comprised of plenty of University of Alabama students who got plenty of their laughs from the rude lavatorial humor and college-themed lunacy, especially an early scene when Sam’s mother, Judy (Julie White, again with husband Ron, Kevin Dunn) samples some hash brownies and goes on a cross campus tear, culminating with her tackling a boy with a frisbee. After getting subdued by Ron, who is on top her, she mutters how she would do anything to get an “A,” which was met with an uproar of laughter.
A science college professor, the always annoying Rainn Wilson, delivers sexually innuendo-peppered language to his class that is distressingly funny, but again, the target audience was game.
In the end, the film is at least a half hour too long but that won’t matter because between less than stellar human perfs, the real appeal is still the transformation sequences and Bay and his collaborators have devised everything from mechanical insects to gigantic sand-sucking construction equipment robots to keep the audience happy. While all the technical credits are top-notch, much of the earlier college scene dialogue is difficult to fully understand thanks to an overly loud soundtrack.
The return of Bumblebee (Sam’s Autobot-yellow-Camaro) is a welcome site, still producing much needed robotic humor and with a playlist of songs that fit every mood.
Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and series newcomer Ehren Kruger pepper the dialogue with plenty of suggestive and off-the-wall humor that for younger audiences is just what the franchise ordered, but older audiences searching for deeper meaning already know they didn’t stumble into Shakespeare in the Park.
A Paramount release of a DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures presentation in association with Hasbro of a di Bonaventura Pictures and Tom DeSanto/Don Murphy production. Produced by Murphy, DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce; executive producers, Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian; co-producer, Allegra Clegg. Directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, based on Hasbro’s Transformers action figures.
Camera (Deluxe color, widescreen), Ben Seresin; editors, Roger Barton, Thomas Muldoon, Joel Negron, Paul Rubell; music, Steve Jablonsky; production designer, Nigel Phelps; supervising art director, Jon Billington; art director, Julian Ashby, Naaman Marshall, Ben Procter; set designers, C. Scott Baker, Jann K. Engel; set decorator, Jennifer Williams; costume designer, Deborah L. Scott; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS), Geoffrey Patterson; supervising sound editors, Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl; re-recording mixers, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers; visual effects supervisor, Richard Kidd; visual effects, Industrial Light & Magic, Asylum, Digital Domain; special effects supervisor, Wayne Toth; stunt coordinators, Kenny Bates, Bob Brown; associate producer, Matthew Cohan; assistant directors, K.C. Hodenfield, Bruce Moriarty; second unit director, Bates; casting, Denise Chamian.
Reviewed at Cobb’s Hollywood 16 Theaters, June 24, 2009. MPAA Rating: PG-13: for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material and brief drug material. Running time: 2:29.
Sam Witwicky – Shia LaBeouf
Mikaela Banes – Megan Fox
Capt. Lennox – Josh Duhamel
USAF Tech Sgt. Epps – Tyrese Gibson
Agent Simmons/Voice of Jetfire – John Turturro
Leo – Ramon Rodriguez
Ron Witwicky – Kevin Dunn
College Professor – Rainn Wilson
Judy Witwicky – Julie White
Voice of Megatron – Hugo Weaving
Voice of Optimus Prime – Peter Cullen
Voice of Bumblebee – Mark Ryan
Voice of Ratchet – Robert Foxworth
Voice of Jolt – Anthony Anderson
Voice of the Fallen – Tony Todd