Not many people will admit, but the reason for the first film’s success was it was directed by Michael Bay. Now having seen the sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF), I saw that it has a problem—it was directed by Michael Bay.
For the sequel Bay wanted more of the same but on a grander scale. So this time there are more robots, more explosions, more CGI battles, and more pursuits. It should have worked out, it should have been another movie geeks like me can place in the pantheon of adaptations that thrived when brought to the big screen: Iron Man, the LOTR trilogy (we geeks also like to acronymize long titles), Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and Watchmen. Instead the movie succumbed to its ambitions of grandeur and forgot the plot.
Now the first movie had a plot that a ten-year old could follow easily, so it’s not like a high bar was set, but for the most part it was consistent. The sequel’s plot had almost as many holes as the move for charter change. ROTF still brought in spectacular box office so there’s a good chance you’ve seen it, so you know what inconsistencies I’m referring to.
(Okay I’ll do one rant: why does Devastator have to be a giant gorilla with a huge maw? In the animated series he was a group of robots who merged to form a towering robot that was still humanoid.)
(Image from tfwiki.net)
Did I still love the movie? For the most part, yes. When ROTF works, it’s still pure magic for me. Just seeing Optimus Prime roll down the military transport makes me giddy.
For all its flaws and even more flaws, ROTF rewards fans with more robots like Jetfire, Soundwave, and the Constructicons. It’s still a satisfying movie with plenty of visual candy: clashing Transformers, funny characters, and slo-mos of Megan Fox running.
(Images from courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
Maybe the best way to see the movie is to take a more philosophical view; in movies like this, it’s best to remember moments that take your breath away.