Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, was arguably the most anticipated summer blockbuster of the year. Box office earnings hit over USD200 million in its first five days, and it’s clear the Transformers sequel has hit the mark. The power-packed duo of Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay have upped the ante on many fronts, going all out to top their first instalment. Is Revenge bigger, meaner, with loads more robot anarchy? No doubt whatsoever. Is Revenge better than the first Transformers? This point is arguable.
The story line is a bit thin. The Decepticons (aka the bad robots) are still bad and want to do bad things to mankind, such as eat up Earth’s sun. The Autobots (the good robots) are still good and want to stop the bad robots. The crash of metal and the kaleidoscope of explosions as these titanic aliens collide on the battlefield is the sole source of entertainment for this entire movie. This movie is not about a creative, uplifting story line, nor is it about watching the bodacious Megan Fox running in slow motion. It is solely about the Transformers and seeing them in action. Superfluous things like storylines and human actors with cheesy lines are just minor distractions.
Moviegoers loved the first Transformers but they had some gripes. Namely, not enough Optimus Prime, it was too dark to see a lot of the action, not enough fighting and not enough robots. It appears here that Spielberg and Bay took such feedback to heart and addressed these complaints head on without any restraint whatsoever.
Optimus Prime, the famed leader of the Autobots is a key focal point throughout. He flashes new weapons and has beautifully extended fighting sequences. If he wasn’t a robot, more teeny boppers would have posters of him on their bedroom walls.
Viewers won’t be straining their eyes to catch all the widgets and gears shifting and turning as the Transformers duke it out under the grainy cover of night. In Revenge, the action takes place in broad daylight where the glory of the Transformers can be fully appreciated. With the bulk of the action taking place in a desert, all you have is sun, sand, one babe and robots baring it all. It is pure visual indulgence.
And now for the fighting and the robots. In pure Hollywood finesse, the writers manage to introduce new robots, tripling the robot cast in one swift move. Additional reinforcements for both sides arrive, but this time, the new Decepticons (the bad robots) seem way cooler than the new Autobots, creating a classic Hollywood underdogs-vs-the sleek baddies scenario. More robots mean more action. Not only are Optimus Prime’s fighting sequences extended, the combat sequences with the rest of the Transformers are a cinematic feast. Fans couldn’t ask for more.
Following the tradition of sequels, which is to deliver more of the same, Revenge does exactly that and nothing more. Revenge is an upsized Happy Meal of the original Transformers. The original is a hamburger, with small fries and a Diet Coke. The upsize is two double-patty Big Macs, three large curly fries and a 1.5 litre bottle of Coke that has been shaken for 10 minutes straight. Love it for what it is.