Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ÜberTransformers: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I will say next to nothing here regarding this summer blockbuster’s minimal plot nor about the expedient acting talents of Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, and I suppose it would be too obvious to say that the film is (to take a tip from Megan Fox who loves to create big words by adding the prefix über) full of überaction, überexplosions, überCGI, and übernoisy sound effects that make you feel like you’re being hammered on an anvil, and that the action goes on too long and the pervading references to testicles (including the shot of one Decepticon’s clanking, iron balls) grow exceedingly tedious, so I will be brief here and mercifully positive by saying that I enjoyed some of the images, especially in the final battle in the Egyptian desert.

Sorry. This is not an image from the desert battle, but I just had to put it in.

Once again, this is not in the battle sequence, but she is awesome. She is a Decepticon in college co-ed's skimpy clothing, and when she transforms, boy does she transform.

Okay, now. Here we are in the desert. This is the Devastator. He's one hell of a mean bot that sucks things up like a vacuum cleaner. Most of the film is so overloaded with CGI images entangled in battle that you get dizzy and confused, and you find it hard to distinguish the good bots from the bad bots, so when the battle is more spread out in the desert, and you get some nice panoramic shots as above, I found it a much more enjoyable viewing experience.

There's a lot of running in this movie.

There's a lot of running in this movie.

This is just awesome. There are lots of explosions in this film. Michael Bay does explosions well.

This is not an image from the battle, but I loved it for its refreshing minimalism. There is very little minimalism in this film.

Can you guess the purpose of this shot?

Still more running here, but I'm not being facetious when I say that in the desert battle sequence there is some artful attention paid to the composition of images, the extreme long shots, and the colors employed in the mise-en-scène, and a little artistry with your basic CGI overload always makes me überexcited.


The Film Doctor said...

Interesting post. I am amazed that you managed to keep your sense of awe going until the desert battle scenes. I was uberburned out by that point, and I'm still detoxing. Didn't much of the latter third of the movie just sort of happen disjointedly after a brief expository discussion with John Turturro's character? The whole end of the film seemed reminiscent of The Fifth Element, only not in a good way.

Richard Bellamy said...

For me it was the middle third of the film that was muddled and disjointed. I started to doze off. All that racing around in the desert into Jordan seemed long and drawn out. The latter third - the battle in the desert - is way too long, but at least it was mostly clear what was happening and I liked the look of it.

Funny you should mention The Fifth Element. Jason of the Cooler chose that as his favorite sci-fic action blockbuster of the 90s - and it was never one of my favorites, so I rewatched it and enjoyed it for its humor and its refreshing use of masks and muppet-type creatures as opposed to CGI. I also enjoyed Iam Holm's inimitable ability to deliver a very quirky performance (as he did in Brazil).

Daniel said...

Ha, I love the simplicity of this. Even allowed me to, despite not having seen the movie, get a clear picture of what it was like...

Richard Bellamy said...

Thanks for the comment, Daniel. Yes, it's easy to present the content of this film by means of this brief and simple post because the content of the film is VERY simple. But people raved joyfully about this movie as they left the cinema. People are too easily satisfied!

Knowing was ten times better - and I'm so excited about it coming out on DVD on the 7th. I'll be able watch the policeman look in the wrong direction at the crashing plane over and over - remember?

Daniel said...

Haha, but of course I remember well. For as bad as I thought Knowing was, at least it provided for some pretty interesting and amusing conversation. Doesn't sound like the same is true for Revenge of the Fallen.

Ben Haven said...

I love the simplicity with which you described this film. I saw it twice, and too remember getting bored during it. I wouldn't have minded the CGI as much if it had slowed down enough to let us see the amazing mechanical details of the transformers, which (at least to a nerd) can look amazing. I recall being impressed by that in the last movie. I think my girlfriend put it best after I saw it with her for the second time when she remarked that the plot and acting didn't need to be covered up for with constant action and a pace that rarely slowed.

Richard Bellamy said...

Thanks very much for checking out my post and for leaving a comment.

I thought the same thing about the mechanical workings of the bots. They're kind of fascinating, but it all goes too fast - especially when two or more bots are grappling.

Your girlfriend is right. Definitely a lot of action here - but in this installment, I wasn't really that interested until the desert battle, and then that went on too long.