Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

By Sean Burns
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 21 | Posted Jun. 30, 2009

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Michael Bay has once again outdone himself and somehow made a movie that’s bigger, louder, longer, stupider and even more offensive than his godforsaken 2007 Transformers. I can’t imagine a more dispiriting, dehumanizing cinematic experience than this relentless fusillade of aggressive, incoherent images, macho posturing and schoolyard-bully humor. But then again, I tend to say the same thing every time I see a Michael Bay picture.

I won’t bore you by attempting a plot synopsis, as the characters’ objectives and requirements of the story change from scene to scene.

Folks stand around shouting pages and pages of exposition at one another while Bay’s camera swirls vertiginously and cuts to disjunctive angles all over the place. Everyone’s attempting to explain at great length how some robots can come back from the dead, others may magically teleport and one is even able to transform not into an automobile—but into a slutty college chick.

I’m fascinated by how close Bay’s id is to the surface in the appalling films he directs, and what a deeply unpleasant and angry man he seems to be. There is no sense of joy or whimsy in these Transformers movies—distressing because they are intended for children—nothing but pulverizing fetishization of ’roid-raged, militaristic, white alpha-male privilege.

All the women are spray-tanned skanks dressed like strippers, straddling props with their mouths hanging open suggestively, and every minority is a grotesque, ineffectual cartoon. It’s the kind of movie in which an early set-piece is devoted to sumptuously savoring the destruction of a library.

Perhaps you’ve already heard rumblings in the press about two new characters that a colleague brilliantly called “Amos N’ Android”—comic-relief robots modeled on monkeys who speak ghetto jive-talk, throw gang-signs and flash gold teeth. Oh, it gets better—because Bay’s big punch line is that they can’t read!

Even better is when President Obama gets dragged into the action. He’s ridiculed by name for attempting to engage in diplomacy with these gigantic killer robots. Luckily, our heroes know better—so when a bespectacled, articulate representative of the new administration attempts to argue for some transparency and accountability, the good guys promptly throw him out of a plane and go save the world with their unilateral invasion of a Middle Eastern country. (I wish I were making this up.)

There’s also a robot with enormous wrecking balls dangling from his crotch, serving as literally destructive testicles.

And as of last weekend, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had already earned $201 million at the box office. You asked for this, America. F

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Comments 1 - 21 of 21
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1. Jeremy said... on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:16PM

“Wow I just read the first sentence and realized this review is clearly written by a hater.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jul 1, 2009 at 12:25PM

“^^ So?”

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3. d6a4s5 said... on Jul 1, 2009 at 05:51PM

“Surprise, surprise...Sean "Master Of All That Is Film" Burns gives 'Transformers 2' an "F". Gee....didn't see THAT one coming! This review reads like Burns was Michael Bay's old college roommate or something and he's jealous of Bay's success while he's stuck writing the same hateful reviews over and over again for a free, weekly publication! WHY does anyone (critics or otherwise) seem to expect brilliant, thought-provoking and award worthy ANYthing from films like these is and always will be beyond me. It's like they simply live to see a movie they KNOW they can write a scathing review of! Get over it Sean Burns! It's just big robots beating the shit out of other big robots!!! We're not talking 'Citizen Kane' or the fucking 'Godfather' here! Why can't a film simply be made in order to entertain the hell out of us by way of flashy visuals and loud noises? Ya know what else entertains us with flashy visuals and loud noises? FIREWORKS! So go write a bad review about July 4th too!”

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4. Padraic said... on Jul 3, 2009 at 09:58AM

“"Why can't a film simply be made in order to entertain the hell out of us by way of flashy visuals and loud noises?"

I think if that were the only thing going on, no one would object. But as the review made quite clear, Bay has a political and philosophical agenda every bit as discernable as Welles or Coppola (or, actually, a lot more discernable).

This kind of review is helpful specifically because it forces us to realize that the movie is *not* just "flashy visuals and loud noises.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jul 8, 2009 at 12:02PM

“Y'know something? Flashy visuals and big explosions are fine. However, with the addition of horrible dialogue, downright racist stereotypes, and humor that a 4th grader should find insulting, this particular film is crap.

There have been dozens of summer blockbusters that have entertained millions of theater-goers for years without Bay's type of "all-flash no substance" style. There really should be no need for anyone to "turn off their brain" to enjoy a movie- and every time a movie like this succeeds, it just feeds the idea that fun, exciting movies NEED to be dumbed down in order to satisfy the brain dead audiences that go to them.

Compare Transformers: RotF to Iron Man. Each had shiny cgi effects, explosions, military porn, and humor. Favreau and Co. made a smash hit without giving Iron Monger "trukk nutz" or making Jim Rhodes straight out of a blacksploitation film.

We won't get more films of Iron Man quality if we keep Michael Bay swimming in vaults of cash.”

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6. Maurício Fonseca said... on Jul 25, 2009 at 04:40PM

“Yes, people apologize this kind of garbage saying it's just flashy visuals, big explosions and everything is forgivable. It's not. Just because a film's purpose is brainless entertainement, it does not need to be so mean spirited. "Die Hard", "Speed", "Iron Man", "Spider Man", the new "Star Trek", all of them have explosions or fast paced action without being mean. Come on, MIchael Bay directed Pearl Harbor... and he tried to go romantica at that one. We saw the result.... The guy is a soulless director, but that does not mean he desn't get the job done.”

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7. yIntagh said... on Jul 25, 2009 at 09:22PM

“Get slagged idiot Bayformers
This movie is/was/shall be trash
I'm just glad I didn't have to spend my own money to see it.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Jul 27, 2009 at 02:03AM

“Here, let me write what most Michael Bay fans will say:


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9. spud said... on Jul 27, 2009 at 10:32AM

“About the little obama bit in the movie, Bay didn't throw that in as a slight. he actually had a chance meeting with obama, who said he liked movie #1. He name dropped obama as a shout-out to that.”

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10. Cheds said... on Jul 27, 2009 at 12:07PM

“I fucking love your review. This movie is everything that is wrong with America and it is no surprise that it did so well. Bay knows the intelligence level of his audience and made his shit movie perfectly suited to it.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Jul 27, 2009 at 06:54PM

“All you people...more likely grown boys that haven't made it to manhood. Sorry for YOUR luck. All your cussin, talking about jiggling body parts, as if you don't spend all your time watching that saddddd they had to ruin the movie with all the foul language and make Fox, the stupid female..yea sure she making alot of money entertaining you men...but, her brain is dead for making a movie like this...she ought to be stuff and put on a wall by the Deer, so you can throw darts at her when you start your hating women modes.”

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12. Patrick said... on Aug 3, 2009 at 04:38PM

“Well said. You hit almost every point I would make about what is an insultingly stupid film. And if anyone's counter-argument is that you're a "hater" and that this movie is supposed to be big booms and big boobs-only, those are the people that lower the discourse in this country. I fear how stupid those people are. And so, you're right: America did ask for this.”

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13. Shaz said... on Aug 6, 2009 at 09:53AM

“I simply don't understand that how, even, a fanboy would appreciate this unmitigated piece of monkeyshit. This film fails to serve even on the most basic level, it does not even know how to tell a story, arguably there is none, of course, but you know what I mean. It is "gargantually" inept, offensive, illiterate $200 million dollars worth of cinematic masturbation by a frat-boy who never grew up. Somewhere, in an alternate reality, in some metal-junk planet this film would get awards. All it's fans must be immediately transformed there for the good of all mankind.”

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14. The ReyningDevil said... on Aug 8, 2009 at 12:55PM

“Saw the original Transformers on TV and still thought of it as a steaming bag of crap with good special effects. Maurício Fonseca is right, Die Hard and the Spider-Man series still remain my favorite, and I don't think they lack action of any kind, flashy or otherwise. Didn't RotF, don't wanna give Bay another chance to kill my braincells in exchange for my money.”

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15. the Proletariate Pusher said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 12:15PM

“Sean, admittedly the first film was a fun, mindless affair. The sexist humor and schoolboy charm wore off within the first few minutes. Then came this horror of a film.

First and foremost, let me clarify my position. I am not a movie snob. I once worked as a part-time janitor for a movie theater just so I could watch movies for free. Let me tell you, you will seriously lower your standards when you can watch flicks on the big screen for nothing.

Simply put, this film grates at your mind all the while numbing it like a Novocaine-coated fine grit sand paper.

It's movies like this that make me want to read a book just to reinvigorate my newly comatised brain cells.

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16. MERLIN said... on Mar 8, 2010 at 08:00PM

“i can someone understand your slighted review of doldrums and drivel, but i must say, if you didn't like transformers 2, you are an unimaginative geezer, who cant see the light of day. I don't mean to banter with the critic, but this movie was a spectacle of imagination, AND IF YOU DIDN'T LIKE THIS MOVIE, READ THE MOVIE POSTER NEXT TIME, BEFORE YOU WATCH A FILM.


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17. Transformers 2 kid VH said... on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:27AM


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18. transformers 2 kid VH said... on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:29AM

“Transformers is the best movie in the world even megan fox is in it!”

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19. Megan said... on Jun 3, 2010 at 03:23PM

“Brutal but honest. I like your style; especially the "spray-tanned skanks" bit.”

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20. MikeDunn said... on Jul 26, 2010 at 02:03PM

“I can't believe how many people hate the truth. I keep trying to like this movie but i can't. There is to much wrong with this film. One part that rings to mind is the cover up in the first movie. The transformers practically destroyed a major city and you expect me the believe in a cover up. How stupid do you think I am BAY.”

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21. Zed said... on Feb 7, 2011 at 09:36PM

“The theater where I saw this movie had a promotion on; "We guarantee you'll like this move or we'll refund your ticket!" I got my money back. . This review is 100% accurate. ANd I've been a TF fanboy since the 80's... I can guarantee that, as much as I like TF as a franchise, if the reviews for Bayformers 3 are as negative as for this pile of #2... I will not be wasting my time and money to see it, or even buy the DVD afterwards...”


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