Although visually impressive, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is cluttered and more silly than its predecessor, as director Michael Bay struggles to hold the viewers interest between impressive effects heavy action sequences.
The films plot is ridiculous and often confusing, opting for a Chariot of the Gods style backdrop for the dazzling carnage to follow. As per standard procedure towards sequels, Bay darkens the film up some, as the villainous Deceptacons- led by a resurrected Megatron and his Lucifer inspired master, simply known as The Fallen - make their move to annihilate the Earth via a sun destroying weapon hidden somewhere in Egypt.
Standing in their way are the heroic Autobots, who have formed an alliance with the America military. Once again mixed up in the eternal war is unwilling hero Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who after coming across a shard left from the All Spark (the source of the robotic aliens energy, destroyed after the first film) absorbs its power, making him a marked man in the eyes of the Deceptacons.
Without the element of surprise on his side – which made the first movie so memorable – Bay has opted to heighten the more successful elements from Transformers, with his first step to properly exploit Megan Fox’s newfound sex symbol status, framing her fit torso and lush lips to such a degree that one could swear the camera was shaking with delight.
Bay’s second move is to acknowledge why the Transformers have been a success for so long: duelling robots are cool! And in ...Revenge of the Fallen there are plenty of them, superbly crafted and brought to life for the delight of the action starved masses, who although may not be hit with the “wow !”factor which the previous film possessed, will never the less be impressed by the show on hand as Bay sweeps his camera across the lush landscapes upon which his metallic giants do battle.
It is the space between these moments that are problematic, with scattered comedy sketches featuring horny robots and conspiracy nut college roommates (played irritatingly so by Ramon Rodriguez; made worse with the return of John Turturro’s neurotic spook) trying too hard to get a reaction, while distracting the viewer from remembering that the films plot is a nonsensical mess.
...Revenge of the Fallen is fantastically over the top, even for a Michael Bay movie. But then again, that may be the point: any film based on a toy line was never going to be a subtle affair.
The first Transformers proved that, and this sequel wastes no time delivering even bigger action and harder (often annoyingly so) laughs. Yet bigger does not necessarily mean better, especially at almost 2 hours, some of which should have been left on the cutting room floor, or given over to more robot action.