Monday, June 29, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen

It was when driving back after watching the latest Transformers, when it struck me that they cribbed the plot from the Bible. Yeah, I am that slow. But then, tell me which part of the Bible did not become source for story telling in Hollywood. If not God, Satan has helped to make Tinseltown’s cash registers to ring.

It’s all there. The bad guy is The Fallen, who was a Prime (yes, they have races/caste amongst them too) who became bad and went to the dark side. Yes, there’s Star Wars for you. He becomes The Fallen (angel, Lucifer, get it? That’s Michael Bay, the director & his writers attempting something more intelligent than makeshift toys). And then, you get the main character, Optimus Prime dead and then resurrected to beat the ultimate bad guy. In fact, three characters get to come out of from being dead.

If you have seen the first one, then I shall not bother to go on the details. You have the same Autobots (led by the sagely Optimus Prime) and the Decepticon (led by Megatron who look like he was sculpted with razor blades). Then you have shitloads of bots. All kind. There is definitely going to be Transformers 3 and if Bay is going to one-up the number of robots here, he might as well do a film in a planet filled with bots and do away with human.

Shia LeBeouf returns as Sam whatsisname and he tags a long with Autobot again to fight the Decepticon, and he did well. Seems to be good actor, this chap. I was impressed with him here, amidst the bang bang boom boom, Shia delivered good performance.

Then you have Megan Fox who is there for obvious reasons and John Torturro who is there for same obvious reasons (comedy, former unintentional, and sex, as we get to see the latter’s butt).

Okay, first thing I notice was the violence. Granted there were no blood, thousands die in this film, no thanks to the gigantic robots rampaging like Ultraman’s enemies. You see bodies flying, floating, and one being stomped, stuck on a bot’s feet and is dislodged as the Bot lifts its feet. And about 30% of the audience are kids! They were supposed to be part of the target audiences.

As for the bots themselves, if you have seen the original, then there is nothing new. There was one about a bot, begetting a bot, begetting thousands. It gave me a headache. Also, I am still wondering why it takes them, especially Optimus, long to transform. In the cartoon, I recall, it was a matter of seconds. Here it takes longer than a girl dolling up for candlelight dinner. I know, it’s basically to show off the CGI splendour, but frankly I didn’t give a damn.

Frankly, too, I didn’t give a damn during the action sequences. It was a blur. I can’t tell who is pummelling whom, all the bots look alike. Hell, they may even be violently making out, for all I know. I yawned and yawned during those scenes. Particularly the climactic battle, that went on and on and on like that freaking Duracell rabbit. Reminded me of Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down, where the entire film is about one ground combat; also a “based on true story” film so detailed that they missed out a crucial rescue effort by Malaysian soldiers. Hollywood.

So, there you. A CGI fest based on some toys they made back in the 80s, given some biblical back story, and with script tied around the so called major battle scenes. The last time I was really impressed with CGI was back in 1993 when Spielberg unleashed some dinosaurs onto poor unsuspecting us. So, the bots didn’t do much to me. The action scenes bored me. The comedy did tickle me. But come on, I was not even interested in those extensive long slow-mo shots of Megan Fox’s bouncing boobs in a lowcut blouse with explosions in the background. Did I say 30% of the audience were kids?

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