Monday, July 20, 2009

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

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The sequel to highly-acclaimed anime turned movie; there were so much expectations from the fans in anticipating the continuation or more action in the following sequel.

I was not expecting much; after I viewed the trailer which seems to set it in a very slow-paced and boring mode. When it was released, there was a major hoo-ha (as usual) where everyone was rushing to the cinema to catch the robots in action once more on the big screen and came back, spilling out good reviews and favorable opinions on the sequel which had them all go ga-ga over the visual effects.

Everyone had that 'WOW' expression written all over them and movie reviews state that this was an exciting watch; with MEGA action and for some of the lewd viewers, the sequel also promised more scenes of the sexy Megan Fox.

I brushed away all the reviews and expectations and went to watch this sequel.

Synopsis:
It is revealed that thousands of years before Optimus Prime and the other Transformers arrived on Earth, there was a race of ancient Transformers who scoured the universe looking for Energon sources. Known as the Dynasty of Primes, they used a weapon called the Sun Harvester to drain stars of their energy in order to convert it to Energon and power Cybertron's AllSpark. The Primes agreed that life-bearing worlds would be spared, but one brother, who was thereafter dubbed "The Fallen", constructed a Sun Harvester on Earth in 17,000 BCE. The remaining brothers thus sacrificed their bodies in order to hide the Matrix of Leadership —the key that activates the Sun Harvester— from The Fallen, who swore to seek revenge upon Earth once he found the key. (taken from Wikipedia)

The Autobots have formed an alliance with the humans through their military forces, forming a team known as NEST; with the objective to continue to wipe out the remaining Decepticons on earth.
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It started in Shanghai and the battle went on as the NEST continues to launch attacks on the hidden Decepticons; at the same time, minimizing the injuries and damaged to the living. However, as things would have it and knowing those heavy weight carried by the metallic robots, they caused much more damage than they knew it.
This led the China authorities to be angered and the National Security Advisor, Theodore Galloway was sent to put a halt onto the operations carried out by the NEST; much to the anger of the Autobots and the alliance commanders; Major William Lennox and Chief Master Sergeant Robert Epps.

At the same time, we see Shia LaBeouf reprising his role as Sam Whitwicky and he was getting ready to go to college and was going through an emotional farewell with his mother when he found a small bit of the Allspark left in his jacket. He then entrusted this bit of metal to his girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox) before leaving for college.
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He bade farewell to Bumblebee; claiming that he cannot bring the robot to college.
Before he left, there was a battle as Bumblebee destroys the little spawned Decepticons running out following the discovery of the Allspark; causing damage to his house.

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As Sam arrives in college, he was outraged to find that Bumbleebee has trailed him all the way there during one of the fraternity parties thrown on campus.
He was also taken aback to find a rather looney roommate who claims to be the founder of an alien conspiracy website who kept persuading him to work for him. At the same time, Sam also had to fend off the sexual advances of Alice; a coursemate who seems to be interested in him.
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As he continues to communicate with Mikaela who has found a little Decepticon, Wheelie, which trailed her for that bit of AllSpark, she managed to tame the robot after burning one of its eye and decided to leave for Philadelphia to meet up with her boyfriend.
Sam found himself having visions of weird characters and symbols appearing before him; causing him in a trance-like state and as he tries frantically to write them all down over the wall and everywhere.
It was then that Alice came onto him again; right in the middle of Mikaela's arrival and then turning into a Decepticon Pretender, Alice pursued Sam and Mikaela who tried to escape but to no avail as Sam ends up in the Decepticons' hands.

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Decepticon Soundwave taps onto the NEST's satellite to find out the location of Megatron and managed to get the information on that remaining bit of Allspark as well. They launched into their rescue mode to revive their leader; who is then reunited with Starscream and his master, The Fallen.
The Fallen instructs Megatron to locate Sam Whitwicky; whom he claims hold the information to the site of the Matrix Leadership hidden by his dead brothers.

In the Decepticons' hands, Sam was about to be killed to obtain the Cybertronian language in his head when the Bumblebee and Optimus Prime broke in to rescue him from the evil Decepticons' hands. However, in the ensuing battle, Optimus Prime was killed and he urged Sam to run for his life in his dying breath.

Following Prime's death, the Fallen is resurrected and Megatron starts to attack the planet earth. The Fallen then threatens mankind to surrender Sam Whitwicky or suffer an endless attack from the Decepticons. Lost and no where to go, Leo suggested to Sam to look up "RoboWarrior" who may be able to shed some light on the strange characters in Sam's head.
RoboWarrior turns out to be former Sector Seven agent Simmons; who was currently running his mother's restaurant. He was reluctant to help initially; however, upon much persuasion, he gets involved and provided information to Sam, Mikaela and Leo that the Transformers clan has been on Earth for a very long time and their language has been left on all the ruins of the world through the pictures he produced to them.
He then suggested that they enlist a help of a robot; or a Decepticon who can assist them on the right person to provide them with the information and Mikaela produced Decepticon Wheelie from her bag.

Decepticon Wheelie then leads them to the Smithsonian Institute where they found JetFire. As Wheelie convinces Sam to put the bit of AllSpark to revive Jetfire, Mikaela screams in angst when she found the logo of Decepticon marked on Jetfire.
However, Jetfire turned out to be a frustrated robot and he revealed himself to have switched to the Autobots due to his profound admiration for the Primes.
His revelation then led them to the land of Egypt; to the pyramids where the Matrix of Leadership is hidden.

With the clues they have, they stumbled upon the tomb of the Primes and it was through the heated argument of Mudflap and Skids which brought them to the Matrix; which crumbled into dust at Sam's hands.
Sam was in despair as he lost the only aid available to revive Optimus Prime; however, he did not give up hope as he frantically collects the dust from the Matrix and contacts Major Lennox to ship the body of Optimus Prime to Egypt for him to revive the leader of the Autobots.

Major Lennox tricked Galloway mid-flight and successfully shipped Optimus Prime to Egypt; which at the same time attracted most of the Decepticons on pursuit as they engaged in a huge battle at the desert.
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The Decepticons held Sam's parents hostage and was rescued by the Autobots. In his desperate rush towards Optimus, Sam was killed in the blast.


In his out-of body experience, Sam was revived by the dead Primes; who told him that the Matrix of Leadership is not to be found physically but to be earned and Sam has proved that through his noble deed in trying to help Optimus Prime and he is sent back to life.

When Optimus Prime is revived, the battle starts between the Autobots and Decepticons.
The Fallen managed to steal the Matrix and revived the Sun Harvester; but was destroyed by Optimus Prime who killed the Fallen; while Megatron escaped, vowing revenge.

I presume there will definitely be a sequel!

Opinion:
I find the sequel introduced too many new robots; and for fans with basic knowledge like mine, we just watch it for entertainment purpose without cracking our head to figure out which is which. The hardcore fans, on the other hand, will be racing through their memory to recall the robots based on their shape and style; figuring their names.

I must say that the effects are still stunning; and I've read in the papers that the programmers and the folks behind the effects almost blew up their PC while working on this. It is no surprise; especially to those of us who came from the field of IT. Judging from the visual effects which includes transformation, transmorphing, etc, this involves multiple calculations in rendering and also programming to ensure it slides at the perfect angle to produce a realistic and smooth effect.
I am in so much awe of their works that I felt I should not be saying much about the movie, but as an honest reviewer and a blogger, I just wanted to share my thoughts on this mega blockbuster which blew most minds away (no pun intended)

The producers seem to be in too much of a hurry to bring in so many robots at the same time; confusing all the audience (as I have stated above).
Besides, the colors were all similar and you just can't differentiate who's who anymore. It's just like watching something without any value, that's the disappointing part.

Notable cast/characters:
1. Shia LeBouf, once again, did a great job here especially when he went into the trance mode; mumbling and picturing all the Cybertronian symbols. No easy feat, but achieved by our actor here.

2. John Turturro, who was Agent Simmons; he was definitely hilarious!

3. John Benjamin Hickey, who was the annoying Theodore Galloway. You can't like him that much, but you can't hate him all the same as he was just doing his job.

4. Why is it that I feel that Megan Fox is only portrayed as a sex symbol and the companion of Sam Whitwicky?
She was also portrayed as those damsel in distress who waits on her boyfriend while he is at college. As far as I remember, Mikaela was also a spunky girl back then in the prequel, please bring her back!

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There's also more romance in this sequel; and again, Sam became the guy who refused to utter "I Love You" to Mikaela, the girl of his dreams? I thought he was in love with her all the while in Part 1?
Is this another case of guys who just treat the girls differently once they have won their hearts?

Whatever, that is not the matter at question and I believe it just an extra plot to garner attention of those Transformers hardcore fans; or Megan Fox hardcore fans.

Is this a much better installation compared to the first? I think this one is not too bad either; definitely more action and visual effects and for Megan Fox fans, yes, a lot more of Megan Fox too.

1 comment:

andrew said...

Director Michael Bay has always had a passion for big, noisy spectacles and Revenge Of The Fallen is a bravura display of his ability to mastermind global destruction. What it lacks is the human touch, decent dialogue, novelty and restraint.



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