The good, the bad, and the down right ugly return in the sequel to Michael Bay’s 2007 summer blockbuster, Transformers. Revenge of the Fallen picks up 2 years after the events of the first film and really shows why Michael Bay was again the perfect choice to helm this franchise. Speculation about how long the film was going to be has finally been answered. 2 and a half hours for the uninitiated would seem a terrifying prospect as characters are introduced from all corners; but for fans of the bots, it’s a thrill ride from the very start, right up until the end credits role. Shia Le Beouf and Megan Foxx return as Sam Witwicky and love interest Mikeala in a sequel that’s as loud and obnoxious as it is long. As with the first film, the story is a little thin on the ground, but thankfully there is enough here to satisfy even the hardest to please. The Decepticons (the bad guys) are mobilizing once again to take control of Earth, while the Autobots (the good guys) working together with human intelligence try to destroy their feared rivals. It’s based on plastic toy figures, so you can’t expect much more.
Special effects are again outstanding with a finish on them that not even the first movie could hold a candle to, the transformers once more look 100% realistic in their presence, though with a $200m budget, outstanding was the least to be expected. Regrettably, the action sequences sometimes can look messy, with a mash of metal making it hard to distinguish who is attacking who or who has fallen; one heart wrenching scene in particular makes this point even more evident. Acting from all corners is sublime, Le Beouf certainly knows how to do that cocky teenager and Megan Foxx provides a nice bit of lustre to place on the horizon. But, by far the standout is Julie White as Mrs. Witwicky, her performance in the first film was brilliant, but she has exceeded that by a mile in this instalment; utterly hilarious is the only way to describe her acting. Of the robotic kind, Peter Cullen does an excellent job as the voice of Autobot leader Optimus Prime, with the same gravely texture that made him such a hit for the cartoon series in the first place. Hugo Weaving also returns as the voice of arch nemesis Megatron. Bay packs on the slapstick in this sequel, perhaps going a little too far with the humour; after all, it isn’t supposed to be an outright comedy, though some of the funny touches are out-and-out hilarious. The finale is, as with its predecessor a little short and to the point, though many would say it was ‘succinct’, but any longer and the film would have started to drag, Bay obviously learning his lesson from the mess that was Pearl Harbour. Overall then, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is an excellent sequel to what promises to be an exciting future for the franchise. Whilst it may not match its predecessor in terms of story and plot, it is a must watch for all action cravers. 3 / 5