Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen Poster: BumblebeeI’m taking a break from the month-long delayed BotCon posts to comment on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

I initially had planned on seeing the flick, tonight Tuesday June 23 at 12:01am at San Tan Village. I had pre-purchased 2 tickets for myself and Jessica. I had planned on taking Wednesday off to recoup from the long night in line and in the theater.

My timetable jumped up a little over a day when Jessica was able to procure 2 passes to the pre-screening event being held at Tempe Marketplace’s Cine Capri, at 7pm on June 22. A co-worker of hers got the pair of tickets from a relative, who in turn won them from a contest. Knowing that I was a fan, and not wanting to use them himself; I got to see the film early.

Jessica actually got the tickets around noon on Monday, and quickly rushed over to the theater to get in line. These tickets weren’t guaranteed seats, and so we needed to save our place in line. About 30 minutes later I arrived.

By the time I got there, the line that was formed inside was 90% full with about 75 people. Some folks had been there since 6am, just waiting in line. Lots of folks had folding chairs, which spurred myself to go pick up some similar chairs from Target for $10 a piece. There were other lines for radio content winners (maybe 100 people total), but there was also a line outside that was also growing and ended up wrapping around the building. They provided water to these folks, but it was still damn hot out there and they weren’t guaranteed seats (and eventually most wouldn’t even make it in).

So Jessica and I sat there, listening to iPods and talking to folks for about ~6 hours. We had waited in tons of lines at BotCon and so this was yet another bout of waiting. I was really tired of these lines, but it was a special event and we were going to see it before the Hollywood premiere which was a nice bonus.

Once we slugged through the long wait, we were left to get the only seats we had access to: 3 rows from the front and to the far right. They were not optimum seats by any means, and in addition the entire upper middle section was roped off for press and vip’s. Regardless we had seats.

After a quick bit of routines from ASU cheerleaders, radio contests, and then a short intro from Todd McFarlane, we got to finally see the movie I had waited so many months to see.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is an interesting movie. Not great by any means, and in my opinion not as good as the first one. The shots of the robots do seem to be better framed, but there is still lots of blur and lots of debris flying everywhere. In addition there is still lots of camera shake and obscuring foreground objects.

The new Transformers they introduce are not used very well, and many are disposed of very very quickly. In addition, lots of characters seem to have multiple copies just to serve as cannon fodder. A good example is the use of the Constructicons. Great to finally see movie versions, but they are almost disposable characters like clones.

The plot is somewhat hard to follow and honestly not all that interesting. It is passable, but it could have been more. It almost seems like this movie suffered from a bad edit as you can tell bits and pieces that had been cut (and been in trailers) might have helped flesh it out further. It was still over 2 hours so it didn’t really need to be much longer.

DevastatorThe biggest disappointment for me was Devastator. I was really looking forward to seeing the big guy and what they would do with him, but like most others have since stated, he is wasted. From the trailers, and even the clip at BotCon, it seemed like he’d be better utilized. It is epic when he is combining together, but then he gets owned pretty easily for such a massive character. Also the humor at his expense on the pyramid is quite crude and pointless.

In fact, most of the humor is way way cruder than the first. Lots of the jokes and occasional swear words really don’t fit. Drug jokes, sex jokes, etc. I know its PG-13, but the stuff they thought would be funny was just plain dumb.

In the end, I’m glad I saw it. Not quite what I had hoped (I even tried to keep my presumptions low), and maybe it kinda fell flat because of how it was presented. The film was out of focus and our placement in the theater really made the whole experience a semi-dud. Not much too complain about though when they are free and early.

On the other hand, I’m quite happy with the toys they have released so far for the movie. In addition, I’m hoping when I see it again in IMAX the visual experience will be better.

As it stands though, I really can’t recommend the film to the casual moviegoer. Or at a minimum, I’d recommend keeping your expectations low. I like summer popcorn movies, and I’m not picky about movies having to be perfect, but the pieces just didn’t come together on this one the way they should have.

The toys on the other hand are quite awesome.