Tuesday, June 30, 2009

JayRo Watches Movies: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the second largest 5 day opening ever, next to The Dark Knight. It's also receiving incredibly poor reviews, running a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes.com This is seemingly a contradiction; why would somebody rush to pay money to see something that has been almost uniformly panned?

The answer is obvious when you see the movie. Transformers 2 is just as loud, hectic and visually stunning as the first. In some cases, the action becomes even more hectic to the point where you lose track of which robot is on which side. In short, Transformers 2 takes every stereotype associated with a "summer blockbuster" movie, aims to take them as far as they can be taken, and succeeds.

What it doesn't do is strive to have a deeper meaning. It does not go much below the surface. Other than John Turturro, there is nothing resembling a decent acting performance. The plot is superficial, there to move to the next action scene. And yet, the movie still works. Why? Because the movie doesn't try to be anything but what it was before - action that you can check your brain at the door and watch.

I think the issue with the critics is that they either would not accept the movie for what it was, or held it to the same standard as every other film they watch. While treating it like every other film is a fair way to operate, it will short change Transformers 2, thus the disconnect.

The best review would be the one that says "If you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy the second one. If you did not enjoy the first one, you will not enjoy the second one." But sadly, that doesn't lead itself to star or point ratings that summarize nicely on Rotten Tomatoes.

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