Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Michael Bay

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Michael Bay
Hey, Michael Bay - just because you have the U.S. military on speed dial doesn't mean that you need to use them in every other shot. Revenge of the Fallen, the sequel to Bay's first film based on the Hasbro toy, has so many gratuitous shots of military hardware you'd swear Bay was recruiting. In between though, Bay manages to blow up just about everything on the screen, be it soldiers, robots or the pyramids. Citizen Kane this ain't. But who slaps down $13 to see a Michael Bay flick about an '80s toy expecting pathos?

The simple version of the plot - and this is really all you need to follow along - is that the Autobots have teamed up with the U.S. military to fight the Decepticons. The more complicated version is that Transformers visited Earth thousands of years ago in search of Energon. A rogue Prime wanted to darken the earth's sun in order to extract it from the planet, but was stopped by the other Primes using the "Matrix of Leadership." Fast forward to today and the rogue Prime, known as The Fallen, is back and using Megatron and the rest of the Decepticons to complete his nefarious plan, and it's up to the Autobots, with the help of Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, to stop them.

Like most of Bay's films there is a disconnect between the serious "we have to work together to save the world" scenes and the ridiculous comedic scenes (courtesy of the always excellent John Turturro, and Kevin Dunn and Julie White as LaBeouf's parents). But somehow, despite the convoluted plot, the cringe inducing dialogue and the jumpy editing, the whole thing works. If you buy the basic conceit - that a group of alien robots are living on earth - it's really hard to argue with the ridiculousness of the rest of the film. Which makes Transformers the perfect vehicle for Bay's incredibly good looking and incredibly loud brand of filmmaking. (Dreamworks)