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What is the core success of "Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen?" - CinemaDave

Jun. 28th, 2009 11:51 am What is the core success of "Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen?"

**Transformers Revenge of the Fallen** is a hard movie to criticize. For a big budgeted motion picture, the film opened with some of the worst collective reviews from the mainstream film critics. On the other hand, people shelled out approximately 200 million dollars in box office revenue to see **Transformers 2** in both regular and IMAX screens, which is very impressive given the recent celebrity news cycle involving Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Like the original **Transformers** from two years ago, **Transformers Revenge of the Fallen** is a triumph of marketing movies with 1980s nostalgia.

The sequel begins with a stumble. **Transformers Revenge of the Fallen** suffers from director Michael Bay love of frenetic action sequences, that are often hard to follow. visually. The nighttime battle in Asia is confusing because one can not distinguish the differences between the bad robots (Decepticons) and the good robots (Autobots). However, once we are reunited with the Witwicky family, the this sequel becomes much more interesting.

Sam (Shia LeBeouf) leaves home to go to college. His girlfriend, Mikaela (Meghan Fox) stays behind to fix motorcycles for her father's small business. After barely surviving his first day of college, Sam has a reunion with Optimus Prime, the heroic Autobot leader from the last motion picture.

Optimus Prime explains to Sam that it is his destiny to save the world. Sam says he has other things to do, like get good grades and stay in touch with his girlfriend. Sam than goes on on to have a nervous breakdown in class and gets caught cheating on Mikaela. Of course, things go from bad to worst as Sam, Mikaela and the Autobots must thwart the wicked schemes of the Decepticons.

The action sequences do improve (or my eyes adjusted) as **Transformers Revenge of the Fallen** progresses. The final showdown occurs in the sands of the middle east. Setting the stage with broad action sequences, director Michael Bay manages to present some individual details of the individual in warfare. Most of the actors, especially LeBeouf, Kevin Dunn and John Turtorro give credible performances that balance the tragic with the comic. Megan Fox does not have to act as much; except to pose and run in slow motion wearing denim shorts with a tank top through the desert. Oh yeah, she looks pretty in a burka.

Along with earlier Paramount Pictures releases, **Star Trek,** **A Night at the Museum 2 Battle at the Smithsonian,** **Transformers Revenge of the Fallen** offers something special visually on the 60 foot IMAX screen at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery. There are subtle references (also know in DVD jargon as Easter eggs) that connect all three diverse movies.

Also of note, is the respect that the **Transformers** film makers pay to the American Military. Ten years ago, summer blockbusters featured military as buffoonish toy soldiers and easy victims for monsters. It also should be noted that these well marketed blockbusters, (IE **Godzilla**) were box office disappointments. Perhaps the lesson of **Transformers Revenge of the Fallen,** is that if filmmakers respect the sensibilities of the consumer, the consumer will reward the film makers despite bad reviews from the mainstream media.

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