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The Independent Critic

Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Isabel Lucas, Josh Duhamel
Michael Bay
Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Rated PG-13
150 Mins.
Dreamworks SKG

 "Transformers 2" Review 
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There's a phrase that legendary porn star Ron Jeremy has heard that undoubtedly applies to "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," director Michael Bay's follow up to the wildly successful first "Transformers."

Obnoxiously long.

While I have no problem going with the the Michael Bay theory that above all else "size matters," 95% of the women out there will tell you there is a point where it's simply too big.

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is simply too big.

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is too busy...too techno...too crowded with practically anonymous Autobots and Decepticons and, yes, way too damn long.

The studio says "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is 150 minutes long.

I beg to differ.

The film is 160 minutes long.

Either way, it's way too long.

Now then, despite the fact that 95% of the women out there would tell you there's a point of just plain "too big," they'll also tell you the plain and simple truth...when it gets THAT big, you can't help but sit in awe of it.

The same is true for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

It's big. It's obnoxious. It's way too long. It's downright overwhelming. I dare say it's exactly the film that Michael Bay wanted to give his audience.

If you loved the first "Transformers," it's hard to fathom you won't enjoy the second time around. Bay has brought back largely the same cast, added more robots, more action, more fight scenes and more Megan Fox.

Who cares about the critics? This sucker's going to kick box-office ass.

I can't help but give "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" a mild recommendation. After all, while critical praise may be hard to find for the film, Michael Bay is giving the audiences exactly what they want and does so with quite a bit style, humor, pizzazz and just plain fun. While the film easily runs a good 30-45 minutes longer than it needs to, it is a rather remarkable ride for much of the film's running time.

In "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," Shia LaBeouf returns as the young adventurer Sam Witwicky, who assists the wise and good Autobot named Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) in their battle against the Decepticons and the evil Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving) with the help of hottie girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox).

As we start off, Sam is trying to leave his adventurous life behind in favor of the "normal" life on a college campus. Is it a coincidence that his roommate turns out to be a rather weak-willed conspiracy theorist with more bark than bite (Ramon Rodriguez)?

Probably not.

Before long, of course, the battle starts up again Sam, Mikaela, the Autobots and the Decepticons are chasing each other around the globe, around the campus, up the mountains, under the ground, in the ocean and, finally, up the Egyptian pyramids.

This sucker is big, I tell you.

Admittedly, I'm still not sold on Hollywood's seemingly overwhelming desire to turn Shia LaBeouf into an action star. While he may be handsome enough and a bit more chiseled, LaBeouf still has a certain schoolboy charm about him that makes it really difficult to swallow the idea that he would find himself getting in, or for that matter, getting out of these types of predicaments.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Megan Fox still can't act.

She is hot, though.

LaBeouf does sort of bring to mind the everyman intrigue of Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and not just because this film borrows a key plot device from it. Ramon Rodriguez, as well, serves as a delightful contrast to the more confident Witwicky. John Turturro returns as Sector 7 Agent Simmons works in small doses, but occasionally becomes a bit too campy to fit the film's mood.

The truth is if you're one of the masses who will see "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" on opening weekend, then you're unlikely to concern yourself with effective acting, a cohesive plot  and/or technical prowess.

You want the goods.

Bay delivers.

While "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is way too big for its own good, somewhat surprisingly, it's actually not that bad.

Geeks rejoice and start getting ready for round three.


© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic