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TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

SYNOPSIS:
The century-long war between two races of robotic aliens - the Autobots and the Decepticons - continues, with the fate of the universe at stake. Teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is accidentally in possession of a powerful metal shard, needed by rogue Decepticons need to free their leader Megatron (voice of Hugo Weaving). Sam has just farewelled his gorgeous mechanic girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) and parents (Julie White, Kevin Dunn), before starting college. But the evil giant robots are hot on his trail, while Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sargeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) from the elite Government squad NEST, are quickly on the case.

Review by Louise Keller:
With Michael Bay's stamp all over it, this sequel certainly looks amazing with an onslaught of explosive visual effects, a grandiose plot, exotic locations, a generous dose of humour, a cast of thousands and a budget of squillions. The storyline is as complex as the film's running time is long; I must admit I did get lost and confused at times. It all gets repetitive too after a while (robotic freeze-over eventually sets in), despite the fact there's plenty to keep our attention. Fortunately, beyond the dazzle and frazzle of the special effects, the human cast, headed by charismatic Shia LaBeouf and the drop-dead gorgeous Megan Fox, is terrific. It's about issues as diverse as saving the world, leaving home for college and saying the L word.

Like the original, the film is a giant frenetic spectacle that worships excess. Bigger is better as bridges collapse, explosions boom, cars are spliced in two and transformers morph into all kinds of eye-popping shapes and sizes. The scene in which hundreds of little silver balls that roll on the floor suddenly turn into miniature transformers is fabulous, and I love the transformer whose form is reminiscent of a leopard. (There is still something fascinating about watching a car turn into a mega-massive, super shiny robot.) The 'remodelling' of one of the pyramids in Egypt is fittingly ostentatious in the lead up to the story's climax.

Things brighten up considerably when John Turturro's special agent comes into the picture (the scene in his mother's deli, where he has been working, is hilarious), and we get to see his skimpy thong underwear, too. LaBeouf has great appeal - balancing his quest to save the world with his everyday issues and his relationships, while Fox manages not only to look sensational in any situation, but is convincing too. The seduction scene in which Isabel Lucas' Alice tries to have her way with Sam in his college bedroom is one you will not forget, and Ramon Rodriguez is a good natured addition to the cast as Sam's college roommate. All the transformers have voices that sound like radio announcers; Hugo Weaving is booming good as the voice of Megatron. The sound and sound mixing is top notch, as is the editing and Steve Jablonsky's score is suitably grand. Teenage boys, of course, will be in special effects heaven.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (M)
(US, 2009)

CAST: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Ramon Rodriguez ,Isabel Lucas, Julie White, Kevin Dunn, Tyrese Gibson, Matthew Marsden, Samantha Smith

VOICES: Hugo Weaving, Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Mark Ryan, Darius McCrary

PRODUCER: Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy

DIRECTOR: Michael Bay

SCRIPT: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Seresin

EDITOR: Roger Barton, Tom Muldoon, Joel Negron, Paul Rubell

MUSIC: Steve Jablonsky

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nigel Phelps

RUNNING TIME: 150 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 25, 2009







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