I received a "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" DVD from Netflix the other day and have finally gotten around to watching it. I will compose a live diary, inspired by Bill Simmons, to document my reactions to the film in real time. Everything is based on the 4:3 theatrical release, since the precision of my time stamps will obviously be of concern to future generations. Let it never be said Tony Palumbi cared nothing for posterity. Long gaps are likely action scenes, expository dialogue or shots of Megan Fox's ass.
0:01 Movie opens with a bunch of ancient African bush men hunting a tiger on the savanna. Where to begin. First, ain't no tigers in Africa. Never have been. It's an asian animal. Second, primitive people didn't hunt tigers because tigers will fucking kill you and it was too dangerous. They ignored tigers. And now giant evil robots are killing the bushmen. Slightly more credible than the tiger.
0:03 We're now in China, where friendly robots are helping U.S. soldiers find evil robots. Josh Duhamel plays a douchebag. A douchebag who is also the commander of this special unit. The Autobots are disguised as cars, because a fleet of hummers and 18-wheelers and VW bugs and sports cars escorted by U.S. Army APCs is inconspicuous.
0:04 "I smell him," says a robot. With all the amazing scanning tools at its disposal, one robot smells another robot.
0:07 Construction crane turns out to be a Decepticon in disguise. Mayhem ensues in the streets of a Chinese city. Good thing this is a secret unit.
0:09 Debut of the minstrel-show Amos 'n' Andy robot duo. Excellent. By the way, this evil robot was just acting like a construction crane, minding its own business in this city. It's being a productive member of society. These assholes are roaming the globe laying waste to entire cities just to hunt down and murder some other robots on the wrong side of a political dispute. Decepticons = Jedi Knights. THINK ABOUT IT.
0:11 Evil robot is executed by Optimus Prime while he lies helpless on a warehouse floor. Thousands of innocent Chinese citizens have been killed in the mayhem-filled pursuit, with billions in damage.
0:13 Shia LeBeouf is only the third most insufferable actor in this scene with his hysterical parents.
0:14 Megan Fox's ass is introduced to the audience.
0:15 Megan Fox is introduced to the audience.
0:16 Surprisingly entertaining banter between Shia and Megan, with some expository dialogue thrown in. It's poorly timed and doesn't really work, but the writing is good. Imagine what actors might have done with this.
0:17 A fragment of the cube from the first movie falls out of Shia's pocket and turns the appliances into evil little robots.
0:18 Bumblebee wrecks the garage but saves the day. Displays more acting chops than Shia.
0:20 Megan Fox is taking off her clothes while Shia tells Bumblebee he can't come along to college.
0:21 Witty fast-paced dialogue about why Shia and Megan haven't said "I love you" to each other. Snappy is better than nothing. Excellent closing Michael Bay Shot as over-dramatic music plays and the camera swooshes around Megan Fox. Every single dramatic scene is shot right before sunset and the orange light makes Megan look like a pumpkin.
0:24 SOUNDWAVE!!!!! Excellent. He should have been in the first one.
0:25 Said of Optimus: "If God made us in his image...who made him?" Whoa. Whoa. Also, minstrel robots re-appear.
0:26 Massive destruction in China is written off with a glib remark from Snarky Government Stooge. He proceeds to shit all over every single person in the Secret Military Base and talk down to the grunts. There's a lot of expository dialogue about a prophecied threat from Decepticons, then the guy talks shit to Optimus and gets smacked down!!! PWN!
0:31 Shia arrives at college, meets his roommate. Snappy dialogue follows and they become instant friends. Turns out Shia's roommate is running a website out of the room, because these two college freshmen have enough space in their dorm room for a huge office/server room in addition to everything else.
0:32 Oh snap, it's a website that aggregates video and conspiracy theories about the Transformers, which have apparently been covered up really well despite the thousands of deaths and billions in damage in major cities. But these guys have no idea who Shia is or that he was involved with these same robots.
0:33 Shia's mom has eaten a pot brownie for some reason. 10 minutes later, she is reduced to complete lunacy. That's how that works. Also, despite the fact that Shia is going to college "back east in the snow," his college campus in the fall is L.A. on a summer day right before sunset.
0:35 Decepticons are stealing a fragment of the Cube! Because the Government Dick insisted to Optimus that it be placed under military protection exclusively, the Autobots do not respond. I will guess now that he turns out to be an evil robot agent.
0:37 Shia is at a party, while Megan tries to contact him for a "live chat date." This is the emptiest, quietest college party ever. Shia is also seeing all kinds of crazy symbols as a result of his contact with the Cube fragment that made his kitchen turn evil.
0:38 Some skank is all over Shia. Megan Fox is wearing 3 pounds of make-up.
0:39 Bumblebee shows up to the party in car form. There is a legitimately funny frat-boy joke. The skank gets in the car with Shia and Bumblebee doesn't like her, so he sprays fluid all over her and ruins her attempt to seduce Shia. I believe she will also be an evil robot agent.
0:41 Shia meets Optimus at a cemetery just before sunset. He says bad shit is going down and he tells us the Cube fragment was stolen.
0:44 Decepticons go for Megatron's tomb at the bottom of the ocean. "It's 9300 fathoms down!" Over 50,000 feet. I don't think that depth exists anywhere.
0:46 Megatron is woken up and he goes into space to talk to some super evil robot. Turns out Megatron is Darth Vader to this guy's Emperor. The super evil robot even calls him "my apprentice." At least look up a synonym. Disciple? Protege? Anyway, more expository dialogue about how Shia now has the power of the All Spark (Cube) inside his mind, and how only Optimus can stop the super evil guy.
0:51 Rainn Wilson is an insufferably Astronomy professor at Shia's college. I get that he's supposed to be a goofy cartoonish character, but he is laying it on way too thick. Let's be honest: Rainn Wilson has one good role in life, and he's playing it now on The Office. We went down this road with Zach Braff. Let's not go down it again.
0:54 Said of Megan Fox by a tiny Decepticon attempting to steal the shard that "infected" Shia: "You're hot, but you ain't too bright!"
0:55 The little robot is basically Joe Pesci. He is slightly more obnoxious, but only slightly. He is defeated by Megan Fox in a slutty shirt.
0:56 Nice "Bad Boys II" poster on the wall of Shia's dorm room.
0:57 The skank from Shia's college is way too tan. She's also a Decepticon, which I totally called. You can go back and check, I'll wait.
1:01 Megan Fox has flown cross-country to take the shard to Shia, and now mayhem is ensuing with the Decepticon skank. A library gets shot up, which makes sense since books are pretty much the antithesis of everything Michael Bay stands for.
1:03 Why did the Decepticon create mayhem, then go back to her human form, then create more mayhem immediately? What is the point of all these disguises when you break them 10 seconds after assuming them? And why did they take a shitty Scion to flee from the dorms when Bumblebee was around? Where is he?
1:08 Pretty awesome scene of Shia getting his sinuses ventilated by a little doctor Decepticon. It pains me that this is all CGI and did not actually happen.
1:12 Optimus is dual-wielding some kind of fire blades. They own pretty hard, though lord knows why he turns them off when he's hitting Megatron.
1:13 Optimus gets shanked by Megatron and dies. The cavalry arrives almost immediately, so you wonder why Optimus didn't just run until they could link up. He's have to know where they were, right?
1:15 Michael Bay Helicopter Revolving Shot of a rooftop in LA where two Decepticons are talking. Why do robots place so much emphasis on face-to-face meetings?
1:17 Decepticons blow up the U.S. Fleet and attack cities around the globe. Not sure what they are attempting to accomplish. Oh, they still need Shia to complete their world domination and they're telling the whole world to give them Shia. There has to be a better way to go about this.
1:21 Another appearance by the Minstrel Robots. Their faces look like big-eyed monkey faces and they're animated differently from all the other Transformers. Who decided it was okay to put them in this movie?
1:23 Government Dick tells the military guys to stand down and pack their stuff into base, in order to save American lives. Black Soldier says, "That guy is an assHOLE." Remember, I predicted at the start he'd be a Decepticon.
1:24 The way Bumblebee talks is kinda cool. Oh Lord, more Minstrelbots.
1:26 John Turturro finally makes his appearance. While I love the guy, every other line is cringe-worthy. And while the old photos he shows us are black-and-white, a video clip "shot in 1932" is in full color.
1:30 Joe Pesci's Robot Analogue was in Megan Fox's suitcase for half the movie, yet never figured out a way to escape.
1:33 The Gang (Shia, Megan, Joe Pesci and John Turturro) have met an old and non-evil Decepticon. He's a confused decrepit robot who switched sides in the civil war. He provides comic relief. Like most of the comic dialogue, this is actually pretty well-written. And it's delivered by a professional Hollywood voice actor, as opposed to a post-teen fuckwit.
1:39 Now we're in Egypt. Maybe The Gang will see a tiger!
1:40 Turns out the Decepticon Emperor is called "The Fallen." That will save some keystrokes.
1:43 Camels roll through a shot of The Gang's motorcade driving through the desert. Next shot: Great Pyramid of Giza in the background as The Gang's motorcade drives through the desert. In case you weren't aware, they're in Egypt.
1:46 "Hilarious" confrontation with a midget Egyptian soldier at a guard post, followed immediately by a Minstrelbot appearance. Melanin is funny.
1:48 Megan: "You realize I just flew 3000 miles to keep you from getting killed." You know what? That's not such an admirable thing, Megan. That's not really that big a deal. That's 6 hours--7 with a headwind--and they serve you a beverage of your choice.
1:50 Josh Duhamel straps a parachute on the Government Dick and throws him off a plane over the North African desert. He'll probably survive. Probably. But this means he's not a Decepticon, so I'm 1 for 2 on those predictions.
1:51 Fisticuffs erupt between the Minstrelbots inside an Egyptian temple. They'll probably knock each other into a secret door and break through to whatever they're looking for.
1:55 Much like the Crystal Skull in the most recent Indiana Jones abomination, the Matrix of Leadership is just lying on the floor of some tomb. It crumbles into dust when touched, but Shia uses the following reasoning: "We didn't go through all of this for nothing. This isn't how this is supposed to end." And you know what? He's right.
1:58 John Turturro tases Shia's roommate to shut him up. Megan and Shia are right there, but for some reason they get to keep talking.
2:03 Some Army General, concerning the loss of all radio and satellite contact with Josh Duhamel's team: "Something's not right here. It doesn't add up." Maybe the technologically advanced alien race THAT YOU KNOW IS FIGHTING AGAINST YOU had something to do with this?
2:05 I don't claim to know Megan Fox's character that well. I will say this: if I insisted on holding my girlfriend's hand the entire time as we ran across the Egyptian desert for miles, she would not be cool with that. The sweatiness alone would seriously strain our relationship.
2:06 Black Soldier, seeing an incoming force of Decepticons: "We 'bout to get our asses WHOOPED!"
2:08 "No, Megan, cut! Can we cut?" "What's wrong, Michael!" "I need you to bend over while you run towards the camera. Bend over WAY OVER! Yeah, like that! You're trying to keep your head down, remember that!"
2:10 This world-vacuuming Decepticon is specially programmed to inhale the most awesome and explosion-prone stuff first.
2:11 Extended action sequence with heavy doses of the Minstrelbots. Ghetto banter and explosions are in no short supply.
2:14 Bumblebee grabs a cat-like Decepticon's tail, and proceeds to remove its entire spine. He shucks that bitch like an ear of corn. Brutal.
2:15 The climax of this enormous extended battle scene will occur just before sunset.
2:17 John Turturro laying it on pretty thick. He's reminding me of Al Pacino right now, and not the good Al. The yelling Al.
2:20 There is no way to describe what I am seeing. I know I'm doing you all a disservice, but this has to be seen.
2:22 Re-appearance of the old friendly Decepticon. He saves Shia and Megan and Josh, but can be heard to utter "I'm too old for this." I take back every good thing I've said about this character.
2:26 Things got a little misty there, between Megan and Shia and myself. But I've pulled myself together. We'll finish this thing. God, this movie is long.
2:33 Excellent final battle, with Optimus ripping The Fallen's face off and everything. But I feel like there's gonna be hugging and crying and that's what they're doing now. Okay.
2:35 Credits + Linkin Park. What can I even say about this? It's beautiful.
And that's about it. It wasn't as bad as I was led to believe. Hi Mom, because you're the only one who read this far.