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‘Transformers: ROTF’ is Out! Reviews, Unfortunately, are In…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 View Comments

When the original Transformers was released in 2007, it became the surprise hit of the summer: it opened on a Monday evening, and by the following Sunday it had made $155.4 million dollars. Final tally? $319.2 million. (And that’s the domestic gross alone. LOL !!!)

The reviews were also solid — for a summer movie, anyway. Of all the reviews listed on Rotten Tomatoes, 57% of them were positive. RT’s consensus? “While believable characters are hard to come by in Transformers, the effects are staggering and the action is exhilarating.”

In other words, it was a classic example of a good Michael Bay movie.

Not to be preaching doom on a site called Transformers Movie Buzz, but the responses so far for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen seem to indicate that it’s a bad Michael Bay movie.

For a direct comparison, the Rotten Tomatoes score is now at 21% — 31 positive reviews versus 115 negative reviews. But it’s the content of the reviews themselves that tell a bigger story. Ain’t it Cool News, the granddaddy of movie fanboy sites, has four different editorial reviews up, and they’re all negative. Here’s a taste:

The film is padded by an hour of completely unnecessary, worthless, offensive and repugnant sequences that do nothing but tread water. Be it the family dogs f***ing, twice. An extended sequence of Mom hopped up on pot brownies on a reefer madness binge. Then we’ll talked about racist foul-mouthed robots that are built in monkey proportions, have a big shiny gold tooth and do nothing to advance the story an inch.


[A]ll this leads to the worst sin of the film. It’s called TRANSFORMERS. And yet, 90% of the film is spent entirely with the above collection of tools and occasionally Bumblebee who has mysteriously lost his voice again. Sure, the film OPENS with Optimus Prime and all the badasses from the previous film. But they’re barely in this film at all. It’s more about Shia and Megan running around, collecting incompetent sidekicks while half-assing their way through an Indiana Jones plot. Ironhide? Ratchet? They’re all back at the base. They could only spare a pair of sambot jackasses for THE MOST IMPORTANT MISSION, LIKE, EVER!

If you prefer your reviewers established and respected, here’s Roger Ebert’s one star review:

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.

Well hey, it’s inspiring new creative insults, so that can’t be all bad. To end on a positive note, here’s Owen Gleiberman’s “B” review for Entertainment Weekly:

At last year’s Comic-Con convention, several representatives of Revenge of the Fallen appeared with the slogan ”Bigger. F—ing. Robots.” on their T-shirts, and Bay, taking that cue, knows just what his job is relative to the first Transformers (2007): It’s to make the movie huger, louder, smashier, and — on the mechanical level — more crazily, audaciously imaginative. He succeeds…Revenge of the Fallen may be a massive overdose of popcorn greased with motor oil. But it knows how to feed your inner 10-year-old’s appetite for destruction.

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