Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Last week we posted the first fan reviews of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, coming out of the Tokyo premiere. As expected, fanatics who loved the first film also loved the sequel. But what about the real critics? The first real reviews are beginning to appear online, and I thought we’d take a look at the early buzz:

Orlando Parfitt, IGN UK: “The film reaches its pinnacle with one such action set-piece that takes place in a forest – a brilliantly crafted sequence that is kinetic, emotional and genuinely thrilling. Unfortunately however, it is a climax that comes only an hour or so into the movie – the remaining 80 or so minutes just never quite scale the same heights.” … “Bay could have cut 40 minutes from the bowels of Transformers 2, and it would have been a far more effective movie. Unfortunately, the director fell into the same trap with Pearl Harbour and Bad Boys II – each filled with spectacular moments, but both becoming bloated, arduous cinematic experiences that ultimately outstay their welcome.” … “Bay has refined and improved his technique when it comes to directing action since the first Transformers. Bay has – to an extent anyway – cleared this up in ROTF, with more lingering tracking shots, cleaner environments and establishing framing.”

Four more review excerpts after the jump.

Mark Samuels, Total Film: “Fallen has much to admire.” … “It’s a thrill-ride, plain and simple. And it delivers.” … “The extended metal-on-metal punch-ups are cartoonish but, thanks to the game-raising CGI, utterly convincing.” … “Old folks may find the relentless sensory assault a little draining, but the bangs, ’bots and bombast ensure Fallen has everything Transformers fans will want and expect.”

SciFiNow: “the many, many, many devout fans of the first film will most likely get more than enough out of the sequel, but surely even they will concede there was significantly more to the 2007 box-office behemoth.” … “leaving something mechanical, uninteresting and soulless.” … “an ugly beast of a movie as robotic as its main attractions that could justifiably become the symbol of all that is wrong with modern day summer spectaculars.” … “Unlike the summer’s other big robot movie, Revenge Of The Fallen does have a personality, but it’s a frightfully detestable one. It celebrates all the wrong things with ferocious gusto, marking a new type of low for blockbusters.”

The Mirror: “In terms of explosions, firepower and sheer shrill, all-action, popcorn entertainment it is hard to see how this big’n’bold sequel can be topped this year.” … “for the most part it is also a complex lumbering mess of a movie that is long on turgid backstory and short on tension, laughs and subtle acting.” … “It is a sprawlingly noisy adventure epic that entertains at times, but never really manages to engage. Still, the kids will love it!”

TheShiznit: “…succeeds because it’s ridiculous in all the right ways. Check your brain in with your coat and soak in the most gloriously dumb spectacle of the year.” … “Revenge Of The Fallen doesn’t stray too far from the solid framework built in the first movie. It mixes superb action sequences – directed with panache and almost pornographic glee by a never-better Bay – with frequent scenes of light comic relief, some of which work (squabbling robo-hick siblings Skids and Mudflap provide a few laughs), some of which don’t (Wheelie the RC truck humping Fox’s leg).” … “Yes, you could level the same accusations at Transformers as I and many others lobbed at Terminator Salvation. It’s over-long; it has plot holes you could steer an aircraft carrier through; it’s loud and stupid and relies too much on pyrotechnics. But the difference is, the Terminator franchise was never designed to be consumed and enjoyed as blockbuster entertainment. Transformers, on the other hand, was built from the ground up to be a popcorn-devouring, eye-popping, nostalgia-sparking crowd-pleaser – and Revenge Of The Fallen sees Michael Bay tick all those boxes and more.”

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