Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is one the most technically complex films you are likely to ever see. The effects are near seamless and the stuntwork around live explosions is fearless, even from Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. For that reason alone it is worth seeing on the big screen or better yet a towering IMAX screen.
While Bay and his crew were ensuring ROTF’s spectacle surpassed the original some basic narrative blunders were made, more so than infest typical summer blockbuster fare. We’ve outlined 15 of them that smacked us in the face from a single viewing. There are likely more, so if you find any be sure to add them to the Comments section below. Full spoiler warnings apply so do not proceed if you have not seen Revenge of the Fallen yet.
Sabot Rounds Are Your Friend
In Transformers, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson discovered high temperature Sabot rounds penetrate robot armor and promptly equipped all their weapons with them. In the opening Shanghai sequence of ROTF, NEST forces attack a massive Decepticon Constructicon with what appear to be machine guns firing traditional bullets with the effectiveness of a water pistol against a Navy SEAL. Later on, the sniveling military beaurocrat asks Optimus Prime (again) why they cannot have the Autobots’ alien weaponry technology. Sabot rounds must not be in Obama’s 2009 military budget.
Rainn Wilson is Hot
Why are a cadre of hot girls practically fondling themselves watching Rainn Wilson give a lecture? Rainn Wilson? Brains can be attractive, I’ll buy that. But Rainn “Schrutebuck” Wilson?
Welcome to Washingtornia
Sam, Mikaela, Simmons, Leo and Wheelie trek to the suburbs of Washington, DC to find an aged Transformers at the new Smithsonian Air and Space expansion just outside Dulles airport in Northern Virginia. Having lived a few miles down the street from this location I was quite shocked to see Jetfire exit the hangar into an Arizona desert airplane graveyard, ironically similar to my current state of residence.
Are You Checking That Bag?
Mikaela locks mischevious Decepticon drone Wheelie in a small metal case and flies him from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. At no point does anyone in airport security figure out a kicking and screaming robot has boarded the plane.
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Teleporting is a new Transformer skill introduced in ROTF utilized by The Fallen and Jetfire. One is a former original Transformer and the other simply old. Too bad their species seems to have devolved over time and lost this useful skill. Unless…
That Was Fast
After Megatron is resurrected from the bottom of the Atlantic, he shoots straight into the sky and arrives instantaneously on Cybertron (or at least what is assumed Cybertron). Starstream and The Fallen are there too and all return to Earth in the blink of an eye without the Protoform atmospheric descent. Did they teleport or didn’t they?
That Was Easy
The US military has a nuclear submarine and other naval vessels guarding Megatron’s corpse on the ocean floor. When a small legion of Decepticons appear to revive their fallen master, the military does not fire a single shot in defense. So much for protecting Earth’s greatest threat.
I Need a Medic
Autobots are being wounded right and left in the finale and yet their medic, Ratchet, is never seen trying to help anyone. Unless he was killed early on. If he was then I couldn’t tell in all the dust, smoke and confusion.
Still Stinging Like a Bee
At the end of Transformers, Bumblebee managed to speak briefly for the first time to Sam. Two years later, he’s back to his radio blasting form of communication. Once again, great job, Ratchet.
The Sleeping Hero
Tasers are Leo’s worst enemy in ROTF, so much so that when Simmons zaps him in Egypt while riding in a car he completely passes out. Seconds later, the car screeches to a halt and Leo pops out ready to rumble. Leo must run on Energon and was simply recharging.
You’re On Your Own
Sam Witwicky holds the key to the future of two races in his hands. All he has to do is clear about two miles of desert and reach Optimus Prime. Rather than Skids, Mudflap, Jolt, Bumblebee and Jetfire, the latter of whom had already mysteriously vanished into the desert, escort Sam and Mikaela to their goal, they take off so the two puny humans can run through a sea of Decepticons and risk getting stepped on.
Now You Destroy It, Now You Don’t
During the climatic battle a Decepticon destroys the top of a pyramid. A few scenes later, it’s rebuilt.
We Are Many
How many Constructicons are there? Six or Seven of them (hard to tell on-screen) form Devastator, and at the same time, several more identical ones are after Sam. Chalk this up to reuse of models for budgetary reasons, but a preferable solution would have been Constructions fighting individually and *then* forming Devastator.
Dumping a Prime
Rather than lower Optimus Prime onto the Egyptian desert floor, NEST unceremoniously dumps him from around 100 feet up. He lands with a thud, but could just as easily been placed on the ground directly instead.
Geography. G-E-O… Um… Aw Screw It
Apparently in Michael Bay’s Middle East you can travel from Petra to Cairo in no time flat as they are literally right next to each other. Not only are Petra and Cairo separated by hundreds of miles of desert, there is also the miniscule fact that an entire country is between Egypt and Jordan (that would be Israel).
To Michael Bay’s credit, he did work in a few solid summer movie clichés worth pointing out.
Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy
Per Roger Ebert’s Film Glossary, a Fruit Cart Scene is “An ancient tradition. Any vehicular chase sequence must involve the upturning or smashing of a cart of fruit, such as one would find along a street or in a farmer’s market. These crashes (which may occur in mid-chase, or as the grand finale) precipitate much strategic leaping by merchants, shoppers, and other pedestrians (played by stunt persons) who fling themselves out of harm’s way in the nick of time.” Sure enough, the car chase scene in Egypt includes a car plowing through a fruit cart that shatters on the windshield.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
When Sam arrives at his new prestigous East Coast college campus, all of the girls look like Maxim models ready to drink and party. And party they do at a frat house that might as well be a Vegas strip club. Welcome to MBU, aka Michael Bay University.
– Dan Bradley and Shawn Fitzgerald