Downsizing ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’
0:00 After ancient Transformers squash humans in a Stone Age prologue, Optimus Prime hunts a rogue Decepticon in China.
0:08 Tiny Transformers run amok while Sam (Shia LaBeouf) packs up for college.
0:24 At school, Sam is seduced by an evil hottie-bot and dragged back into the Autobot-Decepticon battle.
1:01 A good guy dies in battle. But Sam learns about a powerful object that might revive him.
2:00 Sam & Co. try to stop the Decepticons from activating a sun-destroying machine.
2:05 Thanks to an unexpected ally, Sam turns the tables on the Decepticons. A climactic battle ensues.
2:09 This being a Michael Bay film, the battle rages for a while.
1. -8 MINS. Once you get past Clan of the Cave Robot, the Shanghai-set chase scene is pointless, whiplash-inducing fun. But do we really need two false starts before the real story shifts into gear?
2. -10 MINS. Not only does this whole sequence — Sam’s parents sniffling, Bumblebee transforming, tiny dogs humping — have virtually nothing to do with the rest of the story, it’s also just plain boring to watch. And listening to Sam and Mikaela (Megan Fox) quibble about who’s going to say ”I love you” first makes us want to transform into a remote control to fast-forward the movie.
3. -7 MINS. Here are some things we wish we’d never seen during this particularly brain-numbing stretch: Sam’s mom (Julie White) getting high at college; LaBeouf’s mugging when Sam gets mental messages about the Transformers; and a smart-mouthed Decepticon dissing Fox: ”You’re hot, but you ain’t so bright.”
4. -10 MINS. Honestly, we’ve seen Oscar telecasts with fewer speeches than this movie. No one wants to hear a giant Erector set drone on about intergalactic peace or ”the Matrix of Leadership,” so let’s dump all this talky exposition and stick with the FX-fueled action.
5. -5 MINS. Among Sam’s Autobot allies are vaguely offensive robo-twins who keep popping up with increasing Jar Jar Binks-style obnoxiousness. Let’s dismantle them — and Fox’s creepy pet Decepticon, too, while we’re at it.
6. -3 MINS. Apparently, the best way to escape a fiery explosion in battle is to jog sexily toward the camera like Bo Derek in 10. If we cut out all the slo-mo run-and-dives, we might actually have enough attention span left to care about who’s shooting what.
7. -12 MINS. Stuck beneath a raging Decepticon, John Turturro’s Agent Simmons declares he’s ”directly below the enemy’s scrotum.” The line only takes a second, but we’re retroactively cutting him out of the whole film as punishment.
Total Running Time 149 MINS.
Our Running Time 94 MINS.