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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


Review

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 American science fiction action film film, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to Transformers (2007) and the second film in the live action Transformers series. The plot revolves around Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), the human caught in the war between Autobots and Decepticons, having visions of Cybertronian symbols, and being hunted by the Decepticons under the orders of their long-trapped leader, The Fallen, who seeks to get revenge on Earth by finding and activating a machine that would provide the Decepticons with an energon source, destroying all life on the planet in the process.

With deadlines jeopardized by possible strikes by the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, Bay managed to finish the production on time with the help of previsualization and a scriptment by his writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and series newcomer Ehren Kruger. Shooting took place from May to November 2008.

Despite mostly negative reviews by film critics, it was a box office success, achieving the highest Wednesday opening gross in history, bringing in $62 million in North America and close to $100 million worldwide; this is also the third-highest opening day gross of all time, behind only The Twilight Saga: New Moon’s $72.7 million and The Dark Knight’s $67.1 million. It is currently the fourth highest-grossing film of 2009 worldwide (behind Avatar, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) and the second-highest grossing film of 2009 in the United States, only behind Avatar. In less than a month, the film surpassed the all-time earnings of its predecessor. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in USA on October 20, 2009 and on November 30, 2009 in the UK.

Plot

It is revealed that thousands of years ago there was a race of ancient Transformers who scoured the universe looking for energon sources. Known as the Dynasty of Primes, they used machines called Sun Harvesters to drain stars of their energy in order to convert it to energon and power Cybertron’s AllSpark. The Primes agreed that life-bearing worlds would be spared, but in 17,000 BC, one brother, thereafter dubbed “The Fallen”, constructed a Sun Harvester on Earth. The remaining brothers thus sacrificed their bodies in order to hide the Matrix of Leadership—the key that activates the Sun Harvester—from The Fallen, who swore to seek revenge upon Earth.

In the present day, two years after the events of the previous film, Optimus Prime is seen leading NEST, a military organization consisting of human troops and his own team of Autobots (including newcomers Arcee, Chromia, Elita One, Sideswipe, Jolt, and the twins (Skids and Mudflap) aimed at killing the remaining Decepticons on Earth. While on a mission in Shanghai, Optimus and his team destroy Decepticons Sideways and Demolishor, being given a warning by the latter that “The Fallen will rise again”. Back in the United States, Sam Witwicky finds a splinter of the destroyed AllSpark, and upon contact the splinter fills his mind with Cybertronian symbols. Deeming it dangerous, Sam gives the AllSpark splinter to his girlfriend Mikaela Banes for safe keeping, and leaves her and Bumblebee behind to go off to college. Upon arrival, Sam meets his college roommate Leo Spitz, who runs an alien conspiracy website, and Alice, a co-ed who makes unusually strong sexual advances on him. Back home, Decepticon Wheelie tries to steal the shard, only to be captured by Mikaela. After having a mental breakdown, uncontrollably writing in Cybertronian language, Sam calls Mikaela, who immediately leaves to get to him.

Decepticon Soundwave hacks into a US satellite and learns the locations of the dead Decepticon leader Megatron and another piece of the AllSpark. The Decepticons attack the secret base, retrieve the shard, and use it to resurrect Megatron, who flies into space and is reunited with Starscream and his master, The Fallen in the Nemesis. The Fallen instructs Megatron and Starscream to capture Sam in order to discover the location of the Matrix of Leadership. With Sam’s outbreaks worsening, Mikaela arrives at campus just as Alice—revealed to be a Decepticon Pretender—attacks Sam. An irate Mikaela, Sam, and his roommate Leo drive off, crashing into Alice, but are seized by the Decepticon Grindor. The Decepticon known as “The Doctor” prepares to remove Sam’s brain, but Optimus and Bumblebee turn up and rescue him. In an ensuing fight, Optimus engages Megatron, Grindor and Starscream. Optimus manages to kill Grindor and rip off Starscream’s arm, but during a momentary distraction while searching for Sam, he is blindsided then impaled and blasted through the chest by Megatron and dies. Megatron and Starscream depart as the Autobot team arrives to rescue Sam, unable to save Optimus.

After Prime’s death, The Fallen is freed from his captivity and Megatron orders a full-scale assault on the planet. The Fallen speaks to the world and demands they surrender Sam to the Decepticons or they will continue their attack. Sam, Mikaela, Leo, Bumblebee, the twins and Wheelie regroup, and Leo suggests his online rival “Robo-Warrior” may be of assistance. “Robo-Warrior” is revealed to be former Sector 7 agent Simmons, who informs the group that the symbols should be readable for a Decepticon. Mikaela then releases Wheelie, who can’t read the language, but identifying it as that of the Primes, directs the group to a Decepticon seeker named Jetfire. They then find Jetfire at the F. Udvar-Hazy Center and reactivate him via the shard of the AllSpark. After teleporting the group to Egypt, Jetfire explains that only a Prime can kill The Fallen, and translates the symbols, which contain a riddle that sets the location of the Matrix of Leadership somewhere in the surrounding desert. By following the clues, the group arrive at the tomb where they ultimately find the Matrix, but it crumbles to dust in Sam’s hands. Believing the Matrix can still revive Optimus, Sam collects the dust and instructs Simmons to call Major William Lennox to bring the other Autobots and Optimus’s body.

The military arrives with the Autobots, but so do the Decepticons, and a battle ensues. During the fight, Decepticon Devastator is formed and unearths the Sun Harvester from inside one of the pyramids before being destroyed by the US military with the help of agent Simmons. Jetfire arrives and destroys Mixmaster, but is mortally wounded by Scorponok. The Air Force bombs the Decepticons, but Megatron breaks through the offensive and kills Sam. While dead, Sam is contacted by the Dynasty of the Primes who, acknowledging his courage and dedication to Optimus, revive him and rebuild the Matrix of Leadership. Sam goes on to revive Optimus just in time before the Fallen ambushed him and his allies, slaughtering a few soldiers and takes off with the Matrix to activate the harvester. Jetfire sacrifices himself to have Optimus use his parts to fly to the harvester and successfully destroys it. Then Optimus engages the Fallen in the ruins and kills him by punching through the chest and ripping his spark out. Although the battle was over, Megatron refuses to surrender by fleeing back to the Nemesis with Starscream. The film ends with Optimus alongside Sam on an aircraft carrier, sending a message into space saying that the humans and Transformers both share a common past. During the credits, Sam is seen returning to college.

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