'Transformers 2' is a pointless, plotless mess
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is heavy-metal junk food for CGI gearheads. Look, I know I'm about as far from the target audience for this junk as is possible, but do Transformers fans think this is a good movie? Really? I can't imagine that the most forgiving T-fan found this sequel to be much more than a WWE smackdown featuring a bunch of big robots, with a bunch of smaller robots around for comic relief. T2 also features a disturbing slice of racism on the side with two Transformers whose jive talk sounded like leftover dialogue from a blaxploitation movie from the 1970s. Did screenwriters learn nothing from the Jar Jar Binks disaster?
I suppose technically there's a plot, but Sam (Shia LaBeouf) spits out the plot points so fast, it's impossible to keep up. I still don't understand why we see soldiers involved in this fight (led by Josh Duhamal and Tyrese Gibson) since they can't do anything to stop the Transformers anyway. They are just on hand to be blown up, except of course for Megan Fox. She is there to look gorgeous, and to get miffed when Sam is getting it on with a female Transformer.
When the Transformers are battling each other, I can't tell the good 'bots from the bad 'bots except for Bumblebee, with his distinctive yellow paint job. And, really, director Michael Bay, did the movie have to be more than two hours ... again?
As I noted in my 2007 review of the first movie, "The running time could have been trimmed by 30 minutes, to make my stay in the multi-plex less stressful -- my silliness meter goes haywire after two hours."
My Sister's Keeper is a made-for-TV movie that rates space in the multi-plex thanks to the casting of the latest superstar kid actor, Abigail Breslin, and Cameron Diaz. However, the real star of the show is Sofia Vassilieva, the talented kid from TV's Medium as Kate, the teenage daughter with leukemia. Breslin is Anna, the younger daughter, who was conceived to be a doner match for her sister and has been giving up body fluids as needed ever since.
Anna is suing her parents so they can't use her for spare body parts any longer. There is also an older brother (played by CSI Miami's Evan Ellington), who is around just to show us that nobody in the family ever even thinks about him.
Director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook), who also co-wrote the screenplay, has some interesting points to make about how dealing with a sick child can turn even the strongest family into a dysfunctional mess. He also tries to keep us at arm's length and not turn this into a by-the-book tearjerker. Problem is, when you are showing us a child who has been dying for a decade, and the strong-willed mother who refuses to let go, it is guaranteed to make you cry. The acting is excellent, but I can't say that My Sister's Keeper provides anything more than the standard TV movie on the subject.
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: *
Directed by Michael Bay; rated PG-13
My Sister's Keeper **
Directed by Nick Cassavetes; rated PG13
To read more about movies and other topics covered by movie critic Lori Hoffman under her blog alias Moviejunkie, visit http://blogs.atlanticcityweekly.com/
OPENING THIS WEEK
Away We Go Directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty) from an original screenplay by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, this funny and heartfelt film follows the journey of an expectant couple, plays by SNL's Maya Rudolph and The Office's John Krasinski.
“The cool thing is that we’re going back to the New Jersey shore,” Sanchez says. “When we go to Atlantic City, it makes me think back to my childhood."
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is superior to the last Transformers movie. The plot is reasonably coherent, the action sequences are insanely over-the-top, just like superstar action-meister Michael Bay likes them, and the supporting players actually are engaging.