Following the events in Mission City, Sam Whitwicky has decided to leave the Autobots behind and go to college. When he finds a fragment of the ‘All Spark’, he suddenly starts seeing strange symbols in his head which attracts the attention of the evil Decepticons. Now, with the return of Megatron and new enemy ‘The Fallen’, Sam must once again team up with the Autobots in order to prevent the destruction of Earth.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009) – Director: Michael Bay

Is Transformers Revenge of the Fallen appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 150 mins

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel

Genre: Action

REVIEW

Widely panned by critics, ‘Transformers’ sequel ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is a movie which is full of special effects and very little else. While its predecessor had some charm and fun about it (albeit in a very juvenile way, as we state in our review), ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is completely devoid of any soul or character and when even its director, Michael Bay, is unable to defend it (and has publicly accepted that it is ‘crap’), this movie clearly isn’t going to be one that many will sing the praises of.

Where to start? Racist characters? Overbearing misogyny? ‘Good’ characters behaving the same way as ‘bad’ characters so that it only really comes down to which arbitrary team you are on? One of the many ‘worst’ things about this movie is the racial stereotypes of Autobots ‘Mudflap’ and ‘Skids’. These two characters are huge and insulting racial stereotypes. They use crass street slang, have big ears and teeth, are arrogant, unintelligent, clumsy and, at one point, have no interest in performing a vital task because it involves ‘reading’. This worrying throwback to a time when racism was acceptable in movies is completely unnecessary and one must wonder not only who decided to do this, but also how many people must have agreed that it was a good idea.

Another ‘worst’ thing about the film is the staggering amount of causal misogyny. Women exist in ‘Revenge of The Fallen‘ to be drooled over and little else, even to the extent that a tamed small Decepticon will be shown to grab Megan Fox’s character’s leg and grind away. Add to that the gutter humour (such as a giant construction vehicle Decepticon having wrecking ball ‘testicles’), the knuckle dragging dialogue and the general lack of any likable characters, ‘Revenge of the Fallen‘ could almost be a school textbook on how to make a truly vapid film.  Ordinarily we would say that a movie like ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is likely to have a niche market of teens who want nothing more than big explosions, crass language and puerile humour, but to be honest we feel it would be an insult to lay this at the feet of teenagers everywhere. The movie is made in line with what Bay (or, if you are to believe him, the studio executives) perceive male teenagers to want, which says more about them than the targeted market.

IS ‘TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

When Sam first gets to college, his parents are helping him to move in. While there, Sam’s mother reveals a bag of marijuana that she has purchased from a student, thinking that they are herbs. Afterwards, she is high on drugs having apparently eaten some ‘special’ brownies. She lurches around the campus speaking very loudly to students about how Sam has ‘only recently had his cherry popped’ and that she ‘heard everything’.

Later, Sam is pushed onto a bed by a female student who clearly has amorous intentions towards him. The camera zooms in on her bottom where her underwear is exposed under her short dress. When Mikaela is first introduced to the story, she is seen from behind, sitting on a motorbike wearing hot pants in a very revealing pose. A short while later, she takes off her trousers, showing her legs but she then pulls down the skirt of a dress which she is wearing underneath her other clothes. One of the Autobots takes the form of an ice cream truck with the words ‘suck my popsicle’ on the side and one of the Decepticons has 2 wrecking balls hanging below its ‘legs’; another character says ‘I’m directly beneath the enemy’s scrotum’.

There is a lot of violence in ‘Revenge of the Fallen’. One of the characters is tortured by having a small robot crawl through his mouth and into his brain. He struggles and is clearly distressed by what is happening to him. He is then threatened with having his brain cut out as a rotating saw moves towards his head. Two robots have their faces ripped off on camera, revealing a metal skull underneath. This is likely to distress younger viewers as it is completely unexpected and happens directly on camera.

There are many other violent action scenes in ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ but we believe that we have highlighted the most extreme examples. It is likely that the frequent sexual references and general immature attitude to women will be the deciding factor of whether parents feel this movie is appropriate for kids.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Despite being based on a children’s toy, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is not a movie that has been designed to be enjoyed by kids. It is very much a ‘teen’ movie and, even then, is not likely to appeal to everyone within this category. We would not recommend this movie as appropriate for children under the age of 12 and would also advise that an adult may wish to discuss certain themes with their children due to the poor attitudes towards racism and sexism.

  • Violence:  4/5
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a main character is killed and mourned by those who cared for him)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (the Decepticons are very menacing and ruthless)
  • Sexual Content: 5/5 (frequent moderate and strong innuendo throughout, female characters wear revealing clothing. One male character removes his trousers and is shown from the back to be wearing a thong. There are two instances of dogs humping and another of a small robot humping a woman’s leg)
  • Bad Language: 5/5 (frequent mild to moderate cursing and blasphemy. Some strong language is also used)
  • Dialogue: 4/5 (there is violent dialogue throughout. When a character is being tortured, another says ‘I’m going to kill you slowly, painfully’. When one robot has its face pulled off, the character doing it aggressively says ‘Give me your face’)    
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of fighting against evil, protecting the weak and doing the right thing.

Words by Laura Record

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