The Hangover and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Just realised that I've not yet posted (as promised) about new-for-Autumn American shows The Vampire Diaries and Human Target. Sorry. I will get to them soon, but so far the pilots have not inspired me to write paeans to their brilliance. Anyway, meantime I thought I'd do a quick one on a couple of films I've seen recently.

First up - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen In a nutshell, pretty disappointing. I thoroughly enjoyed the first film - great visual effects, plenty of humour and enough development for both human and machine to make you care what happened to these characters whilst still getting plenty of oohs and aahs out of cool shit being blown up/ cars etc morphing into robots. Sadly, with the second instalment in this sure to be long-running franchise, the only thing that got bigger and better is the budget. Sure, there are some pretty spectacular FX on display, and a new set of shiny robots (both Decepticons and Autobots) but it feels longer and somehow flatter.

There are some funny bits - Sam's parents (scene stealers Kevin Dunn and Julie White) are still as fabulously embarrassing as ever, and his mother accidentally getting stoned off a hash brownie when they drop him off at college is damn good, as is the scene where his hapless roommate Leo (Ramone Rodriguez from The Wire) manages to accidentally taser himself. One of the fight sequences, in which Optimus Prime takes on a resurrected Megatron (yep, of course he's back) as well as a few other Decepticons is exciting and engaging.

But much of the second half is just flabby - it takes way too long to get everyone to the Egyptian desert for the final showdown, which in itself never really awes in the way it should. Probably since it goes on way too long. Oh, and look out for the bit when Sam, Mikaela (Megan Fox, hot as ever) and a couple of others are basically teleported into the second Shia LaBoeuf is fine, next minute there's an inexplicably large bandage over one hand (THAT car accident he was in, remember?). Frankly, they could have done a little better in working that into the plot. Then again, the plot is almost non-existent (there's a hidden key called The Matrix which can switch on a hidden machine capable of draining the sun for the robots to use, thus destroying Earth yada yada), serving only to link the action set pieces.

But - if you're a diehard fan, there's probably just enough to entertain you for it to be worth the price of a cinema ticket. Probably. Just a bit of shame that what should have been a brilliant summer blockbuster leaves you - well, me anyway - feeling rather unsatisfied.

Thankfully, the opposite is true for excellent comedy The Hangover.

The premise is straightforward - four guys go to Las Vegas for a stag night. Waking up the next morning, they have no idea what happened the night before. And the groom's missing. Plus the wedding is in 24 hours...

It would be entirely unfair of me to give anything else away, suffice to say it's very, very funny and you should absolutely go and see it. Unless you're underage. Or offended easily. The great thing about this movie is that although there are certain jokes/ bits I didn't find all that hilarious, there are plenty of others I did, meaning that most people will undoubtedly be amused most, if not all of the time. There's only one misjudged moment as far as I'm concerned, and it's the Mike Tyson section which not only doesn't especially work on a comedic level, but also seems to wrap up with a pretty repellant insinuation. You'll see what I mean.

Anyway - that aside, this is hugely enjoyable and boasts some of the best ever end credits I've ever seen - totally in context and a brilliant pay off to what's come before. More than worth the price of a cinema ticket!


Jody said...

Gutted about Transformers 2. After Terminator 4, I wanted at least one movie this year to do big robots justice.

The Hangover came out of nowhere though - pleasantly surprised that a comedy has come along with no big stars attached that has won over so many critics.

Geeky Tom said...

The trailer is better then the film it seems.

RGB said...

The Hangover, really? It was okay at best I think, although I was surprised it wasn't as 'fratty' as I expected. It's an odd idea to attach the word 'cerebral' to a Rivers movie, but I think you need to.

Euan said...

Yeah I liked The Hangover but I can't think of too many stand-out moments...

Loved the credits though. Nice payoff.

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