By Andrew Ross Rowe
Ok, it's not your classic, generation-one, animated cartoon, but I jumped at the chance to see a preview of the new flick two days early. And it's good. And better than the first.
Let me refine those statements. My thought process mirrors the concept of suspension of disbelief. It’s much like when you see "High School Musical" and people sing songs to solve their troubles. You accept that this is reality. In "Revenge Of The Fallen," you know that you're going to get these gnarled, new Transformers. They'll never be the shiny and clean robots you expect, but you accept them. This is why Michael Bay's second iteration is better than the first.
With that being said, there are few great things that old-school fans will enjoy.
Optimus Primes' Energon sword:
Back in the day of the cartoon series, Optimus and Megatron had special combat weapons made of energy. Although Prime's new weapon is a sword, it’s still incredible that he wields it like a ninja.
His form factor has been drastically re-imagined, but this character is used very well to develop the story. I think this is an improvement from the wastefulness of just having a large, clumsy Transformer.
From the animated movie in '86, we first meet up with Wheelie as a ship-wrecked Autobot survivor on the planet Quintessa. He befriends the newly arrived Dinobots to escape the evil Quintessons and Sharkticons. In Bay's flick, Wheelie is a scared Decepticon who only wants to carry out his mission so he is not chastised by Megatron.
Her character's form-factor is slick and exactly what it should be. There aren't a million parts and proves you don't need to be gnarly to be awesome. Although she should have had a bigger role in this film.
Michael Bay messed up big time by having the Transformers arrive on Earth in a near-present day. In the original series, the Transformers arrive in pre-historic era and remain dormant until an earth quake (from a volcano) awakens their ship's computer , which in turn awakens the Autobots themselves. Bay and crew make up big time with a colorful and believable back-story.
"One shall stand, one shall fall"/ "Arise Rodimus Prime":
Quotes from the old movie were a big deal for diehard fans. In the final battle between Megatron and Optimus, take note of the amalgam that Prime heroically recites.
You can check out "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen" when it hits theaters nation-wide on Wednesday!