MOVIE REVIEWS

Revenge is a dish best served cold,not in cold metal. Yet machines which can transform themselves into gigantic beasts...

Written by Shalini Langer | New Delhi | Published:July 11, 2009 3:29 am

TRANSFORMERS: Revenge of the Fallen
CAST: Shia LaBeouf,Megan Fox,John Turturro,Ramon Rodriguez
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay

Revenge is a dish best served cold,not in cold metal. Yet machines which can transform themselves into gigantic beasts — and that doesn’t include mobiles of any kind,hmmm… — are amazing,spectacular,mindblowing and the works of a mind with a truly strange imagination,but do we really want to watch one set of them take on another while cursing and making wisecracks in true Hollywood tradition? For an energy source. Really?

To be sure,we were forewarned. When the first Transformers came,conquered and spawned yet new toys,we knew what was to follow would be bigger and more ambitious. At two and a half hours,travelling from American mainland to Shanghai and Diego Garcia,the depths of oceans to outer space,and ending up on Egypt’s historical pyramids,which by the way are almost ruined,Revenge of the Fallen involving Decepticons (just in case you forgot who is the bad guy) and Autobots,the US government and another unlikely alliance,certainly doesn’t lack in ambition.

What it also didn’t lack,obviously,was a budget. From conjuring up those machines to having them in battle,to blowing up battleships,planes,tanks,soldiers and pyramids,and of course cars,lots of them,nowhere does director Bay hold back. The most impressive though is a beautiful woman who turns out to have tongue of steel,a very long tongue at a very wrong moment.

Literally and constantly on the run,LaBeouf rarely pauses to turn on that boyish charm that worked so well for him in the first film. Fox does her bit,getting by on few clothes,lots of pouting,and having a robot rub up against her leg. Through countless blasts,drops,falls and a dash through the blazing desert,her hair never loses its sheen. Can’t say the same for the film.

Cowards do survive,says someone at the end. So unfortunately,does metal. And that means Transformers 3 isn’t too far into the future.

THE PROPOSAL
CAST: Sandra Bullock,Ryan Reynolds,Malin Akerman,Mary Steenbergen
DIRECTOR: Anne Fletcher

Love born of strict business deals isn’t new to the film world,the one difference this time being it’s the woman who as the boss is dictating the agenda. And that’s about the only difference.

Never straying from the well-trodden paths of “two people forced together falling in love” stories,The Proposal has it all — one parent-less,the other with a devoted family,especially a doting grandmother who wouldn’t perhaps be as endearing in person; one uptight,the other carefree; one loner struggler to the top,the other born rich but preferring to slug it out; one city-bred and toting designer luggage,the other brought up in a mansion next to a lake in pristine Alaska. Whenever the twain shall meet,love is sure to follow.

Fletcher even fails to cash in on Bullock’s deftness with comedy,allowing her miserably few scenes where she breaks away from the cold,tough exterior of the top-notch,no-nonsense editor-in-chief of Golden Books,Margaret. To be fair to Bullock,in those few scenes,she demonstrates why she is so well liked.

Andrew (Reynolds) is her assistant,willing to accept everything she throws at him in the hope of becoming an editor one day. One day what she throws at him is an ultimatum to marry her as she needs to wed an American to prevent being deported back to her native Canada (she has been working on expired visa).

Margaret doesn’t think twice about exploiting even Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday for her own ends,and they,not surprisingly,melt her with their full-on Alaskan warmth.

And guess how you know Margaret is a new woman? Yes,she starts letting her hair loose and wearing her shoes flat. As for Andrew — a man like that,ready to do her every bidding despite being loaded and all that,interested in books but able to hack wood and drive a motorboat when the situation demands,what does he need changing?

shalini.langer@expressindia.com

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