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Racial stereotypes aside, 'Transformers 2' is great

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Published: Thu, June 25, 2009 @ 4:50 p.m.



Megan Fox in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." She does this a lot in the movie.

Transformers 2

Two years have passed since Sam Witwicky and the Autobots saved the human race from the invading Decepticons. Now he's preparing for the biggest challenge of his life: leaving home for college. Leaving home is something the Autobots understand only too well. With the destruction of the Allspark, the Transformers home planet of Cybertron is uninhabitable, and the Autobots make the best of their lives on earth, working in league with the military as part of a top-secret team called NEST. Meanwhile, the Decepticons learn what Sam doesn't know: he alone holds the key to the outcome of the struggle between evil and the ultimate power of good. A normal life will have to wait. With the help of the Autobots, the soldiers of NEST, and an old adversary-turned-ally, former Sector 7 Agent Simmons, Sam and his girlfriend Mikaela must uncover the secret history of the Transformers presence on earth, and the sacrifices that have to be made to save it from an ancient threat sworn on returning here for revenge--an ancient Decepticon named The Fallen.

Showtimes and more on Transformers 2

Michael Bay's latest installment of "Transformers," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is one-part Megan Fox falling in slow-motion, one-part giant robot aliens fighting, one part General Motors commercial.

Most surveys would find that makes a great movie. Especially if the survey group is predominantly male.

"Revenge of the Fallen" is a perfect summer flick: Innumerable explosions, hot girls and sweet cars.

Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky in the sequel, along with his parents Kevin Dunn (Ron Witwicky) and Julie White (Judy Witwicky.) They add even more anxiety to this film than the last, dealing with sending Sam to college.

Sam has pulled off the greatest out-of-his league relationship by holding on to Fox as Mikaela Banes, who manages to keep falling, cleavage-first, directly in front of the camera. Sam manages to also convince Mikaela to keep the relationship going long-distance.

The eye-candy isn't limited to the girls, however, as Tyrese and Josh Duhamel return as the Autobot-aligned soldiers.

But after only a day of class, Sam is confronted by by Optimus Prime, voiced by Peter Cullen. It appears Decepticons aren't very happy with their brutal defeat on Earth and the set-up for Round 2 begins.

There's actually a surprising amount of plot to "Revenge of the Fallen," complete with enough fan-boy references to bring them back a third time. (An unnamed "Transformers 3" is already in the works.)

"Revenge of the Fallen" also brings back the most-lovable Camaro to downshift on the big screen: Overly-emotional guardian Bumblebee is still upholding his job as Sam's protector.

New to the sequel is the the Corvette Stingray Concept as the Autobot Sideswipe. Another supercar, the Audi R8, shows up in "Revenge of the Fallen" as Decepticon Sideways. There's also the addition of street bikes and the squirrely Arcee, a remote-controlled truck.

GM also provided the film with two other concept-car based Autobots, who appear as The Twins, Mudflap and Skids. Voiced by Reno Wilsona nd Tom Kenny, they're compact Chevrolets based on concepts Beat and Trax.

Falling straight out of the book of black stereotypes, these Autobots seem to exist in "Revenge of the Fallen" to have gold teeth, say they can't read, try to fight everyone and spew one-liners in ebonics. Mudflap and Skids wouldn't be so obvious if there were other black people in the movie. Maybe in the college? In the dorm? As a professor, or dean?

That said, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a surprisingly good summer action movie. Details in wardrobe, special effects, filming and editing add to the already thick plot.

"Revenge of the Fallen" is not without errors and a few Transformers who don't seem to transform into anything at all, but there's more than enough action, sci-fi twists and romance to watch this flick, racial stereotypes aside.

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