Opening alongside wizards and Vulcans, Transformers 2 crashed full-speed into theaters – literally.
The first five minutes show Decepticon robots careening through downtown Shanghai and soldiers and Autobots firing weapons of mass destruction at those robots.
The movie shifts to focus on the main character, Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf), who is about to enter his first year of college.
Witwicky is about to have an abnormal year as the information stored in the Allspark, the source of power for both Autobots and Decepticons, gets lodged in his brain, making him a fleshy target for Decepticons.
Sam, his girlfriend Mikaela Banes (Fox) and roommate Leo Spitz (Rodriguez) run frantically from imminent death, learn about the origins of the Cybertronian races and participate in an all-out battle between the two factions on the Giza pyramids.
I will not beat around the bush: this movie is extremely long and loud with a ridiculously complicated plot, contrived dialogue and dry, emotionless characters.
Some of the characters could be seen as racial stereotypes, and some audience members may find it hard to keep track of which robots are good and which are bad.
Despite all of these cons, there are some good points to this sequel. Without giving away too much of the plot, the themes of self-sacrifice, loyalty and friendship are heavily emphasized, especially between Autobot leader Optimus Prime (Cullen) and Witwicky.
There is also a definite line between the Autobots and Decepticons and what they are willing to do for their cause – once you figure out which is which, of course.
When all is said and done, Transformers 2 turns out to be a decent follow-up to its 2007 predecessor: just with more oomph, bang and boom. If you like that kind of movie, then I highly suggest it. Otherwise, don’t bother: you’ll just leave with a headache.