Beast Wars
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Well, as my first written review of a movie (especially one as awesome as TF2 (especially one for TF2 extending beyond throwing my fists in the air and screaming “AWESOME!”)), I’m not really sure where to start this thing. I suppose I should begin yacking on about plot and prose, however I think the pre-story also needs to be told to set the mood so I’ll start there.

 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away #cue scrolling writing# #Silver looks at what his written, slaps his hands and glares at his mind before proceeding# So, Tuesday 23rd June, 2009. The long anticipated day has arrived. I have a receipt for 6 tickets for the IMAX Transformers 2 midnight screening sitting happily in my Yahoo inbox and it’s just a couple of smooth sailing hours to cruise on out to the city and get in line. Funny how a couple of phone calls can change all of that. Within a few hours, I was inspecting expensive houses on my family’s behalf, promoted to Assistant coach for NSW Fencing State Training, talking about land tax, discussing major issues for my club and off to State Training to assist… how exactly, I didn’t know.

 So arriving at the venue, I embark upon 3 sweaty, exhausting and physically taxing hours clashing swords and giving pointers. Thankfully, I had contacted Ben, one of my trusty minions, to mosey out to IMAX and grab us a spot towards the front of the line. I had told him be there by 8pm with the promise of me arriving by 8:30pm and provide him with sustenance. 9:30 and I’m scrambling for the door to the State training and off to a nearby friend’s place for a quick shower. 9:45, I’m running out of friend’s house barefoot and leaping into my 2006 Ford Falcon. 9:55 I tear into McDonalds drive thru and order “4 large fries, 4 Big Macs, 4 Mc Chickens, 4 Fillet o’ Fishes and 4 Quarter Pounders with bacon.” The girl bursts into laughter at my light up Autobot shirt combined with my very odd meal request and I park the car, waiting for the food to be brought to me. I jump back out of the car and pull on my hardcore goth boots of doom, which causes the girl to laugh even harder as the 6’ tall blonde idiot hops up and down in front of the McDonalds to pull on his ridiculous boot, whilst trying not to get run over by a taxi. Food arrives. 10:04 back on the road. 10:13 arrival at Darling Harbour parking bay. Climb out, grab trench coat, spray on some deodorant, don the Autobot Matrix of Leadership pendant and hoist the four large bags of McDonalds in each hand. 10:14, realize I have left the tickets in the car. 10:17 arrive at IMAX and friends glare angrily, but then appreciate the awesomeness of the trench coat and more importantly, the trench coat wielding food. 10:30, standing in line at the snack bar get to chatting with another gothically-equipped fan with Autobot t-shirt (whom we now know as Dino-King Grimlock) and the rant continues until 11:30ish when we are called into the session.

 Now the real fun begins. Once again, I’m not sure what exactly I should/can include in this review, however I’ll do this now SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT. Just to get the point across. Still haven’t seen the movie? Then, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT! Now, read on if you dare.

 The movie begins with our mandatory introduction with Optimus monologue-ing (is that a word?) and introducing our main players. After a nice spiel and visual of the Fallen being mean and nasty while we were carrying pointy sticks and beating each other over the head (no, not the 80s) we flash forward to today and get our first taste of N.E.S.T. shenanigans. One thing that I was very pleased with was that most of the teasers we got in the trailer were set in this first scene, so once we got through this section, it was very pleasing to see that there was more plot to this than originally met the eye. So after a few explosions and Optimus’ grand Austin Powers-esque entrance we are introduced to Sam’s current predicament. College. Personally, I found this to be the slowest (aka most boring) section of the movie with lots of spinny camera action around Sam and Mikaela and enough sexual tension to build a suspension bridge off of. However, that being said, I understand its place in the overall scheme of things and its better to have Sam as a normal kid than trying to be young Indiana Jones. #shudders# Anyhoo, so college ensues, allspark fragments are stolen by a very sleek Ravage and new Decepticon and Megs is brought back to kick ass and chew gum. Sadly, he’s all out of gum, so he flies off to Mars… or the Moon, I can’t remember which, and beats up Starscream and prostrates himself before the Fallen. Cue some plot-heavy dialogue and the pieces are set in place.

 More shenanigans and what I’m sure must be an homage to Terminator 3 as one of Australia’s finest gals tries to kill Sam and blows up a library. Yes, lads, all Aussie women are like that (just kidding :D ). The scene with Optimus screaming “I’ll take you all on.” Is by far one of the best Prime moments in history (followed by my seat wetter, which is discussed later). I put it up there alongside OOP’s “Speech this!” and Transmetal Primal’s “My turn!” (I may be biased towards Beast Wars, however its still the best series so I’ll stand by that). Personally, I think Optimus’ death in this movie wasn’t anywhere near as dramatic or traumatizing as the original animated movie, however this worked as it wasn’t hammed up and the fact he was coming back in a little while anyway made that a good decision.

 Going back to my first point on the last paragraph, I’d like to point out a few on the homage’s that I noticed/can remember right now (others can feel free to post or write their own observations as well). As stated previously, Terminator 3, TX femme-bot. The Matrix with the weird squid thingy that climbed into Sam’s mouth. And most importantly, Stargate with the whole “alien races and pyramids” thing. They should have had Daniel Jackson on staff and they would have found the Matrix of Leadership in the first 15mins of the movie.

 The movie really hit its stride at one specific point. The introduction of Jetfire. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me that two of the best characters in this movie are Jetfire and Wheelie and I think that having both on them on screen was cinematic gold. Nods to the space bridge, making it clear that being a Decepticon is a choice and Wheelie’s “That freakin hurt!” line really made me grin.

 Once everything had made its way to Egypt, then you could really see the stage being set for true Michael Bay gold. EXPLOSIONS! MILITARY FORCE! MORE EXPLOSIONS! Having witnessed Devastator’s merge at Botcon, I loved it again, but wasn’t overly surprised and I believe that he was nerfed quite a bit. I had this image of Devastator being an endgame device, however he didn’t really accomplish a great deal before he was taken out. However, that being said RAILGUNS ARE AWESOME! I can also forgive this as we were blessed with one of my personal favorite moments in movie history. After Prime’s resurrection there was another big grin on my face, but we all knew it was coming, however when Jetfire ordered Prime to “take my parts” a chill ran down my spine and everything tensed up in anticipation. The next few seconds had me as energized as Prime was. Pieces of SR71 clicking and binding into place around the baddest Autobot in the movie to make him even more badass! Pan around, click, clack, snap, thud and two words we have all heard before but never (I repeat NEVER) as awesome as then…. “Let’s Roll!” I swear to God that I am going to wear out that section on my DVD/Blu Ray copy just watching it over and over again. The fact that he sent the Decepticons packing after tearing off The Fallen’s face was just the cherry on top, but that moment will stay with me for years.

 So Decepticons retreat, Sam and girlie kiss and happily ever after speech by Prime.

 I figure most of this waffle may not have actually been so much of a review, so lets see if I can sum things up. The plot for this movie was a bit more straightforward than the first movie, however that is purely because there was a lot less introductory work to do, and the plot needed to appeal to the broader audience. More giant fighting robots, more explosions and more awesome. As with the first movie, its not Shakespeare or Lord of the Rings style of epic, however for what it a glorified two and a half hour toy commercial it rules the roost. The special effects were all top notch and all the actors played off each other brilliantly. I loved what they did with former Agent Simmons in this movie as they built up a “silly” character into someone not only believable but who you gave a damn about.

Now, to throw some numbers around:

Plot: 8                   (it would have been 9 sans the cringe-worthiness of some of the romance)

Action: 10                (significant reduction in drunken cameraman shakiness and shots of Bumblebee’s toes)

Special Effects: 10           (a couple of terabytes of data to make the bots, awww yeah)

Don’t know what else to say so I’ll give it a total score of 9. I think most of the general populace will appreciate its brilliance and hardcore fans will be appeased  so, perhaps we have another Terminator 2 esque scenario here with the second even better than the first? Only time will tell.

/end ramble









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