Okay, first off, I know that many of you have not seen this movie yet for various reasons. So, here's what I'm going to do. First up, I'll have a basic review. Technical stuff, my overall opinion, non spoilerific things. Then, after ample warning and a bit of a gap, I'll talk about anything with spoilers. If you haven't seen RotF, skip that stuff, AND GO SEE IT RIGHT AWAY.
It all started upon my arrival in the theater. There were so many people there, I had to wait until the 12:11 showing, instead of 12:01. There were other showings as well. They all pretty much sold out. So, I walk in, with my chili cheese nachos and Coke float, and I was surprised to find that they had put in leather seats! Comfy! Then I discovered that a good friend of mine was there as well. I didn't even know he was in town. Finally, before I get on with talking about the movie, during the trailers there was a Twilight preview, and I yelled out something along the lines of "VAMPIRES DON'T FUCKING SPARKLE!", causing the young woman in front of me to turn around and glare at me. All this meant I was in a jolly mood, and felt that my $9.50 was already well spent.
Okay, here's the shit you actually want to read.
Now, the movie hasn't done well with the "professional" critics, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes. But here's a secret. "Pro" critics are dumbasses when it comes to this sort of movie. They don't want robots beating the holy shit out of each other. They want giant robots talking about their feelings, or some shit like that. No, this movie isn't for them. It's for us. The normal people. The nerds. The TransFans.
So, how does it do? Well, I'll start with the looks of the movie. Visual effects are Michael Bay's trademark. And they're just as great, if not better, than the first movie. The robots looked real, the fights were epic, and there were explosions. Lots and lots of explosions. The camera work was Bay's usual style. Always moving, with something always happening in front of them. I've always liked this, but it did get a bit dizzying at one point, as it spun and spun and spun around Sam and Mikaela.
Speaking of them, they were both much better in this one. Not only has Megan Fox's acting improved (Making me somehow want to look at here even more!), but their characters were more fleshed out. All the humans were, Sam's parents, Leo, Sam's roommate, Epps and Lennox, even... Well, that's a spoiler, so you'll have to wait. It was the same with most of the robots. All of the returning characters had much more personality. Megatron was VERY evil and cunning. Starscream was a treacherous coward. Optimus was, well, Optimus. And so on. Except for Ratchet. Seriously,. he got shafted. I think he maybe got one line, and he was completely absent for the first part of the movie. Even when... Oops, almost said another spoiler. The new bots were kinda half and half. Other than The Fallen, most of the new 'Cons were just there. The Constructicons were almost drone like, and Devastator was more or less an animal, though he's really always been that way. Sideways didn't even get a chance. Amongst the 'Bots, Sideswipe showed some character, but not much. The Twins, however, got a lot of focus. I thought they would be annoying, but they were hilarious.Then there's Jetfire and Wheelie, who aren't really in a faction. They were both enjoyable. Jetfire was funny, and I rather liked him. He was, of course, old, and falling apart. Wheelie was, incredibly surprisingly, NOT ANNOYING! He didn't rhyme once! I actually liked him! WTF?!
Finally, the story. I t was much deeper this time. The story was entertaining and engaging. The writing and actors went together great. I felt for the characters. I shared their hope. Their despair. Why the fuck am I getting so deep here? Just still amped up, I guess. Anyways, throughout most of the movie, I was leaning forward in my seat.
Overall, I loved it. I'll probably see it again tomorrow.
SPOILER ALERT. AFTER THE FOLLOWING GAP, THERE ARE SPOILERS. DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING SECTION UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE.
SPOILER ALERT. THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Okay. The whole movie was FILLED with Transformers references. Optimus actually died, in an epic fight with Megatron, near the beginning of the movie. Just like in '86. BUT! He was brought back! Again, just like... every other time an Optimus has died. Guess what brought him back? THE SLAGGING MATRIX OF LEADERSHIP. FUCK. YES. It only shared a passing physical resemblance to the G1 Matrix, but it functioned similarly. At one point after Sam temporarily died, he actually had visions of long gone Cybertronian leaders, within the MAtrix. There was also some references to the idea of a group of original Transformers (The aforementioned dead leaders). However, this time it was 7, not 13 or one.
Energon played a major role. It was actually the entire reason the Fallen and other 'Cons were on Earth. Basically, it was the power within the AllSpark, and could be created by devouring the power of a sun with a special machine, activated by the Matrix. The Fallen wasnted to use this on a world with life, which is why he broke off from the other Primes (Those old leaders), becoming The Fallen.
Ravage, he was perfect. Not only were his weapon on his hips, but he was used to infiltrate a human base. He generally spyed on everyone, like Ravage has always done. He had a good death, being torn in half by 'Bee (Wgo I love even more after what he did to get rid of "Alice"). Soundwave though, I was kind of disappointed with. His voice lacked a lot of the magic, I liked it, but it was too deep, and lacked the musical quality of G1. And he never converted into robot mode. What the fuck is up with that?
Lastly, a few incidentals. Simmons (The main Sector 7 agent from the first movie) returned, but this time he was a hero. John Turturro was just as quirky and funny as before. The weird Decepticon infiltrator/Terminator like... thing named "Alice" was fucking nightmare fuel. Soooo creepy. Same with "The Doctor". The appliance bots given life by the AllSpark shard were a nice bit. Finally, repaints definitely exist in the movie universe. A lot of 'Cons shared body types, even with guys from the first movie.
END OF SPOILERS.
THE SPOILERS ARE OVER. YOU MAY RESUME READING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE.
So, my final conclusion is this: If you dislike this film, you suck. You're not a real TransFan. There were plenty of G1 references, and every complaint I've heard about the first movie was fixed. You just need to accept change. If you can accept change, and you're a TransFan, go see the movie right away. If you want an enjoyable 3 hours, go see it.
Ahh, Soundwave. In G1 many of his fans (AKA everyone who watched Transformers) loved him partly for his voice. That oddly musical electronic hum. It was soothing, and yet epically awesome. This, and his all around coolness, made him a fan favorite (As proof, he was chosen ina poll on Rooster Teeth.com as my first RotF review He won unanimously). And now he's in the new movie! WITH THE SAME VOICE ACTOR (Frank Welker) THAT HE HAD IN G1!
And, thus, we get a toy of him.
In G1 Soundwave was a mini-cassette tape recorder. Not a tape player like everyone thinks. M'kay? This has made him particularly hard to update. No one uses cassettes anymore. Plus, he went from a tiny alt mode to a big-ass robot through a process known as "Mass Shifting" (Megatron also used it, as he turned into a gun), which Hastak has been phasing out recently. However, the movie makers had a great idea. Let's make him a communications satellite! It has the same sort of communications based function as G1 Soundwave, and it references his ability (At least in the comics. I don't know if he used this in the cartoon) to read the minds of other Cybertronians. His satellite mode looks nice, and the various parts fit together well without many visible breaks where his body parts fit together. The translucent blue plastic is nicely distributed, and parts of those panel things on him look like solar cells. BUT WAIT! There's more! Sort of.
You can rearrange bits of his alt mode (The panels on the back, side wings, and spiky things on the side) to make a spaceship "mode" that looks a hell of a lot like his satellite mode. This is somehow enough for Hasbro to call him a Triple Changer (Despite the movie makers not wanting to introduce Triple Changers until the next movie. It's always supposed to be Combiners THEN Triple Changers guy! Well, other than Animated...), but he's really more of a "Two-and-a-half Changer". So, yeah.
Converting him to robot mode is moderately easy. About what you would expect from a Deluxe. He has the typical movie details all over the place. His face is awesome. In G1 the Decepticon symbol was actually a stylized version of Soundwave's head (Some Transfans believe he was originally going to be the 'Con leader, while Prowl would have been the Autobot leader, as their symbol looked like him) and RotF Soundwave's face looks like the 'Con symbol. He's still got the visor eyes, crest, and pointy bits, but it's more angular and inhuman, like the other movie 'Cons. His paint is nice. Though he's mostly gray, he's got a bit of blue, evoking his G1 paint, and the translucent blue bits are still great.
He moves at the neck, shoulders, and hips (Balljoints), knees and double elbows (Hinges), and biceps, ankles, and toes (Swivels). His various flaps and stuff are also jointed, so you can pose them how you like. His elbows are odd though. Due to his transformation, when you put his arms down naturally, with his fists sideways, his elbows bend inward. He has bicep swivels so you can bend his arms normally, but wrist joints would have helped.
His only accessory is a missile. It's supposed to be shaped like Ravage's "Entry mode", and fires out of a launcher on his back. It's forgettable and I didn't even take a picture of it.
Overall, Soundwave is a very nice toy. Not my favorite, and he has a few small issues, but he's a serviceable update of an old favorite, and I heartily recomend him to any fan. There will also be a store exclusive repaint in his G1 colors, but that will only be available in a tow pack with the first movie Voyager Megatron. Not really worth it if you ask me.