Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

  • Review Date: June 24, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2009

Common Sense Media says

Violent, crude, pointless sequel just isn't kids' stuff.
  • Review Date: June 24, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2009

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Any positive messages about friendship and fellowship are negated by the film's objectification of women and frequent use of phrases like "bitch" and "p---y" in a film ostensibly aimed at kids. There's also some racial and ethnic stereotyping; while a giant robot with a wacky "Scottish" accent seems harmless, two robots with protruding ears, grotesque features, and a propensity for thuggish rap slang like "pop a cap in his ass" and "get up in that ass" are less easy to write off as wacky fun.

Positive role models

While Optimus Prime is a stalwart defender of the innocent, the other characters are so thinly crafted that it's virtually impossible to find anything to admire. Sam is loyal to his robot friends, but, again, the film is so suffused and soaked in bullets, bombs, and bombast that it's hard to hear the positivity over the explosions.

Violence

Nonstop explosions, gunfire, bombardments, and barrages affecting human beings, as well as tons of combat to the death between robotic (but intelligent and self-aware) aliens. Bodies are hurled by explosions and battle, and there's some scary torture/medical imagery. Extensive robotic carnage and destruction, as well as pushing, shoving, and scuffling. There's a threat to the sun, which, if carried out, will wipe out all human life.

Sex

Plenty of cleavage, shots of panty-clad bottoms, kissing. Dogs hump each other, and a robot proceeds to do the same to a woman's leg. A husband and wife engage in a little saucy talk and bottom-grabbing. Some suggestive talk about young men at a college party being "on the hunt."

Language

Above-average level of strong language for a PG-13, including one use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "p---y," "piss," "damn," "balls," "ball sack," "punk ass," "crap," "oh my God," "bitch," and "ass."

Consumerism

Considering that the movie is based on a toy line by Hasbro -- and co-produced by Hasbro -- you could argue that the entire thing is an exercise in product placement. Other brands shown on screen or mentioned include car makes, manufacturers, and models (including General Motors, Volvo, Camaro, etc.), Mountain Dew, Budweiser, State Farm, OnStar, CNN, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

It's implied that characters drink liquor and beer in social settings. A parent also mistakenly eats some marijuana brownies and babbles incoherently, runs about, and tackles strangers.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to 2007's Transformers is edgier and less kid-friendly than the first. Kids will want to see it because they're the ones who play with the toys the movie was inspired by, but it's packed with metal-on-metal mayhem and brutally violent action scenes that are too much for them. While most of the combatants are giant robots, the film's human characters are in constant peril, and the explosions never seem to stop. There are also eyebrow-raising amounts of sexualized and even racially insensitive material, as well as strong language (including one use of "f--k" and frequent uses of words like "bitch" and "p---y"). Plus, it's essentially a long commercial for both cars and toys.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After the events of Transformers, Shia LaBeouf's Sam Witwicky is off to college. But the long-simmering war between the noble Autobots and the villainous Decepticons is about to boil over again as Sam learns he's the receptacle for eons-old information that everyone wants -- information that includes the location of a weapon that could be used to destroy the sun, along with all life on Earth.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Whether you loved or hated the original Transformers, it made so much money that a sequel was inevitable. It was not, however, necessarily inevitable that said sequel would be good. The faults of the first film are even worse here -- director Michael Bay brings in robot after robot after robot, making it impossible to tell the metal mega-warriors apart and resulting in action scenes where who's doing what to who is conveyed more by screaming bystanders than clear, comprehensible filmmaking.

The human characters aren't much better -- the film bogs down in scenes where Sam's parents are concerned about him heading off to school, only to jettison all that in the name of globe-trotting action. The relationship between Sam and girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) is laughably thin, and the film's need to overdo everything results in either misshapen comic relief scenes or action scenes so loud and large and quickly cut that they're simply empty blurs. TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is, at heart, the worst of everything that modern big-money moviemaking has to offer -- spectacle, sex, special effects, and sanitized violence -- without a single redeeming feature.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's robot-on-robot violence. Are brutal dismemberments, stabbings, and shootings easier to take when they involve large metal robots instead of flesh-and-blood humans? Even when the robots talk, think, and "die" like people?

  • Families can also talk about the consumerism side of things. What do kids make of the fact that this is a movie based on a line of toys? Is the movie's goal to sell more toys? If not, what is it?

  • You can also bring up the movie's stereotyping -- including the robot "Twins," one of whom has a gold tooth and later explains that he can't decipher hieroglyphics because "We don't do much readin'." Are those kinds of caricatures funny or offensive? Why?

  • And you can discuss whether the movie objectifies women. Why is more screen time devoted to the leading actresses' bodies than their characters? Why do male characters not get the same treatment?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 24, 2009
DVD release date:October 20, 2009
Cast:Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf
Director:Michael Bay
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:147 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material

This review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old Written byjason913 June 25, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Wow. Just Wow.

Wow. Just wow. I knew it was going to be bad (Michael Bay has never been one for such silly things as "plot" or "subtlety") but this movie really went UNDER my expectations.
The film is just a mess. It takes the term "assault of the senses" to a whole new level.
It took everything I didn't like about the first movie and kicked it up to 11. Now I must admit I did like the first one, but this one is much worse.
Some have said "It's just dumb action, no need to get upset", but when was plot not required for a good movie? Just because I like butter on my popcorn doesn't mean I want to eat a whole stick by itself.
One problem I had with the film was the whole "frat-boy" sensibilities of the film. The sexual humor seems like outtakes from American Pie (If it's not good enough to be in American Pie, it's not good enough to exist, period.) Michael Bay films have always had racial stereotypes in it, so those in this movie weren't suprising, but were still pretty bad.
In conclusion, if you see this movie, you're allowing the filmmakers to further insult your intelligence with tripe like this.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byannbbach June 26, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE! The first Transformer movie is my daughter's all tiem favorite movie. This second one is totally different and AWFUL! So unlike the first one. Every cuss word in the book - I was Horrified and offended! Sexual situations and inuendoes throughout, including the opening scene, which looked like a Playboy spread of Megan Fox on a motorcycle. We should have walked out then. My two daughters and I all admitted we thought about walking out of it-wish we had. It is NOTHING LIKE THE FIRST ONE! If you have morals, don't go see it! For age 17 and up, only! I'm not old enough, and I'm in my 40's!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 15 year old Written byTsion August 13, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Wow. (And Not in a Good Way.)

Look up top. Every single category of innapropriate content is highlighted. There are no positives. Not only is this movie endlessly crude, vulgar, and oftentimes racist, it is not entertaining in any way, shape or form. I enjoyed the first TRANSFORMERS film immensely. I liked the creativity, bold action, and dead-on comedy. This sequel, however, misses the mark completely. It lacks everything that made the first movie good. When evenyour lead actor says that he hates the movie, then you know something is wrong. In addition to being poorly made, this movie is way unsuitable for its target audience. I don't think I need to talk about the constant machine/gun/explosion violence, because you already expect that. The main problem in this movie is the endless stream of vulgarity. Every Transformer in this movie talks, and they cuss up a storm. I couldn't even count the times I heard "b***h up your punk a*s", or something similar. The "f" word is used twice (once partially spoken), and every other profanity in the book is used frequently, including "p**sy" and slang terms for male genitals. There is a near-constant flow of sexual humor that ranges from nude posters on walls (topless women) to more graphic stuff. Sam's mother, while high off of marijuana, tells strangers that she overheard him climaxing (it's not made clear whether she means intercourse or masturbation). We see two dogs having sex, and a male transformer furiously thrusts against Mikaela's leg with moans of pleasure. A Decepticon in human disguise comes on to Sam and slams him onto a bed while making comments like "we're good in bed". A man talks about having the same woman/robot in a wet dream. College kids talk about sucking "the sack", and a Transformer has giant, swinging metal testicles (refered to assuch). A man pulls down his pants and boxers in a museum as a distraction(we don't see anything), and we see a man's bare buttocks in a jock strap. There are also crude references to bodily functions like excretion andejaculation. There are lots of car product placements, and lots of people get drunk/high at college (including a parental figure). Two Transformersare an extremely offensive mimicry of African-American culture, and whatever positive messages are in the movie are more than obscured by the vulgarity.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families