A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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."
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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."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the sequel to 2007's Transformers. It's 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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The faults of the first Transformers movie 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. 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 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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.