Australian Council on Children and the Media

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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Not suitable under 8, Not recommended 8-15 (Violence, Coarse language, Sexual references, Drug use)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • a review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 June 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to violence, scary scenes, coarse language, sexual references, drug use.
Children 8-15 Not recommended due to violence, scary scenes, coarse language, sexual references, drug use.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence
Length 150 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Following his adventurous encounters with the Transformers in previous times, Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) is planning to settle into his first year at college and get on with his life.  However, a shard from the All-Spark falls from Sam’s jacket. This sets off a chain reaction that involves Sam, his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) and a new friend, Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) in another world-domination quest by the resurrected Megatron and his superior, The Fallen.  Sam just has to stay alive while the key to the quest is found.  The question is, “Can he?”

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death and destruction; Separation from parents

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is excessive violence in this movie including numerous battles between robots and humans with destructive consequences. The final scenes are almost entirely comprised of bombing, shooting, hand-to-hand combat, and dismembering of robots.  Violence includes:

  • People are trampled and killed by Decepticons
  • Soldiers are crushed by concrete pipes as a result of a battle between Decepticons and Autobots
  • Cars are split in half, on one occasion, with the heroes inside
  • Sam is attacked by small Decepticons in his kitchen
  • Megatron punishes Starscream for disloyalty by beating him up
  • Megatron threatens to “strip the flesh” from Sam, and to “kill (him) slowly and painfully”.  He eventually captures Sam to have him physically probed by smaller Decepticons for the information in his head, a process akin to torture.
  • Mikaela and Wheelie (Decepticon) battle in her father’s workshop.  She eventually prods him in the eye, then chains him up and locks him into a metal box.
  • A Decepticon helicopter picks up Mikaela’s car and shakes it around, dislodging its occupants until they’re hanging from the door wells, then drops it onto a concrete floor and cuts it in half with a large saw blade.
  • Megatron and Optimus Prime battle violently in a forest.  Optimus is hit in the face and oil sprays out like blood.  He is thrown to the ground, has his arms ripped off, and is eventually stabbed by Megatron through the back, ending his existence.
  • Megatron tackles Starscream on the rooftop of a building.  Starscream is required to reattach his own arm
  • Decepticons attack and destroy an aircraft carrier at sea.  One person is seen sliding down the deck as the boat is upended.  Another is seen drowning in the water.
  • The Decepticon, Devastator (assembled from a variety of other robots) sucks up sand, cars, possibly a person (though it’s not explicit) and an Autobot (who later fights his way out, by saying “I’m gonna bust your face in”).
  • Bumblebee and another Decepticon fight until Bumble Bee destroys it.  Then the Decepticon, styled on a panther, joins the fray and is proceeded to be pulled apart by Bumblebee.
  • One Decepticon’s head is removed in battle.  Another surfaces from the sand and attacks Jetfire.
  • Sam is shot down and killed, but later revived
  • Bumblebee forces Alice’s face into his dashboard by pushing the back of his seat forwards, then he sprays her with oil.
  • Ron Witwicky threatens to “drop” a waiter for being in his “space” while he and Judy are dining
  • Guards at the Smithsonian museum are “tasered” so that the heroes can get through without being stopped.
  • Agent Simmons “tasers” Leo to stop him from panicking

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are numerous scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including all the robots and many transformations from machine to robot, including

  • The shard from the All-Spark falls from Sam’s jacket and through the floors of the house to the kitchen table.  It has an immediate effect on the kitchen appliances, causing them to transform into creatures that swarm all over the kitchen and up the walls.
  • A large panther-like Decepticon emerges from the sea and creeps into a secure facility.  It drops ball bearings from its mouth down a chute that, once inside, all transform into one large Decepticon to steal back what’s left of the All-Spark.
  • A cargo ship is suddenly revealed as the home to a group of Decepticons including the panther.  They all transform and jump off the deck into the sea where they search the sea bed for Megatron.
  • Megatron lies lifeless at the bottom of the sea but then is reawakened and returns to the surface.
  • The interior of the Decepticon’s ship is shown with a number of scary looking robots and equipment evident
  • One of the Decepticons is disguised as a girl, Alice, who attacks Sam with a long tail and tongue then transforms into a robot showing her facial skin splitting and disintegrating.
  • Megatron pins Sam down and forces tiny bug-like robots up into his nostrils and mouth to search for information in his brain.  He is about to have his head sawn open when Optimus comes to the rescue.
  • Jetfire transforms from a Stealth Bomber on display in a museum into a fully fledged Decepticon.
  • A number of smaller mining vehicles are dragged in together and transformed to create one large Decepticon (Devastator) who then immediately becomes aggressive and frightenly destructive.
  • Optimus merges with Jetfire to become an almost unrecognisable but formidable robot to take on The Fallen
  • Sam’s parents, Ron and Judy Witwicky are kidnapped and held hostage by the Decepticons in return for Sam.  They are reunited in the desert though Sam insists that they leave again for their own safety.  Both Sam and his parents aren’t happy with this decision but know it’s for the best.
  • Ron and Judy witness Sam’s death and are highly distraught.  They are prevented from reaching their son’s side by soldiers holding them back from the firing line.

 

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, children in this age group may be particularly concerned about the fate of the occupants of a submarine which collides with the Decepticons

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

In addition to some of the above-mentioned scenes, children in this age group may be concerned about the following:

  • Sam hallucinates at points during the movie, speed-reading a book, stuttering and twitching.
  • Sam meets the Primes in the afterlife and discusses their history while Major Lennox and medics are working to revive Sam’s body in reality.

Product placement

The film itself is a vehicle for marketing Transformers toys and associated products. Other products shown include

  • GMC
  • Camaro
  • Mountain Dew
  • Exide Batteries
  • Cisco WebEx
  • Valvoline
  • LG
  • CNN
  • Panasonic
  • News Corp
  • Phillips
  • Pan America
  • Air France

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Sam’s father, Ron, slaps Sam’s mother, Judy, on the bottom in a suggestive manner.  Judy responds equally in tone and intent referring to their younger days of activity.
  • There is some suggestive banter over the telephone between Sam and Mikaela regarding camshafts.
  • Judy, after ingesting a laced biscuit, propositions Ron suggesting she’ll do “anything for an A”.
  • On Leo’s computer is a web page open displaying the “Hot 100 Freshman Babes”
  • Alice speaks in a seductive fashion to Sam in his car while pulling her skirt higher up her legs.
  • A teacher drops his apple on the floor during a lecture and a female student picks it up.  The teacher overtly suggests that the student should “finish that for me.”  He then goes on to discuss “Virgo, the virgin” whilst continuing to look in a provocative manner at the student.
  • Wheelie says to Mikaela, “You might be hot but not that smart.”
  • Wheelie again refers to Mikaela as being “hot” as she steals a car.
  • Judy refers to a caller on the other end of a telephone as a “perverted mouth breath(er)”.
  • Mikaela lands on top of, and facing into, Leo’s groin during a teleport
  • Two testicle-like appendages are seen hanging from a Decepticon’s groin region and are referred to as “enemy scrotum”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • On two occasions the family’s pet dogs are seen mating with a reference to seeing “a lot of that in college too” made by Ron.
  • Mikaela is first seen wearing very little clothing (short shorts and tight fitting t-shirt) leaning provocatively over a motorbike.
  • Mikaela undresses and changes her clothing outside Sam’s garage in front of a camera
  • There are several kissing scenes between Sam and Mikaela
  • In Sam’s new dormitory at college, his roommate, Leo has centrefold/pin-up posters on his walls
  • Alice forces herself onto Sam at a party and then again later in his room.  The interchange involves Alice rubbing herself against Sam’s crotch and chest and eventually pinning him to the bed, during which her Decepticon tail is revealed as are her underpants.  She then tries to kiss Sam with an overly long robotic tongue.
  • Agent Simmons takes off his trousers revealing his barely covered buttocks in a close-up shot.
  • Leo lets his trousers drop to the floor around his legs in an effort to distract the guards at the museum
  • Wheelie mounts Mikaela’s leg.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Judy Witwicky unknowingly purchases a bag of biscuits laced with marijuana and proceeds to become affected by the substance.  The bag is clearly labelled with a picture of marijuana on the front.
  • Someone refers to having had a “reefer”
  • Alcohol at a party

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Ass whooping”
  • “Bummer”
  • “You carry this shit”
  • “Holy mother”
  • “I’m going to skinny dip and you can’t do shit about it”
  • “It’s supposed to hurt; it’s an arse-kicking”
  • “Oh my God…”
  • “Don’t be suckin the sack, bro.” “Which sack?” “The ball sack.”
  • “Frickin”
  • “How ‘bout I park my foot in your arse?”
  • “Kiss this, bitch”
  • “Jesus!”
  • “Poppin’ caps in his arsehole”
  • “He’s an ass hole”
  • “That’s ‘cos you a pussy”
  • “Tighten up that sphincter”
  • “Tasered in the nuts”
  • “Bugger it”
  • “Hey, a frickin’ munchkin”
  • “Punk arse”
  • “I’m too old for this crap”
  • “Enemy scrotum”

In a nutshell

The main positive messages from this movie are the importance of courage, comradeship and loyalty.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with older children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • the excessive violence shown
  • the sexual encounters shown
  • the use of this type of film to sell products

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