The second installment in director Michael Bay's Transformers franchise, Revenge of the Fallen, was a mega-hit at the box office, opening at #1 and eventually taking in over $400 million domestically, making it the second-highest grossing movie of 2009 after Avatar. However, it was raked over the coals by critics, receiving a score of just 20% by aggregate review site RottenTomatoes, which called it "noisy, underplotted, and overlong special effects extravaganza that lacks a human touch." In a recent AP interview from the Cannes Film Festival, the non-robot star of the franchise, Shia LaBeouf, called out Revenge on its failings and promised Transformers 3 will be a better movie by restoring the human element.
When I saw the second movie, I wasn't impressed with what we did. There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone.
LaBeouf went on to say that Revenge suffered from a common malady of blockbuster sequels—trying to outdo the first movie.
We tried to get bigger. It's what happens to sequels. It's like, how do you top the first one? You've got to go bigger. Mike went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie. You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn't matter. Then it's just a bunch of robots fighting each other.
LaBeouf said that one of the ways the sequel will have a greater emotional impact is to up the risk to the humans in the movie.
There's going to be a lot of death, human death. This time, they're targeting humans. It's going to be the craziest action movie ever made, or we failed.
Transformers 3 is currently filming in Los Angeles, with plans to shoot in several other locations around the world. LaBeouf is scheduled to be on set for the first time next Tuesday.