Transformers 2: Rise of Unicron is the 2008 sequel to Transformers: Robots in Disguise directed by Zack Snyder with music by Hans Zimmer. Michael Cera, Emma Stone, Liam Neeson and James Earl Jones star in the film.
Since Megatron's defeat, the Autobots have formed an alliance with the humans to create MECH, an elite top secret task force hunting down the Decepticons who have remained on Earth. During a mission to Shanghai, Autobot leader Optimus Prime battles a Decepticon named Demolishor and fatally wounds him. However, before he dies, the Decepticon warns Optimus of the return of Unicron, the legendary destroyer.
Back in the US, Daniel Witwicky is preparing to leave for college, leaving his girlfriend Carly Spencer and guardian Bumblebee behind. Unbeknownst to him, while packing, he comes across an old t-shirt that he wore the day of the battle of Mission City. A piece of the One then falls into his belongings and he takes it with him to college. After arriving, he meets his new roomate, Carlos Lopez, who runs a conspiracy theory website about the existence of the Transformers.
Daniel is later picked up by Bumblebee, who takes him on a drive to meet with Optimus. Optimus asks Daniel to appeal to the US Government for him as they are worried about the damage the Autobots are doing. Daniel refuses, telling him that he is not part of his war, but Optimus warns that he may soon be. Meanwhile, the Decepticons dive the Laurentian Abyss and ressurect Megatron. Megatron returns to the Decepticon flagship, the Nemesis, and is reunited with Starscream. He is about to kill Starscream for leaving him to die on Earth when he is halted by Unicron, who has taken over leadership of the Decepticons. Unicron reveals that he must destroy Optimus Prime, the only one capable of destroying him, as well as steal the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which has been missing for eons, as it is instrumental to his mysterious plans.
At her home, Carly is attacked by the tiny Decepticon Wheelie but manages to trap him inside of a safe. She then meets up with Bumblebee and they head for Daniel. Meanwhile, Daniel gets into a fight at a party and gets both himself and Carlos kicked out. As the two argue, Starscream appears and chases them into a warehouse. As he pins Daniel down, Bumblebee bursts through the wall and tackles him, then alerts Optimus. Optimus arrives and Bumblebee escapes with Carly and Carlos but they become seperated from Daniel as the battle spills over into the forest. Megatron and Soundwave then arrive and Optimus takes all three on. He defeats Starscream and decapitates Soundwave, but Megatron impales him from behind and shoots him through the chest as Daniel watches. He is then picked up by Bumblebee as the Decepticons leave the scene.
Megatron launches a full scale assault on the planet in the wake of Optimus' death. Unicron uses a hijacked satellite to broadcast a message to the humans, demanding that they turn over Daniel or the attacks will continue. Now fugitives, Daniel, Carlos, Carly and Bumblebee try to move about discreetly. Carlos says that they may find help in his online rival, RoboWarrior. This turns out to be none other than Seymour Simmons, the former government agent from the first film. Simmons tells them that the only one who may known what Unicron is planning is Jetfire, an ancient Decepticon who lays dormant in the Smithsonian. The group infiltrates the mueseum and reactivate Jetfire, who reveals that he has defected to the Autobots. Jetfire takes them to the Egyptian pyramids, explaining that many many years ago, Unicron was the leader of a group of Cybertronians who were trying to harvest Energon from the suns of planets, with the one rule that they would never claim the sun of a planet with life on it. Unicron tried to steal the Earth's sun but the others rebelled and imprisoned him. He has now returned to finish the job but requires the Autobot Matrix to activate the Solar Harvester. The group search for the Matrix and Daniel finds it. He then has Simmons summon MECH to their location, along with the body of Optimus.
MECH soon arrives, but so do the Decepticons. A battle breaks out in the ruins while the Decepticons Devastator arrives and unearths the Solar Harvester, hidden in the peak of one of the pyramids. Jetfire is fatally wounded by Ravage, who he then destroys. MECH launches an air strike on the Decepticons, destroying alot of them. Daniel then plunges the Matrix into Optimus' spark, ressurecting him. However, Unicron then appears and steals the Matrix. The other Autobots turn their fire to Devastator and destroy him. However, they are too late to stop Unicron from activating the Solar Harvester. Jetfire sacrifices himself to transfer his parts to Optimus, empowering him. Optimus fleis towards the top of the pyramind and manages to knock Megatron off before grappling with Unicron. Optimus manages to break the top of the Solar Harvester off and stab Unicron through the head with it, his body falling into the machine and Optimus dives to safety. The harvester explodes, killing Unicron for good. Suddenly, Optimus is attacked by Megatron. Megatron gains the upper hand until Optimus grabs the Matrix and weakens him. He then blasts Megatron's face apart, tears him arm off, and hurls him through a wall. Optimus returns to his allies side in the aftermath of the battle as Megatron and Starscream flee into the desert. He announces that the humans and the Autobots will from now on have a better working relationship as MECH and Daniel tells Carly that he loves her.
Michael Cera - Daniel Witwicky
Emma Stone - Carly Spencer
Bryan Cranston - Seymour Simmons
Liam Neeson - Optimus Prime
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Bumblebee
Tom Hardy - Ironhide
Roger Moore - Ratchet
James Earl Jones - Unicron
Hugo Weaving - Megatron
Robert Baker - Starscream
Keith David - Soundwave
The score was done by Hans Zimmer and a cover of the song "The Touch" originally by Stan Bush done by Chris Cornell accompanies the end credits.
The film was followed by Transformers: War For Two Worlds.
Like the first film, Transformers 2 wad given a comic book adaption by Marvel Comics.
A video game adaption was released across all platforms.
A novelization, Transformers 2: Unicron Rises, was written by William C. Dietz, who also authored the previous adaption. Jude Watson, the author of the Transformers Junior Novel, also returned to author a version for this film.
Megatron: Decepticons, I have returned!
Starscream: Lord Megatron! You are alive! I was so...thankful to hear of your ressurection...
Megatron: Yes, joy is written all over your face...How good it feels to be reunited with such a loyal and devoted subject...
Starscream: Yes, so good...
Megatron: But YOU left me to die on that pathetic, insect planet...
[Megatron advances towards Starscream]
Starscream: But...we had all assumed that you had perished at the hands of the Autobot scum! And it was only to help spawn a new army, loyal to only you...In your absence, someone HAD to take command...I was only following orders...
Megatron: Even in death, there in no leadership, no command, no rule but MINE! [pauses] What do you mean...following orders?
Unicron: If you are going to kill him, do it quickly. We have things to discuss, Megatron...
[Optimus falls to the ground after Megatron stabs and shoots him]
Megatron: This was almost too easy...
Megatron: It was because of YOU, boy, that I was dumped in that watery grave...and now, let me return the favour...
Optimus Prime: Leave him, Megatron. He has not chosen a role in this conflict. He is irrelevant to our struggle. Face me, Megatron. Let him go.
Megatron: Is the future of our race not worth a single, worthless human life?
Optimus Prime: We both know that you'll never stop at just one, Megatron.
Megatron: The time...has come. Optimus is dead. There is no one left to oppose. It is time to let the humans know of our presence. It is time that they learned to fear the word "Decepticon." It is time they learned to fear the name..."Megatron."
Megatron: The Autobots are here, master. They must be stopped. Decepticons, attack!
Unicron: Do not panic, Megatron. It will cost you.
[Megatron attacks Optimus in the Egyptian ruins]
Megatron: HA! You did me a favour, by killing Unicron...now, leadership of the Decepticons shall be mine once more, as it always has and always will be, rightfully. And now, once I kill you, there will be nothing to stop me from conquering this planet and it's insignificant population as I see fit!
Starsceam: How do you feel, might Megatron?