Review: Transformers

After nearly a year of teasers, rumors and hype, the moment has finally arrived: Transformers has been unleashed upon the masses. Does it do its predecessor, the Stan Bush laden animated movie, proud? In two words: hell yes. The review is rife with spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie yet, you may want to skip to the last paragraph. The premise behind the movie is simple: the Decepticons want to destroy Earth for the Cube, while the Autobots want to prevent the Decepticons from getting the Cube, and beginning a quest for universal domination. Of course, Megatron has been on Earth for thousands of years, but because he landed in the North Pole, he was frozen. Apparently, the American government decided to move him to the States and build the Hoover Dam around him to preserve and study him. Once all Transformers know that Sam Witwicky's (Shia Lebeouf) great grandfather found Megatron and the Cube, and etched the location into his glasses (that he shamelessly tried to hock on ebay to buy his first car), they all know they have to find him. The story seemed a little too frenetic at first, as it seemed that the tag team of Bay and Spielberg couldn't quite figure out how they wanted to pace the movie (more on their alliance in a bit). Eventually though, the movie settled down, and became what we all hoped it to become:fantastic. All the great things about the cartoon were maintained, from the transforming noise to Megatron's abuse of Starscream. And as far as stories go, it wasn't bad at all. Granted, its Transformers, and that's all you really need (because they rock), but the story was at least plausible, and not so totally far-fetched (from a coherency standpoint). There were some minor hiccups, such as how a kid living at his grandma's house could so easily crack NSA top secret files when experts can't, and the entire S7 storyline with John Turturro playing a neurotic agent, but other than that, the story was believable at least. The Transformers in this movie were slightly modified, but fear not, they're still true to form. In this version, they first appear as robots, and take the shape of something that they come across, to better blend in. The opening assault on the base in Qatar really sets the tone for the movie, as it becomes a constant blur of explosion and exposition. The focus on Shia Leboeuf's character is a nod to the animated movie, and his relationship with Bumblebee reminds us of E.T., which shouldn't really come as a surprise, as Spielberg likes to talk about a boy's relationship with an alien being. His story is what drove the whole movie, and all the other characters were really there to push his story along. The best thing about the movie (besides how INCREDIBLY hot Megan Fox looked) was the character given to the Transformers themselves. Even when they were in their vehicular form, you really got a sense of what they were about, and their thought processes. Bumblebee is given as much time to develop as Leboeuf is, and its strange to say this, but they really do develop a convincing relationship. There's actually more chemistry between Leboeuf and Bumblebee then there is between Leboeuf and Fox (this is most likely do to the fact that there is no way whatsoever a chick as hot as her would ever have anything to do with a guy like him, but I digress). And Leboeuf really turns in a stellar acting job here...I don't think the movie would have worked nearly as well if he didn't convey the awkwardness and sarcasm as well. Now, Bay and Spielberg. When I first heard that Bay was directing, I was worried it was going to be nothing but explosions and loud noises. Then we found out that Spielberg was being brought on to, if nothing else, lend some "credibility" to the movie. The two of the actually did an admirable job with the movie. My one complaint was that some of the camera shots were a little too tight, which isn't the best thing when you have robots fighting that are insanely tall. It was hard to fully appreciate the fights between the Transformers mainly because you couldn't really make out what was going on...sometimes it just looked like one big ball of metal. There were plenty of great one-liners in the movie, and there were some times when the movie had more of a playful feeling to it (the Autobots hiding from Sam's parents in his backyard springs to mind), as opposed to a feeling of doom from the Decepticons, which worked better than I expected. The Transformers showed more depth than the human actors, which isn't to say the human actors sucked, rather, the movie is about Transformers, so that's fine. I did get goosebumps the first time Optimus Prime spoke, mainly because Peter Cullen reprises his role as Optimus Prime. Bay even pokes fun at himself, as when the Autobots are crashing into Earth, a passerbyer says to his camera "This is better than Armageddon!" Be warned, that during some parts of the movie, you'll really feel like you're watching a commercial for Chevrolet cars. Not to mention the other numerous product placements throughout (Mountain Dew, Panasonic, Apple, Xbox 360 which promptly explodes). This is definitely a marketing VPs wet dream, so there you go. And there's a wealth of buxom women in dangerous situations, so you can easily tell what demographic the filmmakers know will most likely see this movie. Throw in the fact that Mikaela Banes (Fox) knows all about cars, and you really have anything a guy could ask for. Overall, I was floored. Honestly. I really didn't know what to expect from the movie, so I was very pleasantly surprised. The humor was perfect, the action was non-stop and the story was decent. Bay and Spielberg did a commendable job keeping the Transformers name true to its roots. So do yourself a favor, stop reading this now, and go see the movie. You'll be very happy you did. Rating: 80 out of 100


  1. Come on. .. a 3.5 out of 5??? What kind of lame BS is that? At least a 4, if not 4.5!


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