The totally righteous Autobots and the malevolent Decepticons hit earth in search some 'life giving" cube (low rent version of The Matrix of Leadership from the show) and wind up waging a private war in our streets. More than meets the eye baby!
Are we talking about... invasion? - Keller
I’m a huge TRANSFORMERS fan! I grew up with the show, played with the toys and saw the animated flick in the theatres. I’m actually listening to “Instrument of Destruction” by NRG off the cartoon movie soundtrack as I write this review (great f*cking song). Hence, no summer movie was more anticipated by this twat than Michael "wam bam" Bay’s live action rendition of it. How did it pan out? Did the film meet my expectations? Did it do the grand cartoon that was The Transformers justice? Well yes and no.
I’ll begin with the good stuff. First off; I LOVE Transformers hence it wasn't too hard for me to get my jockeys in a bunch while seeing them do their thing LIVE! Yes, many o fanboy woodies were popped and wide smiles carved into my face during this sit down. Moreover, I personally never understood why Michael Bay gets such a whooping by the movie fanboys of the world as I dare you to find anybody that knows how to shoot large scale action, kabooms, hot babes, fancy cars and military gear in more awe inspiring ways than him. For me, as long as the Bay Man sticks to what he does best (action) and stops trying to be more than what he is (Pearl Harbor); I’m all good with him. He’s one of the top visual stylists on the block if you ask me or the python in my khakis. Thankfully TRANSFORMERS was no exception as the film served up eye popping action set pieces that sent a rush of blood to my two heads. Polished cinematography, potent use of slow motion, elaborate staging and badass execution; the action bits here rocked my cock clean out! CLEAN! And the same went for the astounding CGI (created by the genius’ at Industrial Light and Magic,) at play. Although I don’t believe in them thieves Santa Claus and the Toothfairy, I am now convinced that giant robots that transform into vehicles walk among us. The flick nailed it and then some! INCREDIBLE!
From a Transformers fan point of view; I dug the nods to the show (the “transforming” sound was dope) and they got Optimus Prime right (Thank Unicron they got Peter Cullen to do the voice). Bumble Bee, Ratchet, Jazz and Ironhide were solely hinted at personality wise while Megatron; although way different than in the cartoon, still emanated the right vibe (Frank Welker who did the voice in the comic should’ve done it here too, it would’ve brought the part home for me). Other than that; most of the Bots were interchangeable and fairly underdeveloped. Starscream being delegated to being just another lackey was a damn shame and wasting Devastator on a simple construction truck when he’s 6 trucks assembled into one mammoth being in the comics was a travesty. I guess there’s always the Stunticons (cars who also unite into a big ass bot)… hope they make it in the sequel and are executed the right way. Wait a minute; I’m losing my bearings here…I’ll stop right here in terms of comparing the movie to the comic. Bay did what he did with his version of it. He missed a lot of swell opportunities; that were already drawn out for him via the show… but what can you do… so be it. I actually didn't dwell on the differences whilts watching the flick.
Therefore as an entity on its own, Transformers lost many of my points due to its tepid screenplay. I mean this aint brain surgery; good robots on one side, bad robots on the other and kid/overly tanned broad in the middle. Alas the script couldn’t pull that off. It was a disjointed doggy bag of ideas that was tossed in the air and never fell to the ground. The story was all over the place (creating pacing issues) and it didn’t delve deep enough in what it established for me to give a damn. Instead of wasting precious screen time on some dweeb hackers, a lamo Section 7 subplot (with a painfully over the top John Turtorro… bugh) or/and people trying to decipher mysteries that were already solved for us; the flick should’ve focused on developing its robots, its humans, their relationships and their individual personas. Sadly that didn’t go down much.
Same went for the ever changing tone of the piece. One moment it was played straight, than like the cartoon and then like a goofy Will Smith flick; with crappy, infantile humor popping in (Anthony Anderson had no business here). Talk about pissing on my parade. And don’t even get me started on the lapses in logic even within this illogical premise. Actually…too late… I started. Nobody spots giant robots hanging around a suburban house set in a busy neighborhood? Robots wage war on a downtown street corner and the entire army isn’t deployed? Shia LaBeouf snags a chick as hot as Megan Fox? PLEASE! But I let all that go in the name of enjoying myself and in all honesty it wasn’t too hard to do cause the eye candy was…MUCHO TASTY!
In the end; I enjoyed this jamboree of wow(s) and kaboom(s) even with its gaping screenplay flaws in tow. Lets face it, you can't get much better in the vacuous Pop-Corn fun department! Shia Lebeouf proved to be a likeable lead, Megan Fox’s belly (aka the 8Th marvel of the world) owned the scenery and the last half hour of the film whipped some serious ass in its outlandish bombardment of physical get downs. Hopefully Transformers will do well at the Box office and give way to a sequel; one that will sport a real script to back up its exquisite audio/visual goodies. Time will tell. Till then….Arrowheads! Transform and whore out!
Does a robot torn in half by another robot count as gore? How about a quick fix of a dude impaled by a pointy robot tail? Not to me but you be the judge…
I’ve dug Shia LaBeouf (Sam) since I saw his cha-cha in Disturbia. The kid is natural and here he took fairly nutty situations and made me believe in them via his solid display. Props! Megan Fox (Mikaela) stood around, looked pretty, showed off her yummy belly and her deep rooted tan. GREAT PERFORMANCE! Josh Duhamel (Sergeant Lennox) took a flimsily written part and made it memorable with his charisma and honest show. Tyrese Gibson (Sergeant Epps) did what he had to do i.e. stand around in a tight, bicep flattering t-shirt. Jon Voight (John Keller) excels at these types of roles and he aced it again here. I usually love John Turturro (Agent Simmons) but here his performance felt like it was in the wrong film. This isn’t The Big Lebowski Part 2 yo!
You know what? I’ll take 5 Megan Fox tanned and flat belly shots over a clean tit shot any day. You see that stomach? God hit perfection when he made that one. Hook me up!
Bay is a master at staging intricate action set pieces and executing them with testosterone fueled pizzazz and he outdid himself here in that department. I was floored! If only he had a real script to work off... if only...
We get an able score that often sounded like the Batman Begins soundtrack. Efficient.
TRANSFORMERS ruined aluminum ass when it came to slick visuals; bamboozling CGI and visceral action sequences. It didn’t fare as well when it came to its relationships or the exploration of its humans/robots. I know it’s a movie about giant robots; who needs layered characters right? I agree. But this film went about addressing them….it just did it in a clumsy fashion. If you’re going to do something, do it right or not at all. And the whole sunk even lower when it came to its unraveling of events. Unfocused and too busy for its own good, it should’ve spent less time on tossing useless subplots/comic scenarios my way and more time on the core of it all; its protagonists and its metal beings… ALL I NEEDED MAN! The out of this world action scenes, the nostalgia factor, the random faithful nods to the cartoon and the insane special effects saved this one for me. Blinding and deafening flash... limp wrist meat. Happy 4th of July!
Was it me or we didn’t see Decepticon logos on the bad robots?
Bay deemed that Frank Welker's (original voice of Megatron) voice had aged too much so he didn't get to reprise his role of Megatron. Hugo Weaving did the role instead.
The character of Sam Witwicky is of course a take on Spike Witwicky from the cartoon.
VISIT THE OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS SITE HERE