Transformers (2007)
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Review Date: September 21, 2007
Director: Micheal Bay
Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Producers: Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy
Shia LaBeouf as Sam
Megan Fox as Mikaela
Josh Duhamel as Lennox
The kid from DISTURBIA, once again, falls upon a nefarious scheme outside of his own doing, only this time, it ain’t David Morse with a dented Mustang, but giant robots from outerspace which transform into supremely cool-looking vehicles. Still with me? Okay, well, there are “bad giant robots” and “good giant robots” and it seems as though the good guys dig on humans, while the baddies don’t. Kinda like X-Men but instead of mutants, they’re massive metallic robotic organisms although…they’re also “more than meets the eye”, soooo…
Just a whole tub o’ fun featuring robots in disguise, hotties in not much of a disguise and Shia Labeouf, making me forget all about his annoying turns as second banana in films such as CONSTANTINE and I, ROBOT, and coming through as the ideal kid to play the…well, the “everyday” kid. I realize that it’s weird to pinpoint a specific actor in a movie featuring giant robots from outerspace that smash one another all across our human city walls, but the truth is that if a film such as this doesn’t feature at least one real human character that pulls you in further, it doesn’t really amount to a pile of junk metal in disguise. Labeouf plays the lead teen without any seeming effort and even though the movie does have a number of things going against it, I really enjoyed myself overall, especially the film’s final 30 minutes which were basically just all-out metallic-balls-to-the-cement-walls action, with Autobots punching Decepticons while humans scuffled around in front of green screens below. Not that the effects were bad, as they were actually quite good, but with the amount of carnage and action happening on the screen sometimes, it was easy to just laugh at the idea that any human could actually survive through any of that, particularly, a young skinny teen running around with the apparent fate of the world tucked under his “Strokes” T-shirt. But of course, as soon as you start getting a little too serious about it all, you have to remind yourself once again: this is a movie about giant robots from outerspace that smash one another all across our human city walls!!!

A few issues I had with the movie included the less-than-inspired casting, particularly in terms of the odd diversity of the entire cast, each of whom almost felt like they were chosen to hit an exact demographic in the audience (gotta love the supermodel-looking hot Australian computer analyst!), all of which didn’t lead to much of a real chemistry among them, just a whole lot of different types of people delivering one-liners, half of which worked, and the other half of which were embarrassingly bad. John Turturro felt like he was in another movie (a comedy), Jon Voight did what he was asked to do, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson’s characters could not have been any less interesting if they tried, Anthony Anderson was…well, Anthony Anderson and Megan Fox was acting mostly with her bellybutton (great belly-button!). But again, you’re not pulling $12 out of your wallet because you’re searching for an in-depth character study of man versus machine, you’re looking for the aforementioned metallic-balls action, right…right??

Some scenes also felt a little too much like they were taken directly out of director Michael Bay’s previous films’ cutting room floors, including ARMAGEDDON, BAD BOYS 2, PEARL HARBOR and even THE ISLAND. And even though my dick gets hard every time I hear that bombastic “Michael Bay score” anywhere, it did feel a tad overdone in this movie, with every other scene featuring the score booming in the background, even when folks were just scurrying across a room. And yeah…too many scenes featured folks scurrying from room to room, and obviously “explaining” the entire plot (and the robots’ background) to the audience. It may seem like a lot, but these were all small imperfections here and there, and even though I was taken out of the movie at times, Bay and his team of blockbuster movie-makers punched me right back into my seat during the film’s final act which tossed everything and my jockstrap onto the screen and then some!

Granted, much of what happened during the conclusion of the picture went a little over my head, with the entire “Cube” storyline not really engaging me, and many of the fight scenes featuring so much metal and explosions that I almost felt like ducking my head into a ice-cold bucket of beer just to wake up from all of the grinding mayhem on the screen, but at the end of the day, this movie wasn’t produced to win Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench represent), but so that you can forget about your dickhead boss at work or piss your girlfriend off for forcing you to watch all those Sandra Bullock movies, because if testosterone is what you’re craving in life, this movie has got your name smudged all over it. I had a good time while watching this movie and even though it wasn’t perfect, it had me rooting for the robots in disguise and considering that I missed out on the entire “Transformers” popularity of the 80s, apparently you didn’t really need to know much about them, in order to enjoy and follow this movie. Oh, and for some odd reason, I am now compelled to open an Ebay account and purchase a Nokia phone. Odd side-effects.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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