Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Transformers

Miraculously, I managed to get out again and see a movie. Of course, I had to pick the movie that looked like the biggest spectacle onscreen because that's the kind of person I am.

I don't know why I was so revved up to see Transformers, but I was really excited to see this one for some reason. And even though I was a little old to really get into the cartoon series when it first came out, I still think it's great that Peter Cullen, the original voice of Optimus Prime, was tapped to voice the character in this movie.

Honestly, I don't remember the original TV series that well. I suppose that's best when watching big screen adaptations of anything since it keeps expectations low. And frankly, in a movie like this, I only expected a lot of action.

It would be easy to pick apart this movie since it isn't too deep on plot. But I gotta admit I thought it was a lot of fun. If you're someone who expects this movie to be kind of like The Terminator, well, it's not. This one is definitely geared toward the teenage audience. The main character Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LeBeouf, is a likable, but slightly geeky kid who just so happens to have something very important to the transformable robots that are the center of the movie. Megan Fox goes along for the ride as well, though personally I think her main job is to be eye candy for the teenage boys surely flocking to the movie.

There are two main groups of Transformers, the Autobots (good guys) and the Decepticons (bad guys). Both groups are searching for something called the "Allspark," which can enable the Decepticons to take over the planet and destroy mankind. Megatron, the main bad guy, originally followed the Allspark to Earth but crash landed in the Arctic Circle, becoming frozen in the ice and later discovered by Sam Witwicky's grandfather. The other Decepticons and the Autobots follow Megatron to Earth and each group tries to be the first to get to Sam.

But really, it isn't the plot that's important here. Seriously. It's the special effects and they are spectacular. This movie moves along at a fast pace and we get to see lots of Transformers in action-- and I bet GM paid a fortune in product placement to reveal their new Camaro.

I have read some other criticisms of the movie and they are valid. The Autobots are the only Transformers that are given any personality and yet, oddly, the Decepticons get to turn into cooler stuff. This is highlighted in the final battle when we finally get to see Megatron in action and see him turn into a jet. Why is it all the good guys are cars and the bad guys get to turn in helicopters and jets? Just curious. But when the Autobots are their robotic selves, they are quite the sight to see. And I never would have thought a semi could look cool, but somehow they manage to make Optimus Prime look like one tough 18 wheeler.

Ultimately though, this movie is about the visuals. If you're looking for a good escapist action movie with great special effects, and a bit of juvenile humor, then go ahead and see Transformers. It's my newest guilty pleasure.

14 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It looks like a good movie that could have been better. They should have geared the movie towards a more adult one.

SQT said...

Jean-luc

For what it was, I really enjoyed it. But there is that part of me that wished the story could have been a little more grown up. I'll watch it on DVD though and at least my kids can watch and enjoy it.

Alex said...

Megan Fox? Robots battling it out in the streets? Camaros?

I'm sold.


Don't feel bad about the story, SQuirT; I remember as an adolescent the cartoon would have seemed kinda lame, if not for the transforming robots killing each other. The franchise was never big on plot, just flashy special effects and snappy one-liners. Kinda like the James Bond franchise.

Fab said...

It really is for a young audience. They've even put in a little transformer - looks sweet - so that sais enough. But great effects.

Matt said...

I thought there were plenty of entertaining moments in Transformers, like the scene where the parents walk in on Sam while he's supposedly "knowing" himself. I haven't seen that kind of masturbatory goodness since the original American Pie.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Watching this film was an interesting experience for me. I found it lacking on so many different levels. The one thing it did though was give me perspective.

I have avoided all things "Transformers". The Eighties and popular culture and me didn't really work. So, when I watched the film it was the first time I was exposed to the franchise. It must have been the same for many people who saw "Spiderman" who didn't have a history with that character. Makes me want to reassess that series in light of the "Transformers" experience.

Irene said...

See? I just knew you'd enjoy it!

Woohoo! ;p

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I thought it was OK. I am so done with Michael Bay though and this movie was obviously directed by him. It had all the stuff he has in movies: the trilling trumpets in the soundtrack, the screamy black men, flat characters, jiggly jumpcuts, big explosions. Additionally, it seemed like Optimus Prime's lines were just cliches cribbed from stuff he's said before.

Despite all this, I guess it was OK.

SQT said...

Jon

I hear ya. I tried to watch "The Island" which was done by Bay, but just couldn't get into it. That could have been such a good sci-fi thriller but it seemed he was going for flash over substance.

It didn't bother me as much in this movie because it was based on a cartoon series.

The Curmudgeon said...

We seem to have missed the Transformers in our house. But, after your review, when the movie comes on DVD or cable I'm pretty sure I'll watch.

The Curmudgeon said...

(Nothing beats good, clean escapist fun.)

reagu said...

Transformer was fun to watch. It could have been better if there were more robots, less humans. Would be nice to see the Decepticons interacting with each other as well. Megatron stayed frozen over 3/4 of the movie, he's one of the more interesting characters in the original cartoons.

Andrew J Robertson said...

I saw it a few weeks ago. It was a really FUN ride.

crunchy carpets said...

We just watched it and surprisingly enjoyed it more than we expected...specially mr. dh cynic....he actually smiled!

Adam was very excited about spotting all his fave transformers too.