Monday, June 27, 2011

Transformers (2007)

Credentials: 7.2 out of 10 ( Certified Rotten ( out of 100 (
Plot: Two warring clans of alien robots travel to Earth to look for a cube that has the power to bring machines to life. Along the way they stumble across two of the world’s least interesting--- and certainly oldest-looking--- high school students: Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. With the two 10th year seniors in tow, the good robots, or Autobots, prepare themselves for the final battle with their archrivals, the evil Decepticons.
The only thing less believable than Megan Fox falling for Shia the Beef is the word final in the previous sentence.
Thoughts: As you can tell by those credentials, the original “Transformers” held its own with critics way back in twenty aught seven. Of course, it was a simpler time then, almost primitive really and people were much easier to impress. Remember: This was PRE-“Dark Knight” after all. I’m not even sure we’d completely figured the wheel out back then.
                Another reason why “Transformers” didn’t get thrashed by critics the ways its sequel (“Revenge of the Fallen”) did in 2009?
 I think the film’s director Michael Bay had lowered expectations (Anyone remember “The Island”?) to the point that critics were stunned he could make something other than a crime against cinema.

   Make no mistake about it: “Transformers” is not good. It’s just not as bad as what we’d come to expect from Michael Bay at that point.       
                It’s a self-servingly long, bloated spectacle. Two hours and forty minutes for a movie based on kid's toys!?! Are you kidding me? Who green lit that idea?
                Now, look. I love the idea of robots fighting each other (I even liked “Terminator: Salvation”) and I have no problem with long movies. It’s just not every movie needs to push the three hour barrier.
                I’m going to skip over the actors for a second and go right to the special effects, because they are the real stars of “Transformers."
                I gotta say, maybe I’m just jaded but the effects didn’t blow me away like they did for some.
                The character designs for the extraterrestrial robotic leads were extremely lacking to the point where I had trouble telling who was who.
                All of the Decepticons were gray and two of them turned into airplanes, for god sakes. TWO! How in the world am I supposed to keep track of that?
                As for the Autobots, or as I knew them: Optimus Prime (red and blue with an irritating martyr complex), Bumblebee (yellow) and their neon colored sidekicks, things were a little better. At least I could pick two of them out of a police lineup.
                Can we talk about the fight scenes? It’s a bold move for an action movie to spend so little time on its action sequences. Sure, they’re big and loud and lots of stuff blows up, but very early on I discovered this pattern:
                Two robots run into each other, roll around in a shapeless metal blob for a bit, slam into a building, separate and repeat.
                That’s it. That’s all that happens. Once a fight starts, there’s no telling who is who, who’s winning or what’s going on. 
                It’s all very … boring. I can appreciate the spectacle of it all, but I just want a little more. Like, for example, to know what the heck it is I’m looking at.
                Sadly that brings us to the leading human element of the film.
                I’ve never been a Shia LaBeouf fan. His character, Sam, is an absolute chore. Sam’s not so much a real person as a Disney Channel interpretation of a real person. All of his quirks are ratcheted up to the nth degree. He’s an over the top dork who envisions himself as a ladies man. Sam would fit right in on an episode of “Hannah Montana,” as the annoying, but lovable cousin.
                Megan Fox pouts, bats her eyelashes and occasionally runs in slow motion. I think she had some lines in there somewhere, but I’m sure they weren’t of any consequence.
                I’m don't know where Megan Fox got her A-list Hollywood attitude from, because she does nothing in this movie to even qualify for a SAG card. She’s basically the film’s throw pillow. She’s there to look nice and then get out of the way when stuff starts to go down.
                Though she does pretend to be attracted to Shia the Beef, so I guess that counts for something.   
                Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson play soldiers. There is literally nothing more to say about either one.
                The movie has its fair share of laughs, mostly supplied by its supporting cast. Bernie Mac's sleeze ball used car dealer and Anthony Anderson's bumbling hacker are the highlights.
                There's some fun to be had with "Transformers," but not enough to ever justify watching it more than once.
                So there you have it! Michael Bay’s “Transformers.” Stay tuned tomorrow as “Transformers” Week continues with 2009’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
                Bumblebee tuna.


  1. This was not transformers, this was robots annoying douchy love movie, good thing we saw it for free. The worst part is, I'll probably see the new one. But anyway, if you want the actual transformers movie. I suggest you look up 1986's Transformers: the movie. The cartoon 80's version had more credible acting and plot development than anything Michael Bay could accidentally do right.

  2. yea man ive heard nothing but great things about the old cartoon version. never saw it, but i shall track it down. that's why i made sure to put that 2007 in the title there, didn't want anyone to get confused and think i was taking shots at the old version haha. dont worry, ill be seeing the new one too. as much as it pains me to give michael bay any money