Roll Out: A Transformers Review

transformers-article.jpgI loved Transformers. There, I said it, and a spoiler-free review follows…

Plot: A reasonably plausible series of events (considering the arrival of Extra-Terrestrial Non-Biological Beings) occur. Sure, there are some robots (I’m looking at you Frenzy) and some characters (Hackers?) and some events (nerd recluse with grandma, didn’t that ALSO happen in Live Free or Die Hard?) that didn’t particularly thrill me, but nothing that made me so angry as  to get annoyed enough to taint the experience. Overall: MEH

Characters: Shia Lebeouf and Megan Fox are quite good as the teen protagonists that begin a romantic ride courtesy of a friendly yellow car. Shia is spot on as Sam, the goofy 16 year old nerd many of us once were (or still are), both likable and awkward, a guy that we really want to get the hot girl that he could, in reality, never obtain. Megan Fox is hot, and she does manage to deliver the necessary acting chops during the moments that require acting. I shudder to say it, but George Lucas could take notes from Michael Bay on creating a likable and believable romance in the course of one action-filled movie. Now, John Voight as the Secretary of Defense and John Tuturro as Agent Simmons of Section 7 are great in the roles they are given. Everyone else is utterly forgettable (the soldiers) or nearly pointless (Hackers) or used for a cheap laugh (Bernie Mac). Overall, a HIT for the protagonists and a MISS for the sizable and bland large cast.

Humor: Surprisingly, this movie is pretty funny. Laugh out loud funny. Shia has great timing and the awkward teenage moments and bumbling autobots, rather than ruin the mood or integrity of the franchise flow rather nicely. Reading early reports made me very nervous about this aspect, but I was very impressed. HIT.

Robots: Now, onto what everyone wants. Holy shit they are awesome! They look great and their fights sizzle with both speed and kinetics while their transformations are mesmorizing as you try to take in each intricate movement from vehicle to robot. That being said, robot on robot is by far cooler than humans vs. robot, we’ve all seen Terminator. Now, as far as being characters, only Optimus Prime and Bumblebee get any ‘development’, but this is Transformers, do you really need much character growth from the robots? Bonus points if you can guess which robot is totally owned based on simple movie expediency and cinema tradition. CRITICAL HIT!!!!

Overall: +40; A thoroughly enjoyable movie that gives fans and n00bs plenty to salivate over. If it actually did more to flesh out the story and characters (while eliminating the extra garbage) it could easily have been higher, but this is Michael Bay at his pinnacle…

Edit from Bartoneus: That +40 score translates to 3 enthusiastic stars out of 5. 

Comments

  1. I never followed the Transformers. I paid no attention to any series or any cartoon. Therefore, when I settled in to watch the film, I was treading new territory.

    I guess it would be like watching “Spiderman” if you had never been exposed to the Marvel icon. “Transformers” left me completely flat. Usually, I am unable to suspend my disbelief, but not here. I had a difficult time with the uneven tone of the film. I felt the attack on the military base was hard to press against the goofiness of a classroom. And Megan Fox? Gorgeous, but wholly unbelievable as a high school student. I would love to have seen this character portrayed by a younger actress who wasn’t as beautiful, someone closer to the lead for frumpiness and adolescent uncertainty and vulnerability.

    I am recommeding this to many of my friends. If you have any sort of passing interest in the franchise, then you’ll love it.

    But what’s more intriguing to me is the trailer at the beginning of the film. WOW!!!!

  2. lemmy caution says:

    The trailer for J.J. Abrams Untitled Project was definitely the best part about seeing Transformers. But yeah, “uneven” is probably the best way to describe the film, and as for my experience I couldn’t tell whether I hated or loved Transformers. The bulk of the purely human scenes were just terrible and that Bay never put across the heroism or villainy of the Autobots and Decepticons is a crime to many childhoods. Nevertheless, the film really delivers on the action and contains enough references and original material that it felt like it was actually a TF movie and not a robot version of Bad Boys 2. So long as expectations are nil, that’s for laymen and TF fans, anyone should enjoy the movie. Really though, I spent much of the movie worried sick about Star Trek XI–another Orci/Kirkman script.

  3. G33ks are in an uproar!

    j/k I thought it was a decent film. Without spoiling too much here Ill say I really wished for better battle scenes between the autobots and decepticons, Like a slightly longer one between Bonecrusher and Optimus.. though that WAS a damn good scene I think.

    Also I really wish they did more with Megatron and Starscream, they hinted to their relationship but the relationship between the two I think really embodied what the decepticons were really like.

    All in all Id prob give it a 7 out of 10

    Now Live Free or Die Hard.. THAT was a 10 out of 10

  4. I miss Overdrive…

  5. Blumpkin says:

    As someone who was exposed to Transformers as a kid, I think the plot was exactly like one that would have appeared in the cartoon. Which means, its plot has enough depth to only cause giant robots to want to fight.
    I kinda agree with lemmy on the heroism/villiany comment. It was there, but put there half-heartedly. The military base attack was the only true portrayal of Decepticon destructiveness.
    I think every Transformers fan can appreciate the classic Starscream way of ending a fight.
    As for sheer entertainment value of the movie, I liked it a lot. As a whole, eh.
    To answer The Main Event’s question….Jazz

  6. Based on the movie rating scale I use on this site, I am giving Transformers a 3 out of 5. It is a good movie if you are a big fan of Transformers, are a science fiction lunatic, or like to see robots beat each other up. However, the robot plot needed to be developed further, the human plot could have been developed less, and there were several inaccuracies with classic Transformers.
    =====
    Bumblebee was my favorite Transformer in the movie.
    =====
    OR, I could just give the movie a 5 out of 5 because Megan Fox is a mega hottie!

  7. Also product placement made my head explode…

    Otherwise, it was great!!…

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