That’s right, it is. Someone wanna pick a fight? I’m not looking for one, and I’m not looking to shit all over your movie experience, so if you came all over yourself while watching this movie, please leave this blog. I implore you. Go over to rottentomatoes.com where Transformers has achieved a spectacular 82% approval rating from critics the world over.
If you’re reading up to this part I’ll assume that you are on the same boat as I am regarding Transformers, thrilled but not overjoyed. It was an okay movie. It had its moments, both good and bad.
Breaking from tradition, I’ll go over the parts I loved about the movie. Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. He sounds a little different, but maybe that’s because he’s 20 years older now. But I still got a little shiver down my spine when he said “Autobots, roll out!” Shia Lebeouf, and in general all of the human actors. All of them played their parts well, although the cute hacker and the big black hacker dude could have been excluded from the movie and no one would have noticed. The CGI was also gorgeous. As much as I disliked the robot redesigns, I have to give up to the animators for creating such beautifully rendered machines.
The action scenes were fucking amazing. This is where Michael Bay, for all his directorial weaknesses, really shines. There were a few moments that felt a little too Michael Bay-ish (ie slow-mo high contrast silhouetted against the sunlight moments) but they came at just the right moments and were used sparingly enough so that you wouldn’t get sick of them. And that scene where Prime takes out his sword/ax and chops off (insert name of Decepticon here)’s head? Totally badass.
The references dropped for the fans were sometimes cute and somtimes annoying (Like them…we are more than meets the eye). But the dialogue between Prime and Megatron towards the end of the movie mimics their great battle in the animated film, although the actual battle itself was less than spectacular.
Oh, and Mikaela aka Megan Fox is smoking hot.
Now the stuff that I didn’t like. Again, if you’ve read this far and you LOVED the movie just don’t read any further. I’m tired of being accused as a wannabe critic and a “purist”. I am not a fucking purist. I watched all 3 Lord of the Rings movies and appropriately had a hard on after leaving each one. Any Tolkien fan knows that the movies chopped up maybe half of of the content in the original book and presented what I call “the good stuff” onscreen. What Jackson did and what I feel Bay failed to do was stay true to the core of the fracnchise they were revamping.
For example, Optimus Prime doesn’t do comedy. He doesn’t. Why? Because he’s the leader of the autobots. Because he’s solemn and old and tired and has fought a never ending battle against megatron. This is what lends him gravitas. This is what made children (myself included) cry when he died the Transformers animated movie. The jokes they threw him felt so forced they really made me cringe.
The robots also lacked character because Bay doesn’t spend enough time with them and the time we do spend with them is used up in an SNL comedy sketch called “robots at play in the garden”. By far the only characters that resonated were Ironhide’s triggerhappy “kill the parents” character, Bumblebee, and to a lesser extent, Prime. Jazz was black and Ratchet was the doctor and if either of them went to the scrapheap I don’t think I would have noticed much.
The Transformers redesigns. I’ve gone over this a bit before, but I don’t think I’ve ever articulated why I really dislike the redesigns. Again, I’m not a purist. There are legitimate reasons why I dislike the new designs, one of them being that the makers of the movie decided to imbue the character with personality through the articulation of their faces. This is why optimus prime has lips, to convey emotion. In some cases, like Ironhide, it works because the way his face was designed made him look tough like a soldier. But to be honest it just put me off everytime I saw those mechanical eyeborows and lips move because it felt like watching someone with their skin taken off. If they wanted character they should have done it with the appropriate dialogue.
The redesigns also hamper the action scenes to ta certain extent. When the robots are all flying about and smashing each other I found myself a bit confused as to who was who because there were so many moving parts to focus on. Cleaner, streamlined desings would have allowed us to focus more on the actual fight isntead of the technology bristling from every mechanical pore.
- What happened to the robots that were accidentally created by the allspark? That one vending machine robot was fricking hilarious, I can just imagine it lobbing mountain dews at unsuspecting peestrians.
- Why, after making a big deal about their being able to transfer their “spark” to a new vehicle at will, did Bumblebee not simply transfer to a different vehicle when his legs were smashed?
- Why are most of the decepticons cannon fodder, with made up names like “blackout”?
- With the allspark cube gone, we’re so screwed, seeing as all of our technology was reverse engineered from it 😛
I give the Transformers movie a 3.5 out of 5, and am looking forward to the inevitable sequel.