Transformers is slightly overrated

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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.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The wha-huh?

  • 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.

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19 Responses to “Transformers is slightly overrated”

  1. I didn’t like Optimus Prime’s Pimp My Prime paint job. Those flames were not at all dignified.

    One of my favorite part of the movie was when Megatron went, “You have failed me again, Starscream!” I was a bit disappointed that Starscream wasn’t the whiny bitch I remember. It would’ve totally made my day if he’d gone, “My time will come, Megatron!”

    Oh, and at the end of the movie as the were gazing into the sunset, I was waiting for Ironhide to go, “And that’s the end of the Decepticons.” To which Optimus Prime would reply, “I wish I could believe that, Ironhide.”

  2. It should have been like this

    Megatron: You have failed me again starscream!

    Starscream: Shut yo pieholoe biznatch. You turn yo’ back on me mothafucka you betta watch out, ima bust a cap in yo old ass!

    Megatron:…what?

    Starscream: …sorry, umm. http://www.gizoogle.com

  3. HAHAHA. Should there ever be an alien invasion, the Internet will be our downfall.

    Blackout isn’t a made up name, he’s from one of the newer animated series. In the Generation 1 series, a lot of the Decepticons were cannon fodder. Like, aside from Starscream, could anyone tell the other Decepticon jets from each other? Thundercraker and Skywarp and whatsisname were all the same to me.

  4. 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?

    Haven’t seen it, but maybe because structural strength would be an issue for combat robots? Of course, I don’t know how solidly build a Camaro actually is …

    Will see it on friday.

  5. *solidly built

  6. Well he was right next to a towing truck which whle not as glamorous as a camar would certainly have been pretty tough. And he could wave the hook around for good measure.

  7. There are no made-up names. If you never heard of the other Transformers, it’s because they were likely some Micromaster or Pretender we altogether ignored.

    At the end Prime says they lost a comrade but gained new allies. Was he talking about the vending machine, the boombox and the SUV that killed “Paris Hilton” and “Nicole Ritchie?”

  8. No I think they meant the humans, who at that precise moment were making out on top of bumblebee wtih Ironhide watching.

  9. That’s another thing though. Why were all of the robots created by the allspark “bad”?

  10. I’m guessing that Bumblebee wasn’t able to transfer into a different vehicle because he was in ‘robot’ mode, Jazz could have done the same thing(transfer to another vehicle) when he knew he was being held by Megatron before he made him into a cripsy metal crap, remember Bumblebee changed into a Camaro only when he was in ‘vehicle mode’

    Have you also noticed that Prime had a gun/wepaon after all when he could have used in the first place against Bonecrusher and with the other decepticons? He only showed in when Megatron fired his own.

    Another thing, when Prime was telling Sam the history of the Transformers, Megatron already had a ‘robotic’ skin? A bit ironic because Prime and the others still had to camouflage here on earth to look like they suppose to be. Since they came from the same race, isn’t Megatron suppose to like like their original form as well especially in telling their history?

    Oh, I was disappointed megatron didn’t turn into a super canon, and Starscream’s face looks like a mechanical dog.And Jazz was puny little insect when Bumblebee was supposed to be the hobbit among the autobots.

    And yes, that scene where Prime chops off Bonecrusher’s head was really sick. And yes, Megan Fox is fuckin hot. Where are these hero chicks coming from?

    Aside from the vendo robot, what happened to the scorpion robot which was not in the ‘ultimate battle’?

    Sequel? I think it’s time for Galvatron and Hot Rod 🙂

  11. Silly me, forget about Bumblebee and Jazz being able to transform into a different vehicle…i forgot that they were only ‘scanning’ a vehicle to make it look like their own skin which in the case of Jazz, he really can’t do while Megatron was in his neck. Maybe that’s why Bumblee was not also able to transfer into a different vehicle as his own parts are incomplete…maybe even if he transferred into a different car he would still have no legs.

    My bad.

  12. Good theory, but how come frenzy’s severed head was able to transfer to a cellphone and maintain lmited but complete articulation, then later on transferered into something else (i forget what) upon which he tried to kill the hackers/secretary of defense/john turturro?

    Um, the Scorpion thing, which is a scaled down version of scorponok probably left to heal itself, and will appear in the sequel, along with starscream who flew off into the sky.

    Correct me if I’m wrong reagarding your post on megatron, but I think his original form was their “alpha” form? And then he may have scanned a jet during his attack on the hoover dam. I’m not even sure whgat megatron is to be honest.

  13. oh oh oh just one more note. If they had played “the touch” by Stan Bush at the rolling credits, I swear to god I would have stood up and yelled YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! and cried tears of joy.

  14. Nice point. I think frenzy did not transform to something else but I think he was back to his original form(having those arms typing and throwing blades as it did on Air Force One). I think he touched the allspark first before Bumblebee right? and it could have regenerated his original body which should have also worked for Bumblebee. What was that thing that Prime took from Megatron’s chest? I guess it must have been a piece of the cube which (I think) was used for Bumblebee, that’s why he was complete again in the end(silly theory :)).

    The ‘alpha’ form or original form I was thinking was when Prime and co. first landed on earth. I think that was the ‘alpha’ form of all the transformers, even decepticons. But I think Megatron was already different when Prime was telling Sam their history.

    Just a question, the Autobots waged centuries of integalactic wars to stop or kill Megatron, and then this puny human Sam kills him? Didn’t the autobots know the way to kill him by not sacrificing the allspark on Prime?

    Another question, so it took the decepticons one century to FINALLY make a move in hacking the Pentagon database and get the files for Project Iceman? Why didn’t they do it eons ago and could have freed Megatron back then? Heck they could have been chasing Sam’s ancestors during that time.

  15. Lol. Its a fucking movie. Stop critisizing it and watch the bloody thing.

  16. The movie was shite… no good music / no origional music as Ryan said… The action was a blur and the direction was rubbish. It was like a school kids play directed by a gay teacher.

    The robots were hardly in the movie… it should have been called something other than Transformers – perhaps Humans And Some Transformers.

    The script was utter crap – I had to slap myself to believe what I was hearing… The character was missing for most robots. The robots didnt communicate much to each other just to humans. The robots didnt fight much at all. The graphics were very poor too because the “detail” drowned it all out.

    Total waste of what should have been the best movie so far this millennium.

  17. I obviously agree. 😀

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