Thursday, July 5, 2007

REVIEW: Transformers (2007)

Transformers (2007)
Spoiler Free

Directed By: Michael Bay

Starring: Shia La Beouf, Megan Fox and Peter Cullen (Voice of Optimus Prime)

Plot: A war erupts on Earth between two robotic clans, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, leaving the fate of mankind hanging in the balance.


I'm going to start by telling you that when I was a kid, Transformers ruled my world. All I ever wanted was Optimus Prime, the toy of all toys. I waited with no grace or style, with restless legs and a toothy grin, each time I knew I'd be watching another episode of the greatest cartoon of my little life. Whenever Optimus Said, "Roll Out" i'd punch the air with my tiny fist. I'd go so far to say that my first ever crush was on Optimus Prime, even though all my friends loved Bumblebee.

I followed the stories into adulthood with Beastwars and subsequent follow ons/spin-offs etc. I always loved every minute of anything Autobot, or Decepticon for that matter, and always will.

Now that you know the source of my bias I can continue. Many 'true fans' have had things to say about Transformers that I neither like or understand. I mean, it's Transformers, what's not to like?

I have to start with Michael Bay I suppose, or "Satan" as some movie buffs like to call him (and that's the PG version). Known for his big-budgets, upshots, and ridiculously large action scenes, Bay has made cinematic history as being probably one of the most loved and loathed of all directors. His movies always make bank, but somehow they seem to get under the skin of even the most common of Joe Public. I personally love atleast half of his movies but was, yes WAS, one of the first to point out his flaws.

A friend of mine (atleast a friend for now) said that all Michael Bay is good at is directing a big-budget piece of s*** with a thin story and heaps of same-same camera angles. No originality, he says. You know what, honestly name an action movie that DOESN'T fit into that category. Go on, try. Michael Bay just happens to be an expert at it, and he's learning from his mistakes.

This is where Transformers comes in. Once you get past 'The Bay Factor', actually if you have an issue with him just forget he's directing it, the film is BLOODY BRILLIANT.

Transformers takes all the things you loved about the cartoon, sneaks in subtle statements about the war in Iraq and authority figures in general, heaps on the truly funny and well timed comedy, and hits frappe with some of the most amazing CGI ever seen on screen (thank you oh thank you ILM).

Despite a 'Jar Jar' style character, who is at times quite threatening and amusing, and an annoying scene where Shia is animated and it looks shabby, there weren't many complaints coming from my seat, even the second time around. One thing I did greatly miss was the cheesy 80's theme song though the film itself was peppered with some great basic metal tunes.

The young stars were well cast even though the young ladies almost seem a tad too hot to be real (Michael Bay is also, apparently, a pervert). Shia La Beouf showed the rest of the world what I've known since Holes...that he's awesome and set to dominate for a good while to come. He'll show his stuff, not literally, on the big screen next with Indy Four. Maybe he should remake the Golden Child, or just change his name to suit.

All in all, it was a fun and touching film, especially for a huge fan like me. Michael Bay took what he does best, flavoured it with some Spielberg and polished what, to me, is one of the best action flicks I've ever seen.

After Spidey 3, I'm not keen for anything I like to have a trilogy, or even a sequel. Transformers on its own is enough for me. More than meets the eye, even. (Yes, I did have to go there)

4/5 Robot Stars

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