Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Movie Reviews: TRANSFORMERS
Remember the mid-'80s cartoon show about two dueling groups of robots — the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons — with the power to transform into cars, jets, helicopters, motorcycles and such? Well, they're coming to the big screen in this live-action adaptation.
Cast Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Rachel Taylor, Jon Voight, Bernie Mac (more)
Director(s) Michael Bay
Writer(s) Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date July 2, 2007
MPAA Rating PG-13
As a kid there was few things I enjoyed more than the Transformers, I always liked Robotech a tad more but I digress. Michael Bay's Tranformers brought back quiet a few moments of pure childhood glee as the cartoon was made real on screen. Bay's talent for crafting exhilarating action is perfectly suited for a movie about giant alien robots battling it out and causing more collateral damage than a world war. Needless to say the "Wow" factor is particularly high here, especially after the opening battle sequence where we get our first look at the Transformers. Throughout the rest of the movie Bay seems to borrow bits and pieces from his past films, The Rock, being the most obvious and mixed in with a small bit of King Kong. Story wise, things are kept very simple and provide enough forward momentum to get to the next huge action set piece. The dialogue can be kind of hokey at times and the humor is hit miss but it's enjoyable for the most part. Character development on both the human and robot side is pencil thin; Shia LaBeouf's character is the only one the audience is exposed to for a substantial amount of time. John Turturro has a small but memorable roll as a Section 7 agent, like a "Men in Black" organization in the film, even if he's playing the character for laughs the entire time. The Transformers themselves suffer most from a lack of development. If I hadn't been familiar with the names and characters from childhood, I would have been totally lost as to who was who and to the uninitiated they can come off as just faceless robots instead of actual characters. The Decepticons get the fewest line of the two factions and they mostly just destroy everything in sight when they are on screen. Still when the nearly 2 and half hour runtime comes to an end, its hard not to feel that you'd be ready for more robot destruction if it were to come.