Transformers – Review May 11, 2009Posted by Cello in Domestic Film Reviews.
Don’t be fooled by the domesticated film Michael Bay has transformed [no pun intended] stateside. The origin of this story is anything but domestic. The Samurai theme often perculated into the robot toys back into the hayday in Japan. Many of the masks and helmets of robots from the 1970s and 80s have styles that are similar to Samurai helmets and masks. This is not just a Takara/Transformers thing either. Many influences can be found in the Bandai line as well such as Soul of Chugokin. The swords and weapons are another strong influence of the Transformers. Years later, we get a big budget summer blockbuster that is still a great american popcorn flick yet stays true to the japanese ties that bind it. Millennia ago, a battle waged on the planet, Cybertron – a planet of bio-organic robots. The heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, battled the evil Decepticons, whose leader, Megatron, wanted to capture the Allspark, a cube that gives unlimited power to whoever possesses it.
LaBeouf is about as likable an actor as you’ll find in this era or any other, and he makes up for some of the more one-note performances from actors who, frankly, should know better like Voight and Turturro. Megan Fox doesn’t really have to do anything but be gorgeous, a skill that is well within her grasp. Bay should have learned something from the original cartoon series or even the animated film, at least in regard to what should be the focus of the story. Instead, he’s much too busy orchestrating military action and trying to make Jon Voight be in his most official and most Rumsfeld, while completely wasting a great talent like John Turturro. But then again, Bay has never been good with characterization and actors anyway.
“This is easily a hundred times cooler than Armageddon,” says one witness to the Transformers’ arrival. I couldn’t agree more! Aside from the terribly lame script the action is nuts! The Qatar sequence is sweet, but it has nothing on the sneak attack that follows (the less you know, the better), not to mention the beyond-crazy grand finale. Let’s face it, Michael Bay is cliché, and cliché is Michael Bay. However, I can not argue that this is his best film in my opinion.
Hardcore, old school fans of the 1980s show and toys were against some of the changes in the live-action movie. Many of these changes had to be made based on trademarks, corporate red tape, age of the voice actors, technology, and other logistics. To get the most enjoyment out of this movie, it is best not to compare it to the original series. The story is simple enough to be thoroughly enjoyable, yet complex enough to have some depth. It offers a fair balance to entertain everyone. CGI is outstanding, action scenes are fantastic, and the robots transforming in live action glory is awesome. I really do recommend seeing this movie since it was a lot of fun and the special effects were truly awesome. It’s a dumb movie, don’t get me wrong, but there is room in the world for dumb movies sometimes. High Def heads will be pleased to know the visuals for the blu-ray disc are second to none. An almost perfect transfer and great demo material to show off your new HDTV set-up.