Monday, July 30, 2007



When Michael Bay was announced as director Transformers fanboys around the world wept into their Optimus Prime pillow cases, I was reasonably indifferent, although some reservations were held, mainly 'cos I saw The Island and am still bitter. (However The Rock rules, despite shredding a Ferrari F355)

Then the main trailers came out and everyone was moist in the pant area.

The Transformers are awesome, simply fucking awesome, the action is awesome, Michael Bay is renowned for his massive action sequences, and the action in this is MASSIVE. Most of the action set pieces have been seen in the trailers, but it makes a hell of a difference being on a big screen (why oh why didn't they release IMAX version!).

The film was surprisingly funny, Shia LaBeouf is REALLY good, that boy is going far (depending on his ability to do full on serious dramatic stuff), Megan Fox will end up in some shite American Pie esque stuff cos she's as vacuous as you'd expect.

The level of comedy was totally unexpected, but it fits. The action scenes are top notch, but as a whole I didn't walk out feeling re-born and like I'd experienced a cinematic reveloution, why?

Two things, 1) It's directed by Michael Bay and 2)The script is mostly bloody awful.

Michael Bay does overblown action and chopper porn, which is ok in itself, but you can't help thinking there's something missing, like soul.
He tries to put in some soul, by using the Transformers and some nauseating dialogue ("Were we so different? They're a young species. They have much to learn. But I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."), he fails.

This is of course also down to the script and you'd think two writers nurtured somewhat by J.J. Abrams could come up with something a little more meaty. I think they probably could, but fell into the trap of writing for Michael Bay again and also not really knowing where to pitch the film. It's a family film, it's aimed at kids, but they want to make it a bit edgier, I get the impression that Hasbro weren't too keen on that and got them to tone the Autobots back a bit, making them much more like they were in the original series/film, which they are, crappy dialogue, overly righteous and worthy. Can we not have a little bit of inner conflict??

I don't have a problem with the new designs for them, I think they're better in fact, mainly as I'm not a Transformers fanboy. Bumblebee is amazing (until the post climax), Prime is a wuss, like a proper bullied at work wuss and someone tell me the point in Jazz?? (who in exception to my previous statement probably would've looked better as a Porsche)

The film also suffers from King-Kong-itis to a degree at least. The best bits of Kong were the bits (funnily enough) with Kong in, all the rest was toss. In much the same way I went to see a Transformers movie, so if you're gonna make it 144 minutes long (that's over 2 hours people), that best be 144 mins of giant robots kicking the crap out of each other and everything around them. It's not, and while some of the Witwicky stuff is funny, there's a whole load of other crap that is dull, excessive and not massive robots! Basically cut out all the rubbish where they're 'cracking the signal' and stuff and you'll have a much better film.

Most people have complained about the lack of plot. Um. You do know what this film is about don't you? Yes, toys that are supposed to be massive transforming robot beings from space, how much plot do you want?

The plot is of no consequence, but some substance would have been nice, there's plot holes and loose ends and like other Yank films at the moment, too political, but at the end of the day all you need to do is look at the first line of this post, that's why I'll go again on Wednesday to see it with my girlfriend (thanks Orange Wednesdays) and why I'll get the DVD.

Transformers - 7/10

1 comment:

Mike Peter Reed said...

Another improvement that could have been made to the script was to build in some quotable tosh - as it is, there is nothing, things like "it's probably japanese" pale into comparison to "it's an energy field created by all living things" or "communications disruption can mean only one thing ... invasion!"

Still, there's bound to be a sequel and this is definitely a spectacle flick, which means it must be seen at the cinema.

Oh, I quite liked the cracking stuff, though the whole WarGames plot was a bit unnecessary (as much as every other half-baked subplot). The chopper porn at the beginning rocked my socks, kind of made Transformers capable of suspending my disbelieve after 30 years of laughing and pointing at badly drawn cartoons.