When a film geek learns of a new “Transformers” film being made, many things occur. Usually there is some kind of unearthly noise screeched out of their mouths followed by a lot of uncoordinated dancing accompanied by the said noise. As the months and years go by you learn that Michael Bay, master of the flop, is directing. This is disheartening but you know that you still have to see it.
I couldn’t go see “Transformers” last week when it opened because I was on vacation but I am back and I was there bright and early to catch both the film and its preceding Cloverfield trailer. As I sat in the theater with my little Optimus Prime sitting next to me I wondered if the theater would fill up. After 15 minutes, and no movie, I went out to see what was the problem only finding out that I was in the wrong goddamn theater. I ran back, grabbed my goodies and went to the right theater and sighed with relief that the movie hadn’t started yet, but I did miss the now famous trailer.
Well, the film isn’t perfect. Michael Bay’s “Transformers” has its problems but only because of something I realized after seeing the film. A “Transformers” film is something that cannot be a reinvention of the action genre. This movie can’t be like “Batman Begins”, or “Spider-man”. The original animated film and its spinoff shows and comics are something held dear to fans who don’t want it messed around with. Michael Bay knows this, so he constructed his film to be the best adaptation he could possibly make within the boundaries of “Transformers” lore, which needless to say is very hokey. The film is a great “Transformers” film, but not necessarily a reinvention.
The graphics of the film is something to be applauded. The sound effects, emulating the original transformation noises, are amazing to hear in those surround sound theaters. The film is a technical masterpiece. The script is the problem. It gives the movie a feeling of flimsiness. That is the big problem with the movie, the rest of the film is very solid. Any other issues such as the movie’s complete racial stereotyping, or the random Australian model who is apparently an expert on international government coding weren’t distracting to the movie’s quality.
Something I did like about the film was how, as an audience member, I felt the real differences between good and evil. The Decepticons (evil guys) are really quite terrifying and the Autobots (good guys) have great hero qualities and you find yourself rooting for them. The movie rarely drags, and is a lot of fun in the theater. Shia LaBeouf is probably the strongest performer in the film, but John Turturro is a great scene stealer. The voice acting is also top notch. Peter Cullen is the only returning cast member, reprising the voice of Optimus Prime and yet again he prove the perfect OP. Hugo Weaving voices the spine-chilling Megatron with excellence. I suggest seeing the movie in the theaters, but waiting wouldn’t necessarily be a problem because the film will be fun either way.
Is “Transformers” more than meets the eye? No, but it’s still a lot of fun. It’s definitely Michael Bay’s “Transformers” but it’s not a bad movie nor a disappointment. I walked out with the same feelings I had towards “300.” The movie isn’t as revolutionary as “300” but it’s just as fun. My grade is: