Movie: Transformers (PG-13)
Released: July 3rd, 2007
Watched: July 6th, 2007
Runtime: 2 hr. 23 min.
Ticket Price: $5.00 Early Matinee
Refreshments: Swedish Fish
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Anthony Anderson, John Voight and John Turturro
Director: Michael Bay
Rating: Worth a Full Price Ticket –
Synopsis: Live action version of the cartoon classic about evil robots, Decepticons, that come to Earth to destroy while trying to acquire their former world’s great power source and the Autobots who try to protect the planet from that destruction.
Review: Transformers is awesome, to use a popular idiom of the day in which I grew up watching the cartoon that inspired the film. It is the quintessential popcorn summer blockbuster. It is big, it is loud and it is a whole lot of fun.
Some may criticize Transformers of being very thin in the plot department. That it isn’t substantial. But, you have to remember, it is based on a children’s cartoon from the â€˜80s that was basically created to sell Hasbro toys, some of which I still have somewhere. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot to work with, without creating something completely new. And, if they had done that, then everyone would be talking about how they messed up Transformers. Besides, if you were going to see Transformers expecting some deep and meaningful or insightful plot, then you shouldn’t have even been allowed to enter the theater to begin with. Although, for those of us who grew up with the cartoon series, there is plenty of meaning that makes it onscreen.
Transformers is about bringing a cartoon to life. It is about special effects, car chases, giant robots fighting, gun battles, babes, and for this reviewer, harkening back to your childhood. Which is what the movie did very well. It had the transforming sound effect right. It had the original voice (Peter Cullen) of Optimus Prime. They took a lot of what made the original series great and ran it through the Industrial Light & Magic shop, giving you a visually impressive updated interpretation of a cartoon classic. Your eyes will be glued to the screen.
There were a few changes, like Bumblebee being a Camaro instead of a Beetle. But, even those types of changes are referenced visually, as when Sam, played by Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia, TV’s Even Stevens), is taken to the used car lot by his dad and there is an old yellow Beetle sitting next to the Camaro he ends up with.
That is also an example of the movie’s humor. Transformers has a great sense of humor, which includes a shot at Michael Bay’s previous works. There are a lot of funny scenes in the movie and not of the accidental variety. It looks as though a lot of care was given to keeping both fans of the cartoon and those who love big budget actioners happy.
One thing that was missing from the film was an updated rendition of the Transformers cartoon theme song, ala Mission: Impossible. There is one, but it wasn’t in the movie, not even playing over the closing credits, which would have been a great place for it. You can find it though, on the movie’s soundtrack.