2007 is truely turning out to be a big year for movies. Loads and loads of long-awaited titles have come out or are due to be out. Spider-man 3, Pirates 3, Die Hard 4.0, The Bourne Ulimatum, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. All Big titles. However, the one I have been most looking forward to, as a true child of the 80s, is Transformers. As I child I was pretty much obsessed with Transformers and I vividly remember having a butt load of action figures including a massive Optimus Prime that transformed into this mobile command centre. Anyway… I digress. On saturday I finally got to see an advance preview screening of Michael Bay’s: Transformers.
The story is basically two waring factions, The Autobots and the Decepticons are searching for an ancient artefact called the All-Spark. It has the power to create worlds… or destroy them (bet you can’t guess what each side wants it for.) The artefact, rather inconveniently ends up on Earth… Bugger.
Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LaBeouf, unknowingly has something that both sides want; the loacation of the All-Spark, encoded on an old pair of glasses once owned by his great great grandfather, Captain Archibald Witwicky who, it transpires Discovered a frozen Megatron in the ice while exploring the arctic circle. When he accidentally activated Megatron’s navigational system the whereabouts of the All-Spark were beamed and etched onto the glasses. Sam has placed the glasses along with other items on an eBay auction and it is through this that both sides become aware of Sam, and the information he unknowingly posesses. Sure enough both sides make contact and the battle is on to find and put to use the All-Spark.
Having been told very little about the films over all plot I didn’t have many preconceptions about it. There has been lots of controversy over the appearance of the robots though. Bumblebee, in the cartoons was a VW Beetle, in the film he is a Camaro. Also, Optimus prime looks quite different, with flames no less. Megatron is the most radical change though with him being absolutely nothing like his Cartoon form.
So anyway… How was the film. I hear you ask…
In a word… Fan-bloody-tastic!!! I properly 100% enjoyed it. The story was good, the CGI was absolutely crackin and the characters were really really good. Shia LaBeouf was entertaining as Sam Witwicky and there are some entertaining appearances from John Voight and Bernie Mac.
There was some controversy over the choice of Director in Michael Bay. His work is often quite derivative and in places this can be seen in Transformers. A bunch of men getting off a plane or helicoptor around dusk with the sunset behind them all shot in slow motion… it’s either going to be John Woo or Michael Bay. You can certainly see his influence in many shots and if you were to watch The Rock straight after this movie you’d be properly surprised how similar they are in terms of cinematography and Direction. This sensationalist style doesn’t lend itself to many films but one of them is definately Transformers. I thought the way it was shot was really nice and was in keeping with the style of the story.
I do have a couple of gripes with the film, nothing major but they are worth a mention. First of all there seemed to be a lot of story centered around the humans. Not really that bad but you’d expect that in a film called Transformers there would be more action and storyline based around the robots themselves. Thankfully the story with the humans is a pretty good one too so it’s not so bad. Secondly, although most of the characters were really awesome, one of the Autobots, Jazz looked really really gay! The car he turned into was like a Daihatsu Copen!! Honestly, I was half expecting him to talk like Big Gay Al!! Again, this was a minor complaint. One other thing is I would have liked to see more of Bernie Mac’s character. He was really funny. When Sam is looking at the Camaro (Bumblebee) Mac’s character tries to sell him an old VW Beetle… Perhaps giving a slight nod to Bumblebee’s original cartoon form.
Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Jazz
Megatron, Starscream, Bonecrusher, Frenzy, Barricade, Blackout, Scorponoc
All that aside though, this film is still hugely entertaining and I think I’ll be going to see it again because it truely is an amazing specatle. I want to know if this is out in IMAX theatres because it will definately be one to check out. The only reason I’m not going to give this 5 stars is because of one flaw. The film is having something of an Identity crisis. I think I went into the cinema with the right outlook; that I was going to see a kid’s/young adult’s movie with some violent action scenes. If it was looked at from the oposite view point, it being an adult’s film with a childish script, this could be a real problem. However you look at it though, this film is a success.