Sunday, July 01, 2007


Having seen the trailers, it seemed to me that Transformers was likely to be much like the recent butchering of War of the Worlds with the added attraction of it molesting my childhood. (The chances of Autobots coming from Mars / were a million to one, they said.)

Now that I've seen the film, I'm happy to say it's nothing at all like War of the Worlds, and is instead an awful lot like Pearl Harbour.

The Transformers themselves make it through the movie with a surprising amount of dignity left intact. I got the strong impression that these were the real, actual Transformers of my early years, torn from their animated universe and deposited whole and intact in a kind of Michael Bay-themed cinematic wasteland. They spend the majority of the movie struggling gamely to continue their noble mission in the face of hideous dialogue, horrible plot, and a complete contempt for the most basic attention to scientific detail.

Optimus Prime in particular carries a kind of beleaguered, puzzled air about him that suggests he's wondering where all the energon cubes went and why he's suddenly surrounded by lens flares, poorly scripted teenagers and an unfeasibly large portion of the United States military. It's definitely Optimus Prime, though - that voice acting goes a long way.

Incidentally, never has there been so much product placement in a movie, but given the history of the Transformers franchise it's a little difficult to complain.

Anyway, all said, this is an apallingly unapologetic fiasco of a movie that should be avoided at all costs. But it doesn't retroactively go back and ruin the 80s animated Transformers, and in that category at least it's a step above Beast Wars and Armada, so if you look at it with squinty eyes you can almost imagine that there's something in it to be grateful for.


Robstroy said...

The whole Transformer movie is light hearted flavor, but when it is a fight scene, they really give a nice blow-by-blow Transformer fights. Though, there are some funny moments with Shia in the movie and I love it like that.

That's it! I want to watch it over and over again.

Greg Tannahill said...

Funny you should mention blow-by-blows, because I was thinking that's exactly what the movie was missing. Every time the action starts, the camera starts jerking like an epileptic with a finger in the light socket, and suddenly you can't see a damn thing even in the odd times when the robots are caught squarely in the center of the frame. This is presumbaly to cover the CGI flaws more than it is a deliberate aesthetic decision but all in all it's a bit dodgy in a movie where the 'bots are theoretically the stars.

Phrancq said...

What's this Beast Wars bashing? Armada, Beast Machines and Energon were all pig crap but Beast Wars was pretty good. You just need to skip most of first season and get to the part where the writers stopped making it for kids.

And while I can't argue with any of your observations about the film, I think you are being slightly harsh. Plus, nowhere near enough Starscream or Transformer interaction.

Unknown said...

Pft. You're head crazy. It was a great film. I'm not going to say why. It just was. And we got a whole 2 hours of conversation requoting the funnier lines and taking the piss out the films' concept of basic physics, which seemed to be comparative to Stan Lee's understanding of magnetism.

This is a fun film. Ignore Greg and go see it.

Anonymous said...

Listen to Greg and don't go see it. Your money is much better spent on Live Free or Die Hard (not that great either, but at least you can follow the action).

Oh wait, I'm not sure if that movie is out in Australia yet. Oh well. Save your money and don't see Transformers anyway.

Greg Tannahill said...

Thanks for the backup, Xantar. And if you ever meet Michael Bay in the street, please feel free to use your middle finger to instruct him to transform and roll out.