Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Mandatory Review: Transformers (2007)

I just got out of the very earliest screening of Transformers on opening day. The US wont be able to see this movie until July 4th and we here in Manila got to see it before they did.

I had been waiting for this movie to opoen since I first learned about it in 2004 (yes, that long ago). This movie carries a lot of weight from very large expectations from fans all over the world to its studio, who expects it to be the biggest moneymaker of the year.

The early word on this movie is that it is pee-in-your-pants awesome. From the early screenings it looks like it's going to indeed be the biggest blockbuster of the year.

I always make it a habit to let a movie simmer in my mind for a while before I make a review about it. This lets me analyze the story and everything I see in the film and determine how I really feel about it. But I make an exception since the validityu of this review depends on its freshness. Im going to keep it short. It will have spoilers.

The earth is under threat from an ancient alien force. These lifeforms have come to earth to look for the allspark. A powerful cube with the power to create life from machines. A US military base in Qatar is attacked by a mysterious machine-like life form looking for information that will lead it to the allspark, this sparks a national emergency that awakens a controversial covert agency called Sector 7.

Sam Witwicky (Spike in the cartoon)(Shia LeBouf)just wants a new car and get the girl. He gets both, but it turns out to be one of these machine aliens and acts as a herald to his group, the Autobots. Once the Autobots reach earth, the battle of these two machine factions begins and we end up being collateral damage.

I will state the obvious qualities of this movie first. The CG work is flawless. Everytime a robot transforms is gold. You can't wait for the next action sequence. The cvomplicated transforming sequences obviously took a lot of time and thought to execute and is definitely the biggest quality of the movie.

First off. The comedy is great. You get a lot of the signature Michael Bay quick cuts and ambush quips. Shia Lebouf delivers excellenty as the dorky heroic Sam. Megan Fox is a sight to behold. Although at times she looks a bit odd and looks kind of grimy, even in the non-action scenes she looks like she just changed your oil (and I mean that in a non-sexual way).

I have to mention John Voight's cool take on the Rumsfeld-like Secretary of Defense. John Turturro also shines as a perfect Bay-esque antagonist. Sinister, yet goofy. Tyrese was tolerable. Josh Duhamel was almost insignificant. Anthony Anderson was more noticeable as his usual self in the light comedic scenes.

Now as cool and realistic as the robots were, there is just something odd about how the Autobots were acting in some of the scenes. Jazz jive talking, Prime being a klutz in Sam's front yard, and going,in the deep commanding voice of Frank Welker, "My bad!" , et al. It kind of turned me off. I understand that it was a take to kind of give these large clunky robots some humor, but they really didn't need it. Them crowding around Sam's house to retrieve the glasses to me was just stupid. I don't know, maybe it's the fan in me. In the Decepticons side, Starscream was definitely the coolest of the bunch. Though he was badly underused, all of his scenes were among the action highlights of the entire movie.

As amazing the final battle scene was between Prime and Megatron, there was just something really lacking in the way it was executed, the allspark being kind of what the Matrix was in the cartoon movie.

I might change my mind with some of the things I said here, but I most likely wont. My mind is just too close to the movie and I would need to take a few paces backward and look back at the movie with fresh eyes.

For a summer movie, its good enough. For a Bay movie, its probably the best I've seen. It has it's flaws, but I think they are reserving some of the good stuff for the sequel.

Rocketboy's Rating: **** (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Blogger hedbeats said...

Saw it last night. Prime's VO at the opening alone was 'ulam na' for me. :D

But Michael Bay should really stick with directing Aerosmith music videos. I tried my best not to sneer at certain points in the movie (you know which ones they are) but I'm not that strong.

1:14 PM


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