Thursday, July 5, 2007

FILM: Transformers

I've said this a few times now, but this was the biggest damn movie I have ever seen. Like, huge. Bigger than your house and mine put together.

That being said, this review may contain spoilers. Any huge ones I will try and black out, and you can highlight the screen to see them, but I think you get the gist of things. For example: Giant Robots FIGHT!

This is Michael Bay at his finest. It's like if you distilled the plot of Michael Bay's Armageddon, and upped the action about 300%.

However, there have been many negative reviews of this, from people that either thought there wasn't enough of the human story, or from people that thought the human story was contrived and unnecessary. Honestly, it's just a Michael Bay template being put onto a franchise. There's nothing unique here, and even Sam's quest for a car doesn't seem like it's trying to fool me into thinking otherwise. A friend and I were joking that John Voight probably just wandered onto the set.

"Oh shit, it's John Voight!"
"The guy actually thinks he's in charge here! Just start rolling!"

There are plenty of signals so that you can start paying attention for when the action starts. Slow motion shots of pilots getting into jets is a surefire bet that you're going to see some robots fighting something or other soon. And honestly, unless you're one of the uber-fans who spat hellfire at Bay for putting flames on optimus, who gives a rat's (I'll be kicking myself for that when Batman comes out, I'm sure of it.)? This quote pretty much sums up those people:

"There’s a chance that the film could grow on me, but this isn’t elegant, classic storytelling… and ordinarily I wouldn’t hold that against Bay… but goddamn it – this is classic iconography that he’s playing with."

My opinion: BumbleBee isn't fucking Superman. (Then again, Bumblebee never cut off some poor kid's feet.)

The only issue that I really had with this is that the military seem to flip-flop on their stance on the robots. In the third act, John Turturro's character seems to know everything about the robots. I mean, they've been studying Megatron for about a hundred years, right? I mean, if the audience has already bought into that (since suspension of disbelief is very important for something like this), and he's captured BumbleBee, then we believe that the government (or at least Sector 7) has cast a blanket condemnation over these transforming robots from space. Right? WRONG!

The minute shit starts to go wrong (ie: something they seemingly have been planning for for untold years), Turturro loses his shit. Like, it's the end of the world. He's willing to compromise with anyone over anything. At that same time, the government planes (who now has almost zero communications capability) seem to somehow know which of the transformers are evil, and which ones are helping.

I suppose they just shot at the ones with more pointy edges and sharp corners. It's a logical conclusion.

The other thing was that the ending seemed to reek of something from a cartoon. Not that that's a bad thing, it just seemed a little strange to have a conclusion ripped from a kid's cartoon after two hours of robot intensity that the MPAA almost deemed R-Rated worthy. It seems to leave room for the inevitable sequel, which I'm sure will be announced in the coming days/weeks.

For all the tripe that's in this movie, I can't say I expected anything more. Overall my opinion is thus: THEY FIGHT AND IT IS FUCKING AWESOME! GO SEE IT!

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