Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Michael Bay
Running Time: 2:24
for intense sequences of sci-fi
action violence, brief sexual humor, and language.
Transformers was a nice surprise with tons of explosions and great special effects.
Many years ago on the planet of Cybertron there was a fight between the Autobots and the Decepticons for control of the Allspark, which would give the bearer extreme power. The Allspark was jettisoned to Earth and the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, went after it, only to end up frozen in the oceans. Since then, a group of Autobots have been hidden on Earth, protecting the owner of the only map to the Allspark, Sam Witwicky. When the Decepticons launch their attack on Sam, it's up to the Autobots, lead by Optimus Prime, to protect Sam and the Allspark. War is about to break out on Earth.
I never watched the Transformers as a kid, so beyond knowing what they were, I didn't know much about the specifics. And knowing Michael Bay directed the film, I figured it was going to be an over-the-top explosion fest with not much else going for it. I was happy to find though, that the movie had some heart, some laughs, some hot women and a lot of fun to go along with those massive explosions. This is almost the perfect definition of a summer popcorn film: it doesn't take a lot of thinking and there are great special effects. But I think the one thing that really kept the film grounded was the current "it" actor, Shia LaBeouf, who had the ability to make you actually like him. Most of the time in these kinds of films, the actors are all secondary to overproduced special effects, but in this case, Shia became the focus with the effects taking a backseat. Granted the backseat turned into a giant robot, but you understand what I mean. Shia definitely has a likeability about him that'll help him in the future, as long as he doesn't turn to drugs or wandering around without his underwear on.
The special effects were tremendously done. It was completely seamless and amazing to look at on the big screen. It loses something on a smaller screen, unless you have a giant TV and get the high-def version, but it's still worth renting. The only real problem I had was that there was almost too much action. That might sound a little strange, but as the film went on and the robot fights got more and more intense, the cameras would swirl around and after a while I had a hard time figuring out who was fighting whom. If you get dizzy watching a film, that can't be a good sign. Granted, Michael Bay has never been known for a subtle touch, but I think that also makes him the perfect director for this kind of film. Anyone else would have felt the need to try and slow it down, add some serious moments and make it one of these new age kind of blockbusters that are hit or miss. I think the reason Transformers made so much money theatrically was because it just went for it and didn't talk down to its audience. It also helped that there are a ton of fans out there who would clap and cheer each time a new Transformer hit the screen. The movie also felt like it ran a little long, but the nice thing about DVD is you can fast forward through the slower parts.
The Two-Disc Special Edition comes with a ton of extras. Disc one only has a commentary track with Michael Bay, but disc two has everything else. There are 10-12 documentaries, broken up into three sections: Our World, Their War and More Than Meets the Eye. The first section has features on Michael Bay and all the actors, and we get to see some of the actors go through basic training. The second section we get to see some of the special effects that went into making the film. And the third section takes us in depth into one of the major sequences in the film. There isn't a section with deleted scenes or a gag reel, but there are deleted scenes that are put into the context of the other features, so they're all worth checking out.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I enjoyed Transformers. It is almost the perfect action blockbuster for nights when you just want to be visually entertained and not have to think about too much.
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