Sunday, July 15, 2007
Best movie of the summer. If you like retro 80's Saturday morning cheese, then you will love Transformers, it's that simple. Transformers features brilliant wit and charm, and a great mix of what we all loved about the cartoon as children, but modernizing it so we'll enjoy it at our age now. The filmmakers knew their target audience well, and they really catered to us.
Transformers follows the epic conflict of the heroic Autobots versus the evil Decepticons, though the premise behind their conflict is slightly different from the '80's cartoon. In the cartoon, if I remember correctly, the Decepticons were pursing fleeing Autobots and they both crash landed on Earth. The remainder of the show focused on the Decepticons attempting to collect lots of Energon Cubes so they could get back to Cybertron, and of course the Autobots would always stop them. Oh, and there were a few annoying humans who always got in the way.
In the film, the Autobots and Decepticons are racing to recover a powerful artifact called the Allspark, an artifact that would allow the Decepticons to turn Earth's machines into Decepticons themselves and then conquer the galaxy. The key to the Allspark is a teenager named Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), and his love interest Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox). Seems Sam's ancestor has some info on the Allspark that Sam unknowingly inherits, and once the Decepticons, who are already on Earth, learn of this, they begin hunting him down. Luckily for Sam his first car just happens to be Bumblebee (voice of Mark Ryan), who can help protect him and call in the cavalry.
Also throw into the mix some US soldiers who's base in Iraq gets whipped out by Blackout and Scorponok, some computer experts for the Pentagon, and shadowy government agents and you have a great ragtag cast for a robot bashing movie. And for the Transformers themselves, almost everyone's favourites are here: Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen), Megatron (voice of Hugo Weaving), Starscream (voice of Charles Adler), Jazz (voice of Darius McCrary), etc., though I found I remembered all the Autobots, but not as many of the Decepticons, of which there were more.
Aside from the military base that gets whipped out, the film starts of slow, introducing the characters and building the plot. We mainly follow Sam, who's a dork trying to score with the beautiful Mikaela (I know I should be watching the robots, but her cleavage throughout the whole film is just jaw-dropping), when they both end up getting pursued by various Decepticons. The Autobots, of course, come to the rescue, and the latter part of the film is a roller coaster of amazing effects and action as an entire city gets torn apart.
Not only will you be laughing your ass off at Sam's pathetic nature, but you'll also crack up over the cheese of some one liners and pop culture references from the Autobots, as well as an amazing scene involving an indian call centre rep. Best. Scene. Ever.
My only gripe, my only major gripe with Transformers is with Megatron. Everyone knows Megatron, and everyone loves Megatron since he's so evil, but he's a jet. A Cybertronian jet, but a jet non-the-less. He should be a gun. Megatron is supposed to be a gun! I don't care how cheesy you think that is (um, you have retro '80's robots from a planet called Cybertron), but Megatron should transform into a gun, and anything else is blasphemy. If the Allspark can change into the size of a Rubik's Cube, Megatron can change into a smaller gun for Starscream to fire.
Aside from that, I had no issue with any of the other changes to the Transformers since there were copyright issues the filmmakers had to work around, and the essence of their characters were portrayed well.
So to reiterate, Robots go smash plus nostalgia plus cleavage equals yes. Go see Transformers and remember what it's like to be 10 again.