Transformers Review Response

Transformers was exactly the movie I expected it to be. It was chock full of CGI, furious robot-on-robot action and more explosions and destruction than is truly necessary. That said, it was not a good movie.

On the Internet, a lot of people are attacking Michael Bay (and rightly so), but having looked at his past work, he really was the best director for the job. One of his earliest feature films was Bad Boys, a very good buddy cop action/comedy. A few years later, he gave us hits like The Rock and Armageddon. Say what you will, these were good movies. They may have been taken over the top, but at least Bay has a genuine sense of conflict in these movies and a strong enough cast to compensate for any deficiencies in the script.

Transformers has none of this. The primary conflict in this movie involved giant robots beating the tar out of each other. Sure, the All Spark is important, but really it’s just used as a means to make robots fight. Supporters of the film will counter that this was a movie targeted to kids and it was based off of a children’s TV show.

To that I say that the original – and better – Transformers movie is still one of the only kids’ movies I can think of that drops the s-bomb. Further, conflict doesn’t need to be washed down for children – it’s an essential part of growing up. Who remembers the first ten minutes of Bambi? His mother is killed, his home is destroyed and his family walks out on him. What I’m driving at here is that children don’t need to be pandered to at the movies. They’re much more sophisticated than most people give them credit for.

I was also disappointed at how most of the cast was dropped when the Transformers first show up. They’ve given names to these people and then they replace them all with new actors, this time working for the Department of Defense.

The implausibility factor also did me in. Sure, sure, I know it’s based off of a cartoon, but in the last battle of the movie, the Autobots and Decepticons thoroughly destroy Culver City, Los Angeles. I’m talking jets flying through skyscrapers with a two-story robot clinging to it. They break the town, but by the end of the movie everyone is acting like nothing happened.

The relationship that develops between the characters played by Megan Fox and Shia LeBeouf is the most uninspired, unbelievable tripe I’ve ever endured. Bay falls back on the stereotype of the pretty girl dating the asshole boyfriend. When she sees LeBeouf, she instantly finds her old boyfriend distasteful (of course!). I’ll allow that Bay takes his time with this particular relationship in the movie, but at no point do I feel there’s any real chemistry between them.

At one point in the movie, a Decepticon crashes to the pavement, gets back up and rejoins the fight. No big deal, except there are three humans moving around under all that CGI that supposedly just fell 20 stories. That’s just sloppy filming from a director who has the chops to know better.

The CGI itself was also much more detailed than it needed to be. How many moving parts do we need exposed? Yes, they look cool, but only at first glance. As Ahmad said, when these things fight it looks like a junk yard devouring itself.

My final complaint has to do with the All Spark. I get it, it turns machines into living robot creatures. But if this is the same technology that created the Autobots, why does it only create Decepticons when LeBeouf accidentally runs into a few machines with it? And what happens to these Decepticons (a Cadillac, an Xbox 360 and a Mountain Dew machine) at the end of the movie? They’re entirely unaccounted for, and it comes off as a cheap advertising stunt.

After all of these complaints, I’d still recommend the movie. It’s escapism, and by no means should you try to see this movie with a critical eye – it will only ruin the fun for you. I only hope Bay can address a few of these issues by the time the next Transformers movie comes around.