Director Michael Bay's
movies (The Rock, Bad Boys, Armageddon) only have two speeds -- fast
and pummelling. Therefore, it is no surprise that Transformers
is a near-constant rock'em-sock'em-robot whirl of sanitized violence and
What is a bit of a
surprise, though, is that for at least two-thirds of the movie it is
actually pretty darned good.
All you really need to know
about Transformers is pretty much summed up in the opening credits,
where it states "In association with Hasbro." When a toy company gets
more prominent billing than the director or any of the stars, you know that
you are not getting a movie burdened with deep thought.
based on a set of toys which were big in the 80s and 90s. These action
figures also spawned a cartoon TV series.
Truth is, when you get down
to it, the transformers are really kind of goofy contraptions. A group
of robots which which fold in upon themselves to become other machines,
including cars, planes, boom boxes, soda machines and cell phones.
They apparently come from
another planet where a civil war between the robots made their home
uninhabitable. Now the good Transformers protect the Earth from the
evil ones which are trying to destroy it.
Not that this plot matters
at all, frankly most of the robot stuff is absurd. The scenes of them
fighting each other while towering over buildings look sort of ridiculous --
like a more high-tech take on the old Godzilla or Ultra-Man
Yet, much of the
Transformers movie does work. It works because it touches on
something much more elemental. Transformers is a love story
between a boy and his car, with a hot chick thrown in for good measure.
Through the car the boy is able to win over that girl, the most beautiful
girl in his high school (in fact, in most high schools...).
Transformers is a
geek fan boy fantasy turned up to hyper drive, yet it works simply because it
remembers those simple needs. What if you were a kind of nerdy loser
whose first car not only can save the world but also help you romance the
woman of your dreams?
Shia LaBoeuf continues his
ascent up the Hollywood ladder with his role as an every guy but with star
charisma. He has the quirky mix of charm, awkwardness and self-deprecating
wit of Tom Hanks or John Cusack -- the teen years.
Megan Fox is more than just
eye candy in her fan boy-baiting role -- a gorgeous girl who is tough, smart,
can fix cars and despite her own contention that she always falls for hot
guys, she is willing to give a nerd a chance.
While these young stars are
onscreen, Transformers is surprisingly fast and funny.
Unfortunately, it reaches a typical Michael Bay pulverizing end when in the
last half-hour or so the robots do battle. You could have easily cut
28 of those 30 minutes and Transformers would be a more satisfying
film. But when the movie is working, it is more fun than it has any
right to be.
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: July 23, 2007.