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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Transformers

MOVIE REVIEWS

TRANSFORMERS (2007)

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Jon Voight, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rachael Taylor, Anthony Anderson, John Turturro, Michael O'Neil, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Bernie Mac and the voices of Peter Cullen, Bryan Cox and Hugo Weaving.

Screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

Directed by Michael Bay.

Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.  144 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

Transformers

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 adventure. 

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.

Transformers is 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 series.

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.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2007 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: July 23, 2007.

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Copyright 2007   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: July 23, 2007.

 

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