5 October 2016 | thor-teague
Absolutely worthy addition to the Transformers universe
I don't think I could hate this film if I tried. I'm not trying, but if I was, I don't think I could do it.
It has all the elements of the Transformers' glory days, with the juggernaut of Big Hollywood providing the driving engine. I really like its ability to be true to the original and yet be something new at the same time.
The nitpicks I have are significant, but a far cry from a dealbreaker. The big one is, about an hour in I leaned in and said to my friend, "Alright, get to the damn point already!" It drags too long before getting to the action. Bay should be slapped for some of the soundtrack choices, like when Bumblebee is scanning the newer model Camaro, the song popularized in Kill Bill plays for a second. It was tacky in the Vonage commercials; it's tacky here. The initial chase scene between Bumblebee and Barricade, as well as the hacker subplot, as well as numerous other prime opportunities to have some serious on screen fun, go almost nowhere. The Decepticons' personalities are mostly absent–originally there was much more dimension to them, making the dynamic between the Autobots and the Decepticons as a whole significantly more layered. The competitive relationship between Starscream and Megatron is completely glazed over. Prime's closing stinger line. Ugh. Also, it's plausible that the depiction of FBI raid on the hacker kid's house is at least somewhat racist–moreover, though, fewer ridiculous/absurd caricatures in general probably wouldn't have hurt the film (the sector 7 personnel are played to a ridiculous degree.)
But its good qualities far outweigh the nitpicks. Solid plot. Original voice actor playing Prime. Great 'bot design. All original G1 'bots–just with a fancier look (I don't fault them for that, personally). John Turturro. Prime's (and by extension, all Autobots') uncompromising honor and selflessness–something not quite so fashionable in fictional (anti)heros nowadays. The inclusion of beautiful women without flagrantly objectifying them (a bit, yes, but relatively tame by today's standards.) Excellent character development on Sam Witwicky's character–well played, multidimensional, not too subtle and not too overt in any department.
And then there is, the only good quality the Transformers ever need: awesome robot death match action. Of which there is no shortage.
Easily the most admirable thing about Bay's take on Transformers, however, is that it's garnering a new generation of fans. You can see that plainly if you see it in any suburban afternoon showing and listened to the 8-12 year old "Ooh!s" and "Ahh!s". It was, in short, really cool to see a new generation of youngsters coming into the same experience I held so dear as a child. I can't wait for 2 and 3, and I really hope they don't go downhill.
Bottom line, simply a great, fun movie and a worthy view. Definitely check this one out if you haven't already.