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  • Warning: Spoilers
    When the announcement came for a new Transformers movie for Summer, I was pretty excited. I wasn't a major Transformers fan, but I had fond memories of the cartoon and toys. However, I hated the re-designed Transformers, thinking that these new designs were an overly busy cross between Lego's Bionicle toys and expressionist modern art sculptures. I also heard the script was poor, so I decided to skip this one.

    However, I started hearing movie reviews about what an amazing film this was. "The greatest film of all time!" people proclaimed. So I came to terms with and accepted that these weren't the robots I grew up with, this was a "new" version, and I'd at least find interest in robots transforming into cars and beating each other up. I'd even go see this even though I don't like Michael Bay films.

    How was it? Transformers is a disgustingly bloated and self-indulgent piece of crap. I understand that I'll get rated down for my review, but I'm prepared to accept that. Sadly, my theater must not have gotten the euphoria inducing gas that apparently other theaters got, causing me to gush over this film like other people.

    Even the 1986 Transformers film wasn't perfect. It was basically one fight scene after another, and was a means to replace the old toys for a new line, but the action was good, showed the consequences of war, and featured the death of a beloved character. It kept true to the mythos, even though it was different. This movie makes reference to so many other films that it feels like a mishmash of 30 films you've seen before.

    Bumblebee sends up an "Autobat Symbol" to summon the other Autobots like Batman. There's a scene in an underground bunker which felt totally pulled from Terminator 3 (and a few scenes later, uses the exact drumbeat from the "Terminator Theme"). The fight scenes with their out of focus cameras and "shaky cam" style seems like they are trying to treat the battles as if they were "Saving Private Ryan" caliber. When Bumblebee gets captured during a scene, the music swells up so mournfully and overdramatically, that it makes the tragedies found in "Schindler's List" seem modest.

    The biggest problem in character design lies in the fact that they all really do look alike. The worst offender was the Decepticon Frenzy, which looked like a 3D rendered pencil scribble, and acted like the Zuni Fetish Doll from "Trilogy of Terror". During the final battle, I was having problems telling who was who, and when the robots collided, it was hard to see where one began and the other ended. The car forms were presented as blatant product showcases, ripped straight from a commercial. Then again, there was so much product placement in the film. eBay must have made a fortune.

    The slow set-up to the action or even any real glimpses of the title characters felt like "The Hulk". I pay for a movie about transforming robots, that's what I want to see.

    Why would they keep a deadly robot under Hoover Dam, a major water source and tourist attraction? Why would they bring this "All-Spark" out of the desert and into a heavily-populated city where property damage and civilian casualties could run their full course. The dialogue was painful, sounded like it was written for teenagers, by teenagers in a really bad fanfic like what they thought people would say. What really irked me is how the Autobots couldn't seem to kill a Decepticon, but a lone soldier skidding on his back could dispatch one with a single shot. Why were the Autobots even there if the humans could do it better? How is it that they can save Bumblebee, but they can't repair Jazz? What was the difference? The government/military/robot/anyone dialogue was totally unrealistic, with officials willing to "bet their ridiculously high government paychecks" on hunches. Every line smacked on bad puns, clichés, or just sounded stupid. There was an extended conversation about masturbation between Sam and his parents that felt really awkward and extended far too long.

    The personalities were also way underdeveloped. Transformers has over two decades of history that wasn't touched upon. The Starscream and Megatron rivalry, where Starscream tried to usurp Megatron for leadership was not mentioned or covered at all. Jazz was cool and fun-loving with a sense of style, while in the film he sounds like a ghetto thug. His first line is profanity, and I felt insulted. Not because of the language, but the fact that this was apparently the best the writers could do. Decepticons were introduced and blown away within minutes. The Autobots weren't much better. Did the people who wrote the story know anything about the subject material besides the fact that robots changed to vehicles? And then Optimus Prime. Obviously, Bay's madness knew better than to totally ruin this character, as he was the only robot who looked even remotely familiar to any previous version. And the personality was fairly accurate... up to the backyard scene, where Prime's personality suddenly shifts, breaks character, and he becomes a clumsy comedian. The next scene, he shifts back into a "leader" personality.

    The saving grace outside of Prime was Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf), who brought a credible "gee whiz" performance to the film, and yet I felt sorry for him using such ham-fisted dialogue.

    Summer 2007 has been really mediocre for "blockbuster" films, as we're apparently supposed to lower our standards, "sit back, not think and enjoy" with these types of films, but how is one supposed to do that with with film devoid of heart, personality or no focus on the main characters? As a stand-alone film, this is a really bad movie. As a Transformers-licensed film, it's a God awful embarrassment. I'm avoiding the sequels unless they drastically overhaul the franchise and get a script not limited to high-school level online fanfic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (This comment was deleted by IMDb based on an abuse report filed by another user, so I'm guessing it was pretty abusive; maybe it spoiled some aspect of "the plot," if you can call it that, for some poor soul)

    I think it was about four or five words into the opening narration when we burst into laughter. "Before time began..." Ouch. When a film can't go 5 seconds without a cliché, it doesn't deserve to be watched, at least not with a straight face.

    Michael Bay's Transformers is hilariously awful, a sub-Ed Wood affair all the way through, a camp classic in the making. If Bay is the new Edward D. Wood, Jr. then Transformers may be the new Plan 9 from Outer Space. Let me count the ways:

    1. Incoherent narration/ incoherent plot? Check.

    2. Laughably bad dialogue? Check.

    3. Pompous aliens with inexplicable plan to conquer Earth? Check.

    4. Day turns to night in an instant? Check.

    5. Copious use of military stock footage? Check.

    6. Epic numbers of continuity errors? Check.

    7. Dramatic confrontations solved via fistfights? Check.

    8. Dramatic scenes that fly straight out of left field? Check. ("I'm so glad I got in the car with you.")

    9. Formerly respectable older star sinks to a new low? Check. (Poor, poor Jon Voight)

    10. Incredible overacting that is obviously encouraged by the director? Check.

    11.Character who cannot speak for no apparent reason? Check.

    12. Rampant stereotyping (not just the racial ones but stuff like cops acting dumb, doing a lot of shouting, and eating doughnuts, and military officials being all secretive one minute and spilling said secrets the next)? Check.

    13. Characters with a lot of face time who end up playing no important role in the "story?" Check. (What useful purpose did Duhamel and the troops in Qatar serve after the first ten minutes?)

    14. Heavy handed social/political commentary/references? Check. (eBay, eBay, eBay;imagine how much trouble could have been avoided if they'd just BOUGHT THE DAMN GLASSES OFF OF EBAY!)

    15. A flying saucer catches on fire then crashes? Check.

    16. Sudden flashes of light appear from nowhere and knock characters over? Check.

    17. The action in some shots is hopelessly muddled? Check.

    18. A character's hilarious death scene is matched only by his hilarious eulogy? Check.

    19. The action halts suddenly so that someone can explain the back-story? Check.

    20. Random bursts of laughter fill theater during screening? Check.

    21. Gaps in dialogue perfect for Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque commentary? Check.

    22. Inevitable cult following? Check.

    Only these three things are missing, keeping it from true Ed Wood greatness:

    1. No giant octopus. (Though Scorponok comes pretty close.)

    2. No transvestites. (It has the prefix "trans-" in the title, though.)

    3. No ludicrously campy speech made by the main villain. (Just " I AM MEGATRON!!!", which is plenty campy but not much of a speech.)

    Maybe these'll be in the director's cut.

    Except, of course, Ed Wood's movies had heart; even at their worst they feel like more than exercises in feature-length product placement. Bay doesn't have anything even remotely resembling a heart in his chest - that's why he's not even in Wood's league as a bad director, no matter how many laughs his terrible films get. And at least Wood's films didn't cost $150 million to make.

    I'm a Transformers fan from way back. I've got an Optimus Prime and a Megatron atop one of my bookshelves. I have ancient videotapes of the fondly remembered cartoon series and a copy of the 20th anniversary movie DVD. I had worried that this film would damage my childhood memories beyond repair, like Star Wars Episode I did. But the film is just TOO bad and TOO stupid to have any real effect on me. The old animated movie, bad as it is, mops the floor with this one. If anything, it is a more mature(!) and entertaining work. The music in the old movie is terrible, but it fits. The music here is just terrible.

    There are good points, but none anywhere near enough. John Turturro is the only actor who escapes this mess unscathed - his great over-the-top performance suggests that he actually understands how Z-grade the script he was given was. He's a lot of fun to watch, even as he's quickly reduced to a non-entity by the plot mechanics. Turturro is a great actor and this part only serves to elevate his status in my eyes. I hope he got a serious paycheck.

    I can't stand CGI as a rule, but the special effects here are moderately convincing, at least in those rare moments when the camera isn't performing idiotic cartwheels to obscure them. I honestly like the models for the new TFs (the Autobots, anyway - I can barely tell the Decepticons apart), but the fact that they have little personality isn't so endearing.

    Maybe the sequel will be up to the lofty standards of Ed Wood's Night of the Ghouls. But I doubt it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I went to see an advance screening of "Transformers" tonight, and I walked out of the theater in disbelief. Not because the movie wasn't what I thought it would be, but on the contrary, it was so much more than I had ever expected.

    Going into the theater, I was expecting a corny kids movie with decent acting and a fantastic, unrealistic plot. Needless to say the plot was indeed fantastic and unrealistic, but it was all kept in check with solid acting and the most incredible display of visual effects that I have EVER seen. Most...actually almost all of the acting credit in this movie has to go to Shia LaBeouf, whom is quickly becoming a Hollywood star after recently giving an excellent performance in the thriller "Disturbia". It was another great performance from Shia in "Transformers", with his clever wit still ever present.

    However, the most impressive aspect of "Transformers" was most certainly the special effects. The robot vs. robot fight scenes were, in a word, remarkable. I didn't know that modern day special effects could produce images so fantastic AND realistic, to the point where the robots didn't seem computer generated at all. The interaction between human and robot was beautiful and flawless. It seemed like the actors were actually interacting with real, 50 foot tall robots during the movie. "Transformers" will, without a doubt, be the pioneer for future cinematic visual effects.

    The plot may have been a little unrealistic and some of the acting a little sketchy at times, but it does not in any way override what was truly an entertaining movie. The plot simply stayed true as best it could to the cartoon story without becoming overly ridiculous or corny. When I say unrealistic, that does not mean "cartoon-corny". In fact, I would recommend that ANYONE over the age of 13 go to see this movie. I promise you won't be disappointed.
  • spencey75 July 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I honestly don't know where to start with this movie. I will say however, that - like many other people - this is the film I've been waiting 20 years to see.

    I suppose it's sensible to start with what should be the foundation stone of any cinematic experience - the script. It's cheesy, cliché-ridden, and poorly-structured. Characterisation (especially of the Autobots/Decepticons) is non-existent. Optimus Prime uttering the words "My bad" must go down in history as one of the worst moments in movie history. Actually scratch that - the "lubricating" scene is definitely worse. The writing of human characters is lazy at best, sticking with stereotypes such as the beautiful code-breaker, fat computer whizz, bumbling government agent etc etc. The performances (Shia aside) are instantly forgettable, but a great deal of that comes down to the script and direction. Megan Fox may be a great actress for all I know, but she may as well be a stripper for the purposes of this movie.

    The effects are incredible (although not helped by Bay's erratic editing style), but when you've no reason to care about them it results in an empty experience. Effects DON'T MAKE A MOVIE.

    With Spielberg as part of this project I allowed myself a little optimism, but it's patently clear that Bay and Co. had no understanding or respect for the Transformers franchise. GIANT "FLIPPING" ROBOTS BLOWING "STUFF" UP this may be, but it is most certainly not Transformers.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This was one crappy movie and a pain to watch. Just hearing Optimus Prime utter "Oops my bad", made me want to bolt for the door. Anyway, here is just a brief summary of all the good and bad this movie has to offer.

    The Good:

    • The transformations- I'm surprised at how well they made the transformations work. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron don't look half as bad as I thought they would. It's nice to see the parts warp and change instead of watching these big blocky characters that were in the cartoon.

    The Bad:

    On my, where do I start...

    • The jokes were awful. For some reason they decided to make this movie as a crossover between American Pie and Transformers. Bumblee "lubricating" the man and Sam masturbating, just wasn't funny. The only people who were laughing in the audience were little kids.

    • The humans stole the show. I thought Transformers was supposed to be about the Transformers themselves, who each had unique personalities with a little human action thrown in the background. Instead the tables are reversed, where we are FORCED to spend lengthy amounts of time with characters the audience truly doesn't give a rat's ass about. Who cares about Sam Whitwickey? Or that smart programming chick? Or that fat donut eater? Who honestly gives? This is a Transformers movie folks, not a love story with some dumb robots thrown in for kicks. Oh and Sam himself, was super, duper irritating and annoying.

    • The choreography was terrible. Some fight scenes were cool enough but the shaky camera movements and extreme closeups made it difficult to tell what was going on. The fight between Megatron and Optimus proved to be extremely disappointing, as we are only given a few shots of Optimus punching and tripping Megatron, while the army tries to destroy Blackout.

    -They completely destroyed the Transformers back story. Those even remotely interested in the Transformers will know that they came from Cybertron and that their ship crashed on Earth only to be revived centuries later. But here Cybertron is destroyed to pieces with no chance of it ever being revived. Well, I guess the Transformers are screwed folks ... but they already were when Michael Bay decided to direct.

    In short, if you were expecting to see a movie about the Transformers, you were sadly mistaken. Be prepared to spend hours focusing on Sam and his loser girlfriend instead. Also, why the hell did it take an hour and a half for Optimus Prime to show up in the first place- that to me, is a disgrace.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This deafeningly loud, obnoxious, usually stagnant and glorified epic disaster of a film was presented with too many opportunities to be one of the all-time greatest summer flicks ever. However, despite the advancements in today's special effects, it being inspired from the highly popular 1980's Hasbro toys and cartoon, with Steven Spielberg overseeing the production as an Executive producer, Michael Bay and his writers were still guilty of making this a "steaming pile." I can effortlessly breakdown at every level why this film didn't work for me.

    The story was about a teenager name Sam (Shia LaBeouf) who purchases a car that happens to be a robot in disguise from another world. Sam is then caught in the middle of an ancient battle between two groups of these alien robots, the heroic Autobots and the Evil Decepticons. Both are seeking a mysterious cube known as the "Allspark" that contains their "life source." This central plot intertwines with the story of a special ops team being attacked by one of the Decepticons in the beginning, the pentagon enlisting teams of computer hackers to decode a signal they detected that ultimately came from the Decepticons and a hokey love story between Sam and Mikaela, the gorgeous bombshell in his class.

    As intriguing as all of this may sound, besides the many battle scenes, car chases, attempts on Sam's life and Decepticon attacks, nothing happens to move the story along. Whatever layers of stories that were suppose to be happening beneath the unimpressive action sequences were uneventful and slow. So, all you're left with is the action, which by the end was boring and tedious to watch.

    The characters were flat and moronic. The humans were one-note, soulless caricatures. They were also more than capable of damaging the robots, which took away from the extraordinary antagonism the original cartoon presented for our human heroes. The humans were helpless against the Decepticons and this made the Autobots necessary. In this absurd film, the humans didn't really need the Autobots to take out the Decepticons.

    And whatever happened to characters like Jorge "Fig" Figueroa and Maggie? They sort or left this film halfway to the end to join the film playing in the theater next door.

    Also, part of the cartoon's success was the personalities of the Transformers. They were emotional beings that were capable of treacherous, loyal, courageous, cowardice, morose and optimistic behavior. They weren't just giant piles of junk destroying an American metropolis. Whatever happened to the ongoing struggle for power over the Decepticons between Starscream and Megatron? This would've added some real complexity to this paper-thin story. Instead, Bay and the writers settled for hinting at it with a laughable one-liner from Megatron that rang falser than the action. Wasn't Bumblebee the kindest, frailest of them all? He was essential for his undying compassion for the humans in the cartoons. Not in this film, where he obviously fought in many battles and, when annoyed, can urinate on a human being at any given time. Now going from the true character to the characterizations of the robots, the looks of the original were more engaging and attractive to the eye. In this film, they looked like metal scraps of junk.

    Then the films auteur had to take it there by making Jazz the Transformer with the Black-American soul, screaming, "What up, b****es?" Ironically, he was the only Autobot that easily gets killed as well. Now, a lesser minded person would pull the race card for this. I would just blame it on lazy, unimaginative, sloppy, hack writing and directing. In the end, I couldn't care less about any of the characters, human or Transformer.

    The original Transformers could be chastised for wooden dialogue. However, when the characters weren't trying to be funny in this film, the dialogue was ten times worse than that of the cheesy words spoken in the cartoon. It was absolutely ridiculous, with zero subtext. The quality of the dialogue was lessoned in scenes where exposition was inappropriately forced in, like the ineptly written scene when Agent Simmons (John Turturro) was questioning Sam and Mikael in the backseat of the SUV, revealing Mikaelas' weak back story. And how many times did Optimus Prime have to tell us his name? At one point, I thought he was forgetting the many times he said his name previously. Besides, the whole introducing-yourself-thing from the Transformers, especially the Decepticons, was extra cheddar cheesy to me: "I am Megatron!" Yeah, and?! The monologues underscored by the sappy music could've gotten the collective "heave-hove" from this film as well.

    The special effects were cool but could've been better. Most of the time, the Transformers looked animated instead of real in my opinion. And the confusing, unorthodox way they transformed, not to mention detailing that made them look like piles of scrap metal, revealed most of the flaws in the cartoon like computer generated images. As a director, I wouldn't be satisfied with the end result.

    The most entertaining thing about sitting through a screening of this film was the hordes of people that were going ballistic over it. They laughed at anything and applauded for everything. From Bumblebee shattering all the glass in and around the car dealership to the Autobots skidding in unison on a U-Turn, these people thought every little thing deserved a standing ovation. Okay, maybe they were not standing. But it was all so laughable to me.

    In my opinion, Bay, Spielberg and the writers massacred what could've been one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. The only thing amazing about this experience was my girl sleeping through most of it with me nodding off right along side her. Bay has proved himself to be one of the worst, overpaid film directors in the history of Hollywood.
  • I was not a Transformers kid when I grew up in the 80's and I think that's why I wasn't so hard on Michael Bay's film when I caught it in the summer of 2007. Going into the film for the first time, the only characters I knew by name were Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Bumblebee (and I only knew of him through the mention of friends). So, without having the fanboy mentality, I was able to enjoy the movie as it was...and I did. I thought it was a fun action flick and one of the best popcorn movies from the year. Based on the Hasbro toyline and it's resulting animated series/comics, the film follows high-schooler Sam Witwicky who discovers his Camaro is a shape-shifting alien robot; he is soon brought into the middle of a war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, warring factions of a race of sentient robots.

    Let's be honest. The only things that matter about this movie are the special effects and the action sequences. ILM did a fantastic job with the Transformers in this film. The robots look amazing and their transformations are seamless. I've heard that some classic fans aren't satisfied with their designs but I felt they did a good job adding what realism they could to giant fighting robots. The action sequences aren't as abundant as one would expect, but I'm not complaining. I felt there were enough action scenes without going overboard and drowning out story. The battles feel epic and they aren't heavily edited into quick jump cuts so you can still understand what is going on.

    The cast does an adequate job and keep the movie from feeling B-grade. Shia LaBeouf was charismatic and had a good sense of comedic timing; John Turturro was a fun addition as the mental Sector 7 agent Simmons. Jon Voight seemed almost out of place in the film, though added a bit of class. I know there have been a lot of complaints about human characters in the movie, but it's a necessary element and I'm not complaining. The supporting cast did a great job; my favorites had to be Kevin Dunn and Julie White as Sam's eccentric parents. I felt the movie shouldn't have gone over 2 hours as it does begin to strain on the patience after a while but it still made for a fun ride.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What a concept it was. Two rival factions of transforming robots crash land on Earth, and are re-awoken in 1984 to continue their epic struggle amongst a vastly inferior race. One side, the heroic Autobots, battles to save their homeworld from the evil Decepticons.

    Humans took a back seat in this war. Seen by the Autobots as life that should be protected and by the Decepticons as insignificant obstacles, the characters that made Transformers so popular were the transformers themselves.

    Alas, Michael Bay's vision was obviously something quite different.

    After an outstanding exposition in which we meet the lead and supporting characters, the movie goes downhill. Fast. Full of plot holes that invalidate half the events of the movie, and stupid writing that just doesn't make sense, Transformers severely makes me doubt the abilities of its writers (then again, one of its writers did do Catwoman AND The Core - two more stupid movies).

    Plot flaws? That's right! The better part of the movie is spent following the two factions as they race to find a map Megatron made to the 'Allspark'. Naturally, we later find out that the Allspark was moved by the humans AFTER the map was made, to a place specifically selected to prevent the transformers from finding it. But does that stop them from using the now invalid map to find it? Not at all! The map leads them right to it. Somehow.

    So now the Allspark is found, but entrusted to Bumblebee. And what does a US special forces operative decide to do? That's right - drive it into the middle of a large city, where hundreds, if not thousands of people can be killed in the inevitable battle between 20 foot tall transforming robots.

    A good story can be set in the present day, or in Shakespeare's time, or Ancient Rome, underwater or in space. Your characters can be humans, farm animals or robots, and if it's a good story, little will be lost.

    So why did Bay find it necessary to give the transformers barely any lines or decent screen time? And why were half their scenes just petty jokes (I refer to the far-too-long scene in which the transformers act like complete idiots as Witwicky searches for his Grandfather's glasses. It was funny for about 2 minutes. The other 30 minutes were just painful.)?

    I don't think I could ever run out of bad things to say about this movie. Seriously, don't see it - especially if you care about Transformers and have more than one brain cell.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It worries me that anyone could actually fall for **** like this in this day and age...

    Michael Bay's latest crime against the cinema is by far his most by-the-numbers venture yet with so little creativity that it should be considered punishable. Big explosions, high-priced special effects meant to dazzle, generic comedy, and female cast members meant to dazzle are just about all this movie has to offer, and it all culminates in a big battle in downtown Los Angeles that by nature and set-up is almost as implausible as even the inclination that a guy with Shia LeBouf's face could score a pity date with a girl that looks like Megan Fox without fame or fortune to help. Yet as a summer movie the audience is not simply sold this idea but expected to accept it in a "neat" marketable package complete with overwhelming amounts of product placement. As a result a vicious cycle is born. Visuals reign over every aspect of this film as it does in many of its kind which leaves little room for anything else that is supposed to make up a movie, and too often the story is the first victim and audiences buy into it like a toddler distracted by a shiny set of keys. The robot effects are nothing short of impressive, but with the price tag on this production they should be at the least. However movies are not simply pretty moving pictures. The story does matter, and that is why blockbusters are considered by many to be a joke.

    Transformers is really no different from the blockbusters that have become easy cannon fodder either. Plot-holes and inconsistencies are usually considered a hindrance, but in a movie like Transformers the audience is supposed to accept the idea that taking the catalyst for the movie's battles into town to in affect endanger countless lives is a good plan. Not only that, but taking it by helicopter is safe or sensible when two of the most violent pursuers can easily fly faster and would be willing to shoot the helicopter down. All of the characters are shallow and sometimes superfluous. Look no further than Anthony Anderson's character for an example of a role that takes up time unnecessarily and is ultimately meaningless. In this case even a lead character in Optimus Prime is not fully developed. Much of what we know about him depends solely on preexisting knowledge of the franchise. For anyone else his nobility is simply to be taken at face value without much of a basis. When you see him bypass a crashing helicopter for the "allspark" (*cough*MacGuffin*cough*) it really makes all of the talk about protecting humans feel a little pretentious. Then again the very design of the robots in this movie are contradictory.

    If the Autobots and Decepticons are supposed to be alien robots, their designs don't reflect that at all. The fact that Bumblebee has an engine is really absurd. He's not a car, he just needs to look like one to an outsider. Optimus Prime's face looks like it's constructed of truck parts when if he is meant to be a robot first and truck second he should just have a face...period. The same can be said for all of the robots (look at Blackout's hand in the close-up for example). Too much of their look is steeped in the technology of Earth when that really doesn't make any sense considering their origins. But that's only a part of the problem here. The real problem lies in the shitty cinematography and even lousier action. Fights in this movie look like scrap-metal tumbleweeds. A lot of what goes on is indecipherable nonsense that lasts all of seconds on-screen WHEN it actually is on-screen. Even the climatic final battle is rather anti-climatic.

    In the end what you're left with is a ****-stain of formula right down to the awful Goo-Goo Dolls song that accompanies the ultra-implausible half-ass teen romantic-"comedy" that most of this movie centers around augmented by pro-militarism in the most idiotic and insipid way. Plenty of detail went into the SFX of the movie, but even that was misdirected. The story didn't receive half as much attention, and it wouldn't have taken 1/8 of the work and that is one of the key flaws. If effects were all that mattered then there really would be no such thing as a good or bad movie (and that goes double for the BS inclination toward "judging a movie for what it is"). Narrative is more important than the "whizz-bang" and "aint-that-cool" of special effects. One need look no further than a lower-tech classic of the genre like Aliens, or Terminator 2 to see my point. Comedy also shouldn't be so painfully transparent as that defeats the purpose of the joke. If you don't see that you probably like this movie. If that's the case then you should know that you're ****ing up the genre for the rest of us...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Summer action flicks should never be seen with the preconceived notion of high expectations. The reason for this is simple: eye candy films that are released when school is out aim for a youthful demographic who are simply looking for good way to kill 2 and half hours. These films can be instant blockbusters even without a coherent plot or compelling dialogue. Films about massive robots based on a toy line which wreak havoc narrow the demographic further (and lower the bar of cinematic standards), but throw in wannabe epic director Michael Bay (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) and you can guarantee the trailer will pull in other audiences. I never played with the toys or watched the cartoon, but it can be assured nothing more meets the eye than CGI goo and decent Foley artists on sound in Transformers.

    The basic plot involves the benevolent Autobots and their archenemies (Decepticons) dragging their robot war on Earth, as if humans didn't have enough of their own war mongering to deal with. The Decepticons are looking for their cube which is powerful enough to create new robot life or destroy Middle Earth..err...the universe but the Autobots are willing to have Frodo...I mean... Sam (Shia LeBeouf) sacrifice the cube (and new transformer life) for the victory of the human race. The stereotyped prodigies give hope to nerds everywhere: teenage intelligence agents, a computer hacker, even a car mechanic with too much make up. Sam probably feels left out as the average kid, but is reassured later that "you're a soldier " too. Michael Bay, who is only good at directing big locations blowing up on camera , struggled to find a logical reason for the final battle. He fails at doing so and consequently has a character suggest (with knowledge of an impending robot onslaught) to rendezvous in a major human population area. Everyone else, including the Secretary of Defense (John Voight), quickly agrees to this idea of jeopardizing the safety of an entire city. I have this to say to Michael Bay: No, pushing the story along so you can have your 20 minute destructo-scene isn't going to make me forget about that line earlier in the movie. You know, the one where the boy films the Autobot simultaneously crash landing and yells, "Wow! This is cooler than Armageddon!" I didn't sit down in the theater expecting fine cinematic quality, but I don't want to see a movie where the director services himself for what he believes to be past "accomplishments."

    At least there were a few well done casting elements. Shia LeBeouf was good as the quick witted underdog student, but I'm afraid he is in danger of being typecast. Didn't I already see him play this role in Disturbia? John Turturro as the oddly likable top secret agent also makes the monotonous dialogue scenes more dynamic. Most importantly, the film lacked Michael Bay's favorite fan boy Ben Affleck (It was reported that for this reason, the crew had to stop production for a week because Bay locked himself in the bathroom, sobbing uncontrollably.) Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings) was in the film voicing Megatron but you wouldn't know it considering his two lame lines. Then there's Sam's caked up love interest (Meagan Fox) who, besides the horrible acting, loses points for actually saying, "Sam, whatever happens, I'm glad I got in the car with you." It must have been a homage to every poorly delivered, cheese ball romance line in the the history of cinema.

    At least Bay, who sold his soul to corporate America in this film, didn't force her to to replace the word "car" with "Camaro." It wouldn't have been surprising, considering I counted 11 different products being shamelessly placed throughout the entire film. Ebay is not the only online auction site, I'm not letting Bay have that one. As for the rest, was it really necessary to show the words "GMC" and "Camaro" as if the movie was a car commercial? Was it really necessary to include the words "Blackberry", "Nokia", and "Energizer" in under a minute of dialogue? Did John Turturro feel as sold out as I did for not walking out when I heard him say, "...your little Taco Bell dog?"

    I only stayed for the duration of the movie to write this review, which will never happen again if I witness such disgusting product placement. A summer action flick about fighting robots is tolerable, but the special effects weren't even that great. A shot without any movement other than the CGI spectacles, isn't live action, it's animation. The music sounds stripped from another Bay film. Take away those elements, Bay's pathetic direction, the typecast characters, the poorly written plot and all you have left is the sound, which actually made the film audibly pleasing. I salute you Erik Aadahl and friends of the sound department. Michael Bay, please take the advice of Matt Stone and Trey Parker and stop making movies.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    Anyone who has seen a previous Michael Bay movie knows exactly what to expect, so I went to the movie theater very cautious about what I was about to see, and tried not to think about it as a movie based on a beloved show from my childhood, and rather as a "big budget action fest with robots".

    There are just too many problems with this movie. Like all Bay movies, its at least a half hour too long. It has both unnecessary scenes and too many characters, and thus, no character development. The action scenes are both drawn out and short at the same time. There are long periods of action, yes, but each Decepticon that is fought is generally defeated very quickly, so don't expect to see any decent robot-on-robot battles that last any longer than a few seconds. The action scenes, specifically the ones involving Transformers fighting each other, are very hard to follow. For example, I have no idea how Bumblebee lost its legs, or how exactly Optimus Prime lost his fight with Megatron (and neither did any of the people I was with). There are definitely plenty of explosions and a good deal of action...the only problem is that the action isn't actually any good.

    Much of the dialog was cheesy, and half a dozen times people in the audience broke out in laughter in scenes that were definitely not meant to be funny, simply because of how bad the dialog was at times.

    The movie portrays the Decepticons as unstoppable killing machines, but shows the Autobots as awkward, bumbling fools. The scene at the Witwicky's is especially bad, as the Autobots refuse to listen to Sam and apparently cannot movie with any hint of finesse, instead managing to crush anything near them or just trip over their own feet. The Autobots generally serve no purpose throughout the movie but to provide comic relief, and many of them have very little on-screen time or dialog. Are we supposed to believe that the Autobots can learn English from watching television, but cant learn anything about earth in the process? There are also a number of obvious plot holes in the movie that practically jump out and slap you across the face. A good example of this is how Megatron had been frozen for thousands of years but immediately after being resurrected could speak English perfectly.

    As a Transformers movie, there is very little here resembling the original series. The characters all act and look very different from their G1 counterparts. The vehicles they transform into are now all brand new GM automobiles, which are featured throughout the movie. Other advertisements are rampant as well, for example the mountain dew soda machine that turns into a Transformer covered in mountain dew advertisements, and fires cans of mountain dew at people....which is probably the only way they could get anyone to drink it.

    Unfortunately I couldn't enjoy this as a Transformers movie, or as a big budget action is just too horribly directed. When I saw it, a dozen people walked out, and many booed at the end. I cant blame them.

    There's plenty of other flaws to point out, but unfortunately I just don't have that much free time. If you can turn off your brain and watch the movie without thinking about anything you are seeing, as a person has to do with any other of Bays films, you may enjoy it. If you like coherent story lines and character development then this movie is not for you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Seriously, why do we still see Michael Bay movies? We, as a people, need to unite against him. And how in God's name is this movie in the top 250 right now? This movie is lucky that I just saw Spiderman 3, otherwise this would be the worst movie of all time.

    Michael Bay just does the same thing in every movie: way too many helicopters, pilots running to their planes, and the flare overhead to alert the planes (why didn't he just use stock footage of Nicholas Cage from The Rock?)

    And John Turturro, why? You are a great actor, why reduce yourself to this trash? Please tell me you got paid over 10 million for this.

    Words cannot describe how bad the script of this movie is. I was dying laughing at Optimus Prime's emotional "Were we so different" speech. And the scene at Sam's house that goes on for about 16 hours with the American Pie rip-off? The Transformers are treated like little kids in that scene who say things like "My bad" and "Oops". Are you kidding me? These are The Transformers, not the Ninja Turtles.

    The thing I don't get is how people liked this movie. Shia wasn't bad and the girl was hot (while doing her best Jennifer Connelly in Blood Diamond impression), but the rest of the characters were miserable. Am I the only one who thinks that Anthony Anderson's line in Entourage ("You need any color in that movie?") is really the only way he gets any acting jobs?

    Needless to say, I hated this movie and simply laughed at it with my friends the whole time. But I contributed to Michael Bay making more movies, and for that I am sorry
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw the advance screening a few days ago and in a nutshell, two whole years of anticipation were stripped away by a flash of severe disappointment within the first 45 mins of this film. I'm a hard-core G1 fan and can't tell you how blasphemous this film is to those of us who who followed the original series from Cybertronian history to character profiles and traits.

    The script itself is utter garbage and reminiscent of a Disney film with ultra-lame jokes and childish references. The mere reference to teenage masturbation in one scene is just completely uncalled for and unnecessary in this film. Too much focus was placed on the human characters than the Transformers themselves who are the stars of the show. It's sad that the original film in '86 was a lot darker than this slop that Dreamworks has tastelessly thrown together and expected us to swallow. There's absolutely no character development regarding either clan of robots. The only thing keeping my attention was Peter Cullen's voice as 'Prime...that's the ONLY justice Dreamworks has afforded this film. I understand they needed new body styles to fit today's society...not a problem...but they should still have the same basic look in robot mode and the same voices!! Starscream was everyone's favourite Decepticon...he looked awesome and his trademark voice made the character. He's now absolutely hideous, completely beyond recognition and his voice is just as low and bland as the rest of the characters.

    Way too much comedy in this film...Transformers don't tip-toe around people's front lawns in the middle of the night trying not to be seen by human parents...that's lame. Transformers is an epic, intergalactic war over ENERGON, not this "allspark" that Dreamworks fabricated. It's a dark battle, like Lord of the Rings but with Cybertronians! My last argument has to be the score/soundtrack. Talk about minimalist...Steve Jablonsky did NOTHING for this film. Was Danny Elfman not available?! All my fellow fans out there need to know that the Transformers theme song does NOT even appear in the film, ANYWHERE by ANY means. Not even a melodic reference to it in the orchestral score which I find completely absurd. The band Mute Math did the theme for the soundtrack allegedly though it never actually plays in the film, not even over the end credits!! From start to finish this was absolute mockery of all traits that made the original series and film so's nothing now. I'm forced to pretend this new film doesn't even exist because it's defiled the Transformer name so bad...a complete injustice to my expectations as a true fan. If they have the nerve to make sequels to this slop I refuse to watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tripe. Filth. Mud. Worthless. Blunt. Stupid. These are six words that aptly describe the idea behind Michael Bay's latest smash-fest "TRANSFORMERS."

    As one of those "poor saps" (as I was called while waiting in the theater) who had never seen the TV show as a child, I went into the movie expecting nothing, especially considering that Michael Bay is one of the least artistic, most pandering directors of the present. But once the movie started, it was all right. Shia LeBeouf was charming, as was the quirky teen-humor that pervaded the first 45 minutes. In fact, the Transformers were pretty bad-ass.

    ...Until minute 46, when they began to talk. Not only was their behavior evocative of stoners and idiots, they lumbered around his backyard, and, later in the movie, peed on a federal agent. There was even one transformer (I forget the name, and I am all the better for it) that talked like he was from the "projects." The plotting was puerile and idiotic. There was even a subplot where Shia LeBeouf's love interest was discovered to have a criminal record, but that subplot was handily absolved five minutes later when Shia LeBeouf cuts a deal with the government. SO STUPID AND POINTLESS! Not to mention, the movie abounded with Michael Bay's never-ending car chases and slow-motion hoohah. Very very bad scripting like "I'm not leaving without Bumblebee!" and the leader of the good Transformers saying "Oops, my bad" made for a horrible experience.

    The bulk of the movie was terrible. The acting, aside from noticeably realistic screams from Shia and others, was stilted and just perfect for the sort of film that doesn't even hide that it relies wholly on special-effects and the toy franchise itself, the kind of things that Michael Bay loves to beat over movie-goers' heads like a blunt object.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is not enough syntax in my own very limited vocabulary that could express just how horrible this film was. Let me be fair by starting off with the fact that I freakin love Transformers. I watched transformers non stop, and then continued on with the series with the whole beast wars bit. The autobots are awesome. Now keeping that in mind, only anyone dumber than a monkey will like this film. There is no glue to hold the film together. Stuff happens without any explanation at all. There are no rules. The only rule is that anything could happen at any point without any explanation for any reason, and you just go along.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have gathered you here because you are the best of the best. You are here to crack this code that no one else could figure out. We have three floors of operatives working on this code and no one has figured it out. We are counting on you.

    Hi, I'm the super hot blond girl with the even hotter Australian accent and I know there is only one person who could hack this code. Let me steal this classified material without the slightest of difficulties and bring it to some fat nerd who lives at home with his mom and spends his time playing DDR. Yeah, he'll crack the code.


    Not only did Bay ask his audience to take huge leaps of faith when watching a movie that was 10,000X more unrealistic than Live Free or Die Hard (which I loved, by the way), but he tops it off with the most ludicrous comedy scenes that only bring the movie down. I mean come on, what was John Turturro thinking when he signed up for this movie? His character is a cheap police knock off who is from Sector 7? Could we be any more less original?

    And the writing was soul shattering...but not in the good way. There is a line in the movie where a Sector 7 agent actually said, "I would be willing to be my ridiculously large government salary that I'm right..." Or something along those lines. Ugh! Thats not art or cinema or even something out of a story. That's something a quarterback says when he is writing a screen play.

    The only thing good about the movie was the special effects. Every action scene with the robots was amazing.

    Final Summation....

    Visuals and Action- Amazing Dialog- Worse than Roadhouse Plot- Had potential but nothing was explained Context- Terrible and painful

    Grade- D-

    DO NOT waste your money on this movie.
  • isamu2000200211 August 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    After having been forced to watch "Pearl Harbor" a couple of years ago (and for my memory's sake I wish it was 50 years ago) I promised myself to never go see a Michael Bay movie again. However, a friend of mine tried to convince me that "Transformers" might be worth an attempt, based on the fact that a non-history related, action-packed comic-and-toy-franchise-adaption might be a fitting theme for a megalomaniac director like Bay. Even the critics who booed "Pearl Harbor" back then said that Bay had finally found his genre, and that "Transformers" was indeed an enjoyable popcorn movie. So my buddy and me went to the cinema.... and I painfully realized I should have stuck to my promise!!! I'm still looking for negative superlatives to describe the movie, because "awful", "horrible", "worst movie ever" and "complete waste of time and brain cells" just don't quite say it.

    I don't know where to begin... well, let's start with the overall impression of the director's "efforts". I had the feeling of watching not an entire movie, but a line up of trailers from different genres. Bay was genre-hopping from infantile American Pie-like humor (pretty much every scene with Sam, his parents and the girl) to cheesy drama (when Bumblebee gets caught) and last but not least to horrifyingly pathetic gung ho heroism made in the U.S.A.! And it went back and forth all through the movie without the slightest attempt to get these connected in a bearable manner. Every single scene felt completely out of place due to the previous and following one. Screenplay and editing were virtually non-existent.

    The characters (be it human or Transformer) were all totally mundane, archetypal in a horrible way and completely cliché-dominated. My heart bled when I saw John Turturro embarrassing himself with this joke of a character. But it's not the actors' fault that the characters came out so thin. Given the screenplay I would say that the Teletubbies would have been the most appropriate cast for both the protagonists and the villains.

    The effects were top notch, yes, but nowadays that's not an achievement anymore, is it? Especially not if you can afford to hire the most expensive FX Company in the world. And still Bay manages to spoil the action by shooting it so fast, that it was almost impossible to see any details. Pretty much all the robot fights were one big blur on the screen - which is far away from what I call enjoyable special effects.

    One last point of criticism before I come to my destructive conclusion for this flick: Subtlety! That's what Bay needs to learn (among a lot of other things)! Subtlety! You just can't go over the top for 140 minutes straight! Not even in an action-packed SF robot whatever movie. It's simply too much! So far every single Michael Bay movie I had to endure felt like a bad stimulus satiation. This isn't film-making, this is cheap grandstanding for big business.

    Summary for "Transformers": The latest and saddest proof that talent is no longer of any value in blockbuster Hollywood. Not sure exactly how high the production costs were (probably once again the highest in Hollywood history so far) but as far as I am concerned every single dollar was wasted in this project. I can only advise you to keep the money and spare yourself the brain damage. I have definitely drawn my conclusion from this and will never watch a Michael Bay movie again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I loved the cartoon series as a kid and, after seeing the commercials, thought it would be freaking awesome. Instead, I wound up stuck in a movie with a ridiculous plot, too many irrelevant characters, and too much sex humor for a movie that is supposed to be about giant robots wailing on each other (I am in my twenties and male, so I can hardly be considered a prude. The fact that even I cringed at the mother making masturbation jokes means that there is such a thing as a limit for that sort of humor). Most of the Transformers do not even show up until the movie is halfway over. The subplot of the signal detection team (who did nothing except point out that some alien being had hacked the network-a no-brainer) could be cut without losing anything of note (except for the funny scene where Anthony Anderson's on-screen cousin gets tackled by the FBI agent into the pool). And what's with Bumblebee pissing on the FBI Agent, and Mikaela making him take his clothes off? The action scenes are stellar, but not enough to make up for all of the other mistakes in the movie. If you copy and pasted scenes from Independence Day, Matrix Revolutions, a bunch of US air force commercials and Bad Santa all together on your computer, you would wind up with basically the same mess.
  • This movie is ACTION. I say this first because if you think this movie will be anything more than this, you will be disappointed on some level (as I was). Frame for frame this movie screams Michael Bay.

    Now that's out of the way, there's a lot of stuff here that works and a lot that doesn't. It's a good thing that the robots do work. Seeing autobots and decepticons in glorious photo-realistic CGI is enough to wring out any childhood fantasy from anybody (not just boys from the 80s). Watching these robots move is to realize a revelation to what is possible with modern movie effects. Whether it's transforming on the move, bashing the living daylights out of each other, or just standing and talking, these guys alone make the movie work. And unlike the other blockbusters that have came out this year, these effects have a sense of weight that adds so much to the visual satisfaction.

    As for everything else, well... that's when things start to go downhill. In typical epic fashion, this movie contains a sprawling cast. Along with this however, are a large number of writing and acting issues. With such a large number of underdeveloped characters, names are pretty much luxury. Also, most of the human related humor gags miss badly, which makes it hurt more considering a lot of the characters were unnecessary. Jon Voight's Secretary of Defense character completely baffles me, which makes me think that audiences responded positively to the President in Independence Day doing aerial dogfights. Any positives from the supporting cast (including the strange yet entertaining overacting of John Turturro) are outweighed by the large set of negatives.

    However, the cast has got it where it counts. Shia Lebeouf plays an important part in selling the reality of the robots as the lead character Sam, and also carries an easy likability factor. Megan Fox's acting does a reasonable job bringing some interest to her character to beyond her looks. The voice cast also does an overall superb job. Peter Cullen IS Prime, and although his dialogue does border on the ridiculous, he always has a sense of gravity to his lines. Hugo Weaving also does an equally commendable job as Megatron (His booming entrance will forever be embedded into the minds of little kids everywhere). The rest of the transformers don't say much, which is a shame because I wanted to see so much more interplay between them (The taunts that Optimus and Megatron yell as their fighting is great stuff).

    Another major gripe I have is Bay's ADD editing. Although it does keep the movie constantly moving, it creates some issues with continuity and distracts from some of the action (probably the biggest crime committed in the movie).

    I could go on and on about the good things (Bumblebee, Frenzy) and the bad things (Anthony Anderson and his family, forgotten Barricade) and the downright weird things (Dubya's cameo, Sam's friend climbing in a tree). Overall, the film delivers where it really matters. Although I was disappointed, the amount of potential for the sequel (which just got greenlighted) just gets me giddy (is it too much to ask for a tighter script and better acting?)

    (Also, the Autobot Assemble scene is one of the coolest things I've seen in theaters in years.)
  • Transformers is a very mixed bag. There are great things about it and there are some not-so-great things about it...

    The good:

    • The visual effects. Perhaps the best special effects I've ever seen in a movie. The transformations are amazing not to mention super-awesome. The CGI fits in seamlessly with the live action and it's easy to forget how logistically difficult a lot of it would have been to film.

    • The sound design. The sound effects complement the action perfectly making everything twice as exciting. Probably less acknowledged is the alien atmosphere created by some of the score which heightens the tension very effectively and probably without the majority of the audience noticing.

    • Shia LeBeouf. Without him the movie wouldn't be nearly as engaging. He has natural comic timing and is probably second to none in expressing disbelief of the "holy crap, there's a giant alien robot transforming in front of me" variety.

    • The humour. Transformers is funnier than most good comedies which I was not expecting in the least. The transformers themselves are often funnier than they are impressive.

    • The Decepticons. Man are they cool. The opening scene is particularly kick-arse.

    The bad:

    • Megan Fox. If hot means "can't act and doesn't weigh much" then yes, she's very hot. It's not a good sign if you want one of the main characters to die or at least get out of the way and stop trying to act. Her performance just seemed very shallow and probably wasn't helped by her dialogue.

    • The script. Although the overall storyline is good, some of the dialogue is terrible. Too much of the film is spent on mumbo jumbo technical explanations the audience just doesn't care about. The less serious parts of the script work very well though.

    • Michael Bay. Although some of the action scenes are very well put together and the humorous parts are timed very well, Bay can't help but ruin some of the scenes with unnecessarily flashy editing and over the top drama accompanied by none-too-subtle dramatic music. It's not that Michael Bay's style is too loud, it's that it's too clichéd.

    • The music. Nothing new here (other than the alien sounding parts). Practically rips of Batman Begins and is otherwise forgettable. The music should enhance the film by bringing out interesting themes or emotions, not force feeding us the drama we can plainly see on the screen in super slow motion.

    The ugly:

    • Megatron. He's ugly. And super cool.

    So, my verdict? The good outweighs the bad pretty comfortably. If you took out the bad you might even have a classic on your hands. Instead you get revolutionary action scenes and some great comedy with Michael Bay's unique brand of mediocre directing sprinkled throughout.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What a huge let down! I'm a transformer fan that was hoping to see a cool SCI-FI about the Transformers, but instead I got a dumb slap stick comedy that makes fun of them. This movie has a randomly generated plot that only matches the worst type of teen comedy. I can't even say it was better then Epic Movie. There was even an American Pie rip off moment where the main human characters parents think he locked the door to masturbate. They even go to the levels as to have a transformer pee on someone. Thinking about this movie gives me a headache and based on the ratings and reviews so far I am extremely concerned about where society is going as whole. You will only like this movie if you are a young teen that does not know any better or you are a babbling(typically obnoxious in theaters)idiot. The only positive thing I can say is that the transformers where done in very good detail, which seems to only make me starve for the movie I had hoped to see.

    Very very very very sad.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I grew up watching the Transformers in the early-mid '80s. When I first heard that a live-action adaptation was in the works, I was interested. When I heard Stephen Spielberg was involved, I was excited. When I found out Michael Bay was involved, I was just depressed.

    The original Transformers was a 22-minute, weekly animated series for children. You don't expect such shows to be long on plot, character development, etc, and it wasn't. But Bay has pulled off the impossible: he has created a big-budget, 2 1/2-hour feature film that is actually MORE simplistic than the original source material. Well done, Mike.

    Optimus Prime is the only Transformer with a personality of his own. He spends most of his time over-doing the messiah bit; seems like he's conspicuously proclaiming his willingness to "sacrifice himself" every three or four minutes. The rest of them, Autobots and Decepticons alike, have completely interchangeable personalities; you can't tell them apart by the way they act (except for the horribly, unnecessarily stereotyped Jazz), and you CERTAINLY can't tell them apart by the way they look--one walking pile of tires and hoses looks much like another.

    All Bay had to do was keep it simple. But, of course, he failed. He utilized a completely ridiculous ensemble cast of characters, with new ones being introduced right up until the last quarter or so of the movie. Air Force combat controllers, hormonal high school students, chubby computer hackers, shadowy government agents, public officials, and many other pointless characters stagger across the screen bumping into each other, stealing each other's lines and cluttering up the screen.

    The story moves at a ridiculous pace--close to an hour goes by before we see any real Autobot v. Decepticon action. It's hinted (but never actually said) that Megatron is more powerful and fearsome than the other Transformers. So he shows up in the last five minutes and is killed, almost as an afterthought, by a sixteen year old.

    The special effects are, of course, good, but everything else in this screaming disappointment of a movie is a complete failure.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Based on the popular toys from the 80s, "transformers" tells the story of giant robots from outer space bringing their intergalactic war to Earth. As strange as such a premise might sound, I can imagine a fun action-packed summer movie based it. This is not this movie.

    The common wisdom about Michael Bay is that, if his movies are not really masterpieces of storytelling and character development, at least, he can deliver some kick-ass action sequences. "Transformers" should put an end to this: inept storytelling and cardboard characters, yes; great action sequences, no! Even though his subject matter is gigantic by nature, Bay insists on keeping his camera close to the ground and to the robots, cutting so fast that the end result is one big ugly visual mess: it's impossible to figure out what's happening as the screen is filled with close-up of scrap metals moving fast.

    The rest of the direction is just as incompetent: constant mindless camera move and fast editing in a typical ADD style to make us forget that, most of the time, nothing really interesting happens on the screen. And what about the awkward transitions from broad daylight to night time which occurs not once, but three times in the whole movie!

    The script is simply awful, filled with plot holes, stereotypical characters, terrible dialog and ridiculous attempt at humor: the 15-mn scene where the "cute" autobots try to hide from the main character's parents in their backyard is simply an embarrassment for anybody past 5-year old. Add to the bad acting, especially by veteran actors who should know better (yes, John Turturro and Jon Voigt, I'm talking about you!). The only one to stand up from this train-wreck is Shia Leboeuf: although his character is the stereotypical awkward teenager found in countless other movies, he manages to make him more sympathetic and a little bit less one-dimensional that it should be.

    Otherwise, besides ILM's amazing FX (but who's still impressed by CGI these days), there is not much to recommend about "transformers", without any doubt the worst movie I saw at a theater in the last months.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Okay, i'm 23 years old, pretty well educated in both life and film and have decided to review this is 2 sections:

    1) as a transformers fan 2) as a member of public who knows nothing about transformers.


    1) Well, This film was always going to be very different from the cartoon. I was just surprised by how little respect Michael Bay clearly has for the original. Read the boards and you will see a list as long as your arm about 'fan boy' faults...Prime has blue flames, jazz acts like he's from the ghetto etc. I won't list the whole list but it's enough to say that Bay probably has NEVER watched a TF cartoon in his life. Another major gripe is there was outrage at the 'non-mass shifting' rule they placed on the robots, meaning Megatron couldn't be a gun, Prime couldn't have a trailer and Soundwave couldn't be a cassette (all would require their sizes to change during transformation), yet the 'allspark' CAN change for seemingly no reason. Hypercrites.

    I would rant longer but i don't want to say more than a 1000 words.

    2) As a non-fan i found this film RUBBISH. Bay cannot direct. The simplest rules of directing seem unheard of to him, as one meaningless action scene blends into another, followed by 10 minute scenes of tanks, planes or other military hardware. The humour is well, not funny and the script badly written. The actors try but really can't do much with this rubbish, filled with plot holes big enough for unicron to fall through. A word for the visuals as well - rushed. Each battle scene is so shaky and unfocused that i couldn't physically watch the screen most of the time. I felt nothing for any of the characters and left the cinema wondering why i'd wasted my time on this pap.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have been a fan of the transformers since my childhood, ever since I first saw the robots in action I was awe struck. When i heard that they were going to do live action movie I thought 'Wow, its got to be impossible to get that wrong!' You could be forgiven for thinking that a movie about waring giant robots that transform into various vehicles would be about robots. So I would have to ask where were they?? What were they doing?? In this movie they get very little screen time and even less character development than a dog, which is called 'Mojo' in case you were wondering.

    Optimus prime hardly has anything intelligent to say, why they made him into another Lee Evans or even Charlie Chaplin I'll never know, when he does say something intelligent its a huge dramatic speech. By the time he breaks out a speech you are genuinely shocked he's capable of it due to his bumbling foolish mannerism he is presented with.

    As if that wasn't bad enough this movie has too many story lines going on at once, which detracts from what should be the main story line of the Transformers themselves. At times it tries to be a teen romantic drama and at others some sort of slapstick comedy movie.

    The movies effect are faultless, ILM did a wonderful job. Their effects are the only reason this movie gets anything above a 1. I just wish the same could be said about everyone else involved.

    I'm not going to comment upon the acting here as I believe the underlining fault with the movie was with the choice of script and and the direction.

    If you MUST see this film, don't worry you can fall asleep and not miss anything. Take someone who will wake you up for the last 20 minutes and you should be happy. The rest of the movie is a waste of your life.

    PS Someone please give Michael Bay a romantic comedy film to make starring Hugh Grant so he can stop ruining action movies and my childhood memories.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've seen probably close to 1,000 movies at the theater, including every single major release over the past 15+ years. I've seen crowds get up and leave after 10 minutes. I've seen crowds all jump and scream at the most frightening of scenes. I've seen crowds cry together.

    Transformers took me back to the re-release of Star Wars: A New Hope back in the 90s, and then went much further. From the start of the movie the entire theater here in San Antonio got very involved. Clapping, cheering, and even a bit of hooting were commonplace throughout the film.

    First, let me tell you who carried this film: The Robots and Shia Lebouf. Of course the Autobots were the main attraction, but they went well beyond that by being absolutely stunning. When Blackout lands at Soccent Forward AFB in Qatar, gasps were heard throughout the theater. I found myself literally in awe just staring at him every chance I could get, unfortunately causing me to miss a good bit of what else was going on.

    Shia Lebouf did a wonderful job of playing an awkward teenage boy from start to finish. His first speech in class trying to hock his Grandfather's valuables was disconcerting to someone like me who treasures their family, but very understandable. I was a teenager once and remember quite well that I'd have done just about anything to buy my first car! In one of his final scenes, when he's on top of the building, cornered hanging off of a statue and Megatron on the verge of fulfilling his hunt for the AllSpark, he seemed very genuinely scared and yet steadfast in his desire to do the right thing.

    And if it is possible to put humanity in a digital robotic creation of ILM, they accomplished it with Bumblebee. Not only was his humor poignant and sly, but very heartwarming. If you could believe that your car loved you back, Bumblebee could pull it off.

    For those of you who are hardcore "old school" fans of the series and looking for your goodies, you will not be disappointed. From Shia's nervous flirtation with Fox (good name for her!) that leads to him explaining that he's "More than meets the eye" to many of the lines directly from the original series and movie, Michael Bay didn't let you down.

    This is the first movie in years I've been able to give a 10/10 rating. I've read several other reviews already, some very disparaging, and I have to say this: Send a 10 year old to review Sense & Sensibility and you're most likely going to get a very nasty review. Don't send 60 year old know-it-all movie critics to review this for you, because those that actually go see it will most likely never agree with them and get nothing from your "reporting".
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