Transformers full movie review!!!
Yes, that is right, I went to go see this movie tonight, 12:01, opening night. Had 2 free tickets because, well because I am Almighty Ray.
Anyways, this is a movie brought to you by Michael Bay, the genius that brought you ‘The Rock’, and ‘Armageddon’. If you cannot read sarcasm, I use the word genius as loosely as Tara Reid uses quarterbacks.
I typically have many issues with Michael Bay movies;
1) What happens in the movies make no sense
2) The characters make horrible irrational decisions
3) They all have racist, xenophobic, and homophobic undertones.
4) The action scenes feel extremely contrived.
I really was hoping that Michael Bay’s ENTIRE body of work would not be representative of how this movie would turn out, I was sadly wrong.
First off let me say something nice. The Transformers themselves are very cool looking. The transforming sequences feel very natural and the effects are not out of place. In this Bay did a good job.
Now let’s talk about what he did wrong.
The plot makes absolutely no sense. Basically there is a cube of power that fell to Earth from the Transformers world. This cube has the power to make any machine become sentient, angry, sprout weapons(like blades, rocket launchers, and machine guns), and generally raise some hell. Why/how does it have this bizarre power you may ask? Well, I did, but did not get any answer. Anyways this cube fell down to Earth and Megatron(The bad guy) crashed in the Arctic Circle looking for it. Then lots of Autobots and Decepticons show up and start a war on Earth to get it, the Decepticons want it to make an army, and the Autobots want to destroy it to save the world.
The Decepticons have already infiltrated the world and are looking for Megatron and the cube. The Autobot scout(?) Bumblebee is already on Earth and has figured out that Shia Labeouf has the mystery map to find the cube, and so sets off to hang out with him. He found this out apparantly because of an Ebay listing for a really old pair of glasses Shia put up. Yes, seriously, that is why. Did I mention things making no sense? Anyways, the other Autobots show up late to the party and also want to hang with Shia, cause he was in Disturbia and all. Ok no, but they really want the old glasses that have the map imprinted microscopically inside them. How could they tell the glasses had this microscopic message in them from a crappy Ebay picture? Magic I guess, welcome to the wonderful world of Michael Bay.
Oh no! A small Decepticon has stashed himself aboard Air Force One! And the President is on board! Defying logic (again) this small Soundwave-esque robot waltzes around Air Force One totally unnoticed by anyone and steals a bunch of government files. The breech is found and they land Air Force One emergency style. Despite having the plane completely surrounded by the finest government agents possible, the robot crawls out of the plane, runs across the runway TOTALLY UNNOTICED AGAIN and jumps into a police car who is really another Decepticon. So now through all this snooping the bad guys know that they are looking for Shia Labeouf. Why are they looking for him? Is there a rational explanation? Not really, they just know that he is the grandson of the guy who originally found Megatron. So, um, they need to find him? Yes, because if you witnessed something that made you turn crazy and discredited, locating your grandkids who know nothing about you should be top priority for those wanting the truth. Welcome to the wonderful world of Michael Bay.
So anyways, secret government forces are brought into play at this point. Meanwhile a totally out of place scene where the Autobots hide around Shia Labeouf’s backyard being goofy and trying to hide in plain sight happens. I don’t get it, are they badass killer robots or are they silly clowns? Please someone decide! So the government plot devices, errrr I mean important development, enters the scene to explain everything!
John Turturro is really good as the leader of Sector 7, the secret government group. See, I am giving credit when it is due!
Did I mention the whole subplot with civilian codebreakers brought in right from high school to decode the secret Decepticon codebreaking sound? Or how Anthony Anderson plays a huge nerd who can actually do the job on his PC that the whole US Government can’t figure out? Oh I didn’t? Well that is ok, there was pretty much no reason to have that whole section of plot in the movie anyways, so the less said the better.
So they show up and take our band of heroes to Hoover Dam of course! Where since the early part of the 20th century the government has the cube and Megatron on ice, literally!!! Now the government does not know anything about the cube after 75 or so years. They have no idea what it is or what it does. But they have figured out how to harness it’s power!(?) So they show our heroes how it works on a cell phone, which they turn into a vicious killing machine. The mini kill-bot is contained in a blast shield though, and they fry it to death with a contained laser.
It is at this point Megatron of course gets free and all the other Decepticons show up to take the cube by force. Another question pops into my mind. The government has figured out how exactly to kill these things as seen by the cell phone incident. Megatron is a walking agent of destruction. Why in 75 years have they not built a similar blast shield and laser-death-ray around Megatron, you know, just in case the freezing thing doesn’t work forever? I swear, if I was a government agent in a Michael Bay film, I would be rich and have prevented countless wars through use of common sense alone.
Anyways, Bumblebee shrinks the cube from gigantic to the size of a basketball. How did he do this? Don’t worry about it, it’s one of about 100 questions about this movie you will never find the answer to. It is at this moment in the movie that my jaw nearly hits the floor. Our team of government agents, trained soldiers, and kids who happened to be hanging around makes one of the most amazingly stupid decisions I have ever seen.
SCENARIO: You have a cube of immense power. Giant killer robots want to use it to wipe out humanity. These giant killer robots are converging onto your location with murder and destruction on their minds. They have no compassion for humans and do not care who they have to kill to get that cube. What would you do next?
ANSWER: Take the cube to the middle of a densely populated city 22 miles away and make your stand in the heart of the city, where countless innocent people are doomed to die horribly, OF COURSE!
Yes, that is right, our team decides the only correct thing to do is take the cube to a nearby city. Not a single person stops and says, “But that will kill a whole lot of innocent people.”, they are all on board right away, and off we go!
Now this plan might have made some modicum of sense. say, for example, if they ran the cube incognito smuggler style in an unmarked vehicle. Perhaps the Decepticons would not know what to look for, and you could stealthily lose the trail in the city, and extricate the cube from there with minimal bloodshed. That would make sense. Now here is what they did instead. They give the cube to untrained civilian teenager Shia Labeouf instead of someone in the government or military. With evil planes and tanks and other nasties coming for them, they form an escort of police vehicles, government vehicles, and Autobots with Shia in the middle of them. Somehow the Decepticons figure out this brilliant plan and follow them into the city.
From there, carnage. This film ends with a huge battle where hundreds of thousands of innocent lives must have been lost. There were at least 3 separate 9-11esque crashes of vehicles into bulidings, and many explosions in the heart of this densely populated metropolis. OOPS!
Another totally irrelevant product placement scene involves Shia running the cube into an empty building, and accidentally turning a car, an Xbox 360, and a freaking MOUNTAIN DEW MACHINE into killer robots. You know, cause they had to pay for this movie somehow.
Anyways big battle, climactic fight with Optimus Prime (Autobot Leader) and Megatron. And then the whole movie wraps up in about 90 seconds. Honestly, from the second Megatron is defeated the movie is over like 2 minutes later with tenuous plot points wrapped up and everyone happy (Who didn’t die or have loved ones die I guess).
All this clocks in at slightly less than 2 and a half hours. This movie could have been made about 30-45 shorter easily, but Michael Bay wants to make sure he gets all his product placements in. Oh yeah and all his xenophobic references to Arabs, Japanese, and Indian people. Oh yeah and that scene where the Autobots look like the 3 stooges instead of warriors.
The acting in this movie was hit and miss. Shia Labeouf ran around looking all confused pretty much all the time as our human hero. Jon Voight tried hard to bring credibility to his role as Secretary of Defense. John Turturro was really good as the oddball secret government agent. Megan Fox was there as the hot chick with foggy criminal past.
If this movie was called “Giant Death Robots” I could easily have avoided it, and panned it, and dismissed it. But this was freaking TRANSFORMERS!!! Michael Bay has taken a beloved icon of my childhood and turned it into a steaming pile. This is the sort of treatment I would expect of the Go-Bots, but not Transformers.
4 out of 10.
The transformer effects were really good, there were plenty of golden moments found in a lake of piss, but in the end the nonsensical writing and Bay’s directing tank this vehicle.
Essentially if you saw ‘Armageddon’ and thought, “That movie was so awesome, but it needed giant transforming robots in it!” Then immediately go and see this movie. If you have a brain in your skull, you may want to wait til it shows up on cable so you can watch a scene here and there over the course of 5 years and feel like you’ve seen it even though you never sat through the whole thing. That would be the best way to see this movie.