Did we have to do this?
When I was a kid, before I fell into a dungeon, I had quite a number of toys that I loved. Top was Star Wars based toys, followed by He-Man and G.I. Joe but right after that without a doubt was Transformers. I have a lot of fond memories of the cartoon and the toys and spending hours with robots in disguise. But I never thought they would be cooler as a live action film. Turns out I (and a lot of other people) were right about that. Spoilers below if you have somehow not seen this film.
Before I body slam this film let me say, as a dumb, fun, summer blockbuster where you don’t need to think much (cause if you do this film makes no sense), this is fine. There are many, many worse films out there. Some of them are even in the Transformers franchise itself. So if you want to just enjoy this and not think much about it, I have no gripe with that at all. It’s not to my taste but disagreements are part of life so all good.
I thought long and hard about how I should review this movie. In depth analysis of a movie that expects you to believe cars can transform into thirty foot tall robots with gears and parts that were never in the car in the first place seems rather silly. Plus, there are professional film critics that have lambasted this film to hell and back and I don’t think i can say anything much more insightful than they did. So instead I am just going to list the good, the bad, and the ridiculous.
Before I do that, just in case anyone hasn’t seen this film, let me get a little summary of it written down. There are these robots looking for a mcguffin from outer space called the all spark. This mcguffin can vaguely menace earth because if it didn’t there would be no movie. There are bad robots that want it and good robots that don’t want the bad robots to get it. Some military types encounter these aliens in what seems to be an assault. A stereotypical nerd type character who is stereotypically bullied by stereotyped football bullies buys a car. That car happens to be one of the mcguffin seeking good robots. In the ultimate of convenient coincidences, this teenager (played by Shia LaBeouf in his twenties) has a great grandfather who has some glasses that can find the mcguffin. He gets intertwined with the military, a secret government organization and the good guy robots. Lots of explosions happen, a big robot who was in the Hoover Damn (???) gets awakened and threatens earth but the teenager dude, his very poorly developed love interest, secret government agents, and the good guy robots all team up to defeat the bad robots. We win, yay!
- Although the actors kind of phone it in, there’s no one here that I would say had such a bad performance that they ruined it.
- There are a lot of explosions and that can be fun right?
- Optimus Prime has the right voice.
- This was only mediocre at best so it can’t spawn sequels right?
- The transformers go from reasonable looking vehicles to huge robots that seems to have an infinite amount of gears, paints and parts that were just not in those vehicles. This is probably minor to some people but come on, when they had the cartoon, you could still tell the robot that had been a truck was a truck. I hate how these things look now.
- There are so many lens flares in this movie and why is everyone sweating all the time? I mean you are either blinded by most shots or going, man they are so greasy and sweaty that I can smell it through the screen. This was a conscious choice on the part of the directors. Why???
- The camera doesn’t just look at but outright ogles every female in this film under the age of 35 and it’s especially disturbing when they do this to Megan Fox.
- Again this might be just me but I never needed to hear masturbation jokes in a Transformers film. It wasn’t funny and it’s awkward when the audience targeted in the marketing is like seven year old boys.
- See number four for when the robots swear.
- Did we need a thing from space for this to work? I can’t remember if that was in the cartoon or not but it seemed utterly stupid in this movie.
- The United States military had to give approval for the vehicles, uniforms, etc. that are shown in this film. This film has a vaguely defined government agency that doesn’t seem to be clear where it sits in regards to the military. The military signed off on this movie but wouldn’t let military planes be shown in The Avengers for the exact same things I just stated above.
- Michael Bay already has enough money so can he just stop already?
- There are super smart code crackers sitting in the Pentagon, who are surprised that the Secretary of Defense shows up. Seriously not showing your smarts there.
- Uh, there was this thing in the ice with a polar expedition and President Hoover so I guess we have Hoover to thank for us not being killed by robots before this?
- The run time of this movie is 2 hours and 23 minutes. I can watch like five hours straight of the cartoon and not be bored but I was checking my watch constantly on this film.
- There are more plot holes in this film than there are characters the whole MCU.
- In one spot, a military guy gives the teenager dude the Mcguffin and tells him he is a soldier despite the fact that there are actual soldiers who probably would have been more trustworthy with it and in way better shape to get to the vaguely defined objective.
- Why wasn’t Bumblebee a beetle? Because Michael Bay wanted more money.
- Everyone accepts that the Autobots are good guys because they pretty much say they are the good guys and not because they do good stuff.
- There ARE sequels to this.
- John Voight, Tyrese Gibson, and John Tuturo are all in this. Come on guys, you are capable of so much more.
- There ARE sequels to this.
- No one notices any of the bad robots because no one ever turns to look at the sound behind them.
- There ARE sequels to this.
I could probably go on with these lists for a while but instead I will just give some advice to improve this. I think what is missing is Marky Mark showing up in a future film having to do with King Arthur. That’ll work right?
Well, so ends another Monday Movie review from my dark and dank dungeon. It was a painful one but the next one on my shelf should cheer me up. I will be watching and reviewing, Battlefield Earth. That is supposed to take place in space, it’s under two hours long and it has John Travolta! What could go wrong?