Reviews & Previews - Transformers

Posted on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 06:00 PM


By: S. Tran

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson
Directed By: Michael Bay
Running Time: 144 minutes
Rated: PG-13

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Just managed to catch the new Transformers commercial, I mean movie and I have to admit it wasn't a bad commercial, I mean movie. Well whatever it is, its going to make a lot of money and then go on to help sell a lot of toys.

Michael Bay brings the toys we used to play with to life in this big budget action movie. The effects are terrific and really help to carry the movie along while the writers try and find some kind of plot to string them all together. At the end of the day they basically give up and its just a Saturday morning cartoon good robot versus bad robot storyline with some better actors.

They try hard to make something of the premise but everything pretty much goes nowhere except for the main story line. We get some half hearted attempts at the young computer experts saving the day angle and the soldier trying to get home to his wife subplot as well as the girl with the father in jail bit, but they just are just seasoning. I don't really hold it against the writers because it would be hard for anyone to do much with the situation. Really, if someone came up to you, handed you a 20 year old toy and said, "Write me a great movie about this, and by the way make sure we get lots of product placement." what could you do?

I think Michael Bay realized the limitations of the script and the material and emphasized the two things that really save the film, the action and the humour. This was a pretty funny movie and a lot of that has to go to LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky the young kid caught up in the mechanical smack down. LaBeouf is a pretty good young actor and has the right wise ass delivery to make his character likable without being annoying. He is one of those funny kids in school who doesn't come across nerdy which is refreshing.

Megan Fox plays Sam's love interest who has the required exotic name of Mikaela because we all know our hero can't be in love with some girl named Jane or Mary or something normal like that. While she looks really good, there isn't a lot for her to do except hang out with Sam. She isn't really that funny but she is hot. Special mention has to go to Julie White as Sam's mom who had me cracking up in the few minutes of screen time she had.

In between the yuks Bay brings his teenage mentality to the action and uses every bit of his budget to give us more guns, missiles and explosions than we could have asked for. Bay was probably the best director for this kind of project and is in his element with this material.

In addition to the live effects, the CGI involving the robots is also pretty well done. The robots look good and are suitably imposing. Bay also made a good choice to make Megatron turn into a jet instead of a giant gun, which probably would have made people laugh. My only criticism would be that the transformations take place in a manner that I couldn't really follow them. It would have been great to see step by step how the robots transformed because that was one of the great things about the toys themselves. That ingenious design that allowed you to turn a truck into a robot was part of the fun. Here the transformation kind of blurs into a mash of parts moving around. Maybe I can slow it down on DVD to really appreciate it.

This is a fun summer movie that will spawn a few sequels I am sure. You already know by know if you like these kinds of films. If you do, you will, if you don't you won't. Transformers doesn't break the mold, so don't go thinking maybe you will see something different. It's big, loud movie that will give you a few laughs in between things going boom.


3.5 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to