Transformers

transformersposter1.jpgThe Transformers were never really my thing. By the time they came along I was in junior high, and they just never seemed to capture my imagination. Part of the problem was that even though I was young and not all that perceptive, it seemed like the animated series was nothing more than extended commercials for the line of toys, and that always bothered me. Also, and this is true, I always suspected there was some sort of gay vibe to Transformers, because the theme song said, “Robots in to guys.” It wasn’t until years later someone corrected me, but by that time it was too late, and as a consequence I never really got caught up in the original Transformers mania, which explains why I wasn’t all that excited to find out there was going to be a live-action version.

I will admit that the trailer for Transformers was pretty impressive, and almost counter-balanced the fact that the film was directed by Michael Bay. But a cool trailer was not enough to drive me to go see this film. No, my decision to got see Transformers was arrived at purely based upon the facts that it was 91 degrees out today, and that I don’t air conditioning in my home. And with those two factors weighing in to my decision, I would have to say Transformers was pretty cool (or more specifically, the theater I saw it in was cool, thanks to the air conditioning).

Transformers is not a bad movie in the traditional sense of I-want-to-poke-my-eyes-out bad cinema. Instead, it is just the sort of bombastic, big-budget sort of flick that is the cinematic equivalent to eating a meal of nothing but candy. The plot—something to do with warring robots bringing their battle to the Earth—is a sort of perfunctory formality that serves as an excuse to have giant robots that can turn into cars, trucks and helicopters beating the mechanical crap out of each other. This is the sort of high concept film that can actually be described in exactly four words: “giant,” “robots,” “kicking,” and “ass.”

It is during the times that Transformers sticks to its simple four-word mantra that it is at its most entertaining. In fact, the film’s biggest problem isn’t that the human characters are barely developed or that the dialog is completely inane, it’s that it takes so long to get to the giant robots kicking ass. For a director like Michael Bay, who has never seen a shot he wants to linger on or felt the need to take his time getting through a scene, Transformers certainly takes its sweet time getting going. It is nearly an hour before the part we all paid good money to see really gets going. I mean honestly, we all paid our money to see the robots kicking ass, and if you are going to spend nearly an hour “developing character and story” you sure as shit better do it more effectively that Bay and his team of “writers.”

transformer2.jpgTransformers is the sort of movie I would probably have loved if I was ten years-old. As it stands, I was mildly entertained by the film itself, and duly impressed with the special effects (although whenever the robots started talking my eyes would start rolling back in my head). It is no better than so many of the other summer blockbuster films that offer little by way of furthering the fine art of cinema, but it is certainly no worse than so many of the other films that drive the film industry. This is just mindless fun that offers a diversion from the heat.

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4 Responses to “Transformers”

  1. iowan Says:

    i agree, it took a while to get to the action. but because i use to watch the original cartoon series back in the day and now that i have a son (6 years old) who is a big Transformers fan, it was fun and exciting for us to get caught up in the movie when that action finally hit.

  2. David Walker Says:

    Yeah, this was definitely a movie for people who watched the show back in the day to bond with their children over. There were a lot of parents in the theater who seemed more excited than their kids. Me being the cynical jackass that I am, all I could think was, “All these people reliving their youth are gonna be stuck buying a ton of toys for there kids.”

  3. Adam C. Says:

    i want to see Transformers mostly because of the cool trailer but the problem is that i can think of at least a handfull of other movies i’d rather see first. perhaps i should wait for it to hit the 2nd run theaters.

  4. gkleinman Says:

    Aaron liked it. I thought it was ok. But I think we’ve become a society that is just fine with “ok”.

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