“Autobots waging battle to destroy the evil forces oooooof the Decepticons”

    So, I bit the bullet while in Phoenix (and while someone else was paying) to see the new Transformers movie.

As you may or may not know, I’m a huge Transformers fan from back in the day of 80’s power rock theme songs. Life back then was either Thundercats or He-Man, and Transformers or Go-Bots. I never really favored the Dash (shut up all you “It’s REALLY called ‘Masters of the Universe’ people, I don’t want to hear it!), nor did I favor getting punched in the face by my older brother. Since I loved Thundercats, I figured I might as well concede on the Transformers front, since getting punched twice in the face daily would have been too much.

Also, The Transformers rocked.

So, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that when I first heard about the movie I was excited, and that as I read more and more about it, I got angrier and angrier and angrier at Michael Bay. However, I couldn’t not see the movie.

So, when my cousin offered to buy movie tickets so we could all chill-ax in the nice air conditioned theater in Phoenix, I said “God yes!” partly because it was free movie tickets, and mostly because Phoenix is really hot.

I don’t know if it was because after months and months of reading about the movie’s details my expectations of the movie became so lowered that they could have shown a 2 hour movie filmed with a broken Optimus Prime action figure, and I would have been ok with it, that I found myself (gasp!) enjoying the movie – but for whatever reason, I have to say, the movie is not entirely crap.

My complaints, of course, are many.

1.) The cinematography is an appalling mess – they try to make it look like a dirty, gritty war movie, like Saving Private Ryan. I understand why, but I don’t like movies shot like that, period. It gives me a headache, and makes me very confused, which doesn’t help when

2.) The Decepticons all look the same. The only reason I could tell which Decepticons was Megatron was because he and Prime spent most of the last half hour of the movie fighting. I only knew that Starscream was in it because Megatron referred to one of his weird silver metal minions as “Starscream”. In the gritty, fast paced action sequences, it’s easy to just not know which Decepticon is which. Another problem is that Ratchet and Bumblebee are both yellow. This leads me into

3.) The poor character design. Let’s be honest – Optimus Prime doesn’t need racing stripes. He’s awesome enough. What are they for anyway? To make him go faster? The color scheme doesn’t exist in Michael Bay’s effort to make things more “Realistic”. So, instead of all the Transformers coming from the same stock, the Decepticons are monstrous looking and homogenous, and the Autobots look more like they belong with the Junkions on the Planet of Junk than they do fighting the war for Cybertron’s Rebirth. I always liked that the Decepticons looked like Autobots except for their symbols; it made it harder to tell the good guys apart from the bad guys.

4.) The plot is completely bogus. I don’t like the AllSpark being a physical object. What the AllSpark is, actually, is the afterlife for Transformers, good and bad. All sparks, which create life, come from the AllSpark, and when they die, their sparks go back to the AllSpark. It was, and should be, much more metaphorical. What they should have put in was the Creation Matrix (Autobot Matrix of Leadership), which was the physical representation of the AllSpark. Plus, the plot is really boring. I’m not watching a Transformers movie to see humans dick around. I’m watching it to see giant robots, which

5.) There’s not enough of. The story revolves more around Sam and trying to get the “hot-girl-who’s-really-an-awesome-mechanic”, some weird government intrigue things, which, quite frankly, were poorly introduced, poorly conceived, poorly carried out, and, quite frankly, just poor. Then there are the scenes in Iraq (Qatar) with the G.I. Joe-esque soldiers who “just want to go home”. The first hour of this movie focuses on humans, and when you finally get to the Transformers, which then still don’t become the center of the movie. It’s called “The Transformers” not “The Boy Who Tried to Get the Girl and Just Happens to Drive a Transformer”. While it’s a relief to watch the Autobots, the dialogue at points is far too expositional for my taste. And while we do get to see the Decepticons, we don’t get to see their characters or constant in-fighting.

Now, those are some pretty big issues to have to get through to enjoy the movie.

Well, luckily there are a few things that save the movie.

1.) Peter Cullen did an amazing job as Optimus Prime. This actually extends to the Autobots. While Jazz is smaller than Bumblebee, their characters are still right, and the few moments when they’re all interacting (not waging war with the Decepticons) you can close your eyes and feel like everything’s going to be ok.

2.) The graphics are actually really good. You can actually appreciate the graphics department and the job they did transforming the Transformers. You can also hear the 5 note sound effects when they transformer that we all have come to love.

3.) Shia LaBeouf is actually a really good actor. He may look like an ugly turn in the movie, but there are moments when you realize “Wow. He’s doing a really good job”.

I recommend that anyone not knowledgeable about Transformers, but likes a good action movie, see the movie. Anyone, like me, see it only if you can get in for free, or wait for the DVD, since it’ll make it that much easier to fast forward through the boring human parts.

If this is going to go the way X-Men did, the sequels will be much better, since this will be setting up this continuum’s Transformers mythos. Hopefully they get Michael Bay off the project because he doesn’t seem to understand that a Transformers movie should be about Transformers interacting with people, not people interacting with Transformers.

I’m also tired of the hot-girl mechanic cliché.

Overall:1 Soundwave2 Soundwaves3 Soundwaves4 Soundwaves5 Soundwaves6 Soundwaves out of 10

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Comments

4 Responses to ““Autobots waging battle to destroy the evil forces oooooof the Decepticons””

  1. MarkyX on July 10th, 2007 9:22 pm

    I pretty much agree with all points here. I didn’t like the human characters at all and wanted to focus more on giant robots smashing each other. Take a look at the first Transformers movie and they had only two human characters. Were they important to the story? Yes. Were they the story? Hell no.

    Optimus had way too many speeches in the movie also. The man is a leader of a powerful race of giant robots, not a politician. Although I’ll admit, he did close up the movie quite well with the last speech. It saved the awful scene with the lovebirds making out on a transformer, but then again, Optimus could’ve read names off a phone book and it still would’ve been better.

    Call me bitter, but I think they could’ve done much more with the movie. Megatron just wasn’t Megatron, and the supplement for Soundwave was stupid, and Starscream wasn’t the rebellious bastard as I remember him to be.

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  2. DW on July 11th, 2007 1:09 am

    lol … hey its optimus and it alls about the voice :)

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  3. DaveDaGamer on July 11th, 2007 1:43 am

    Yeah,

    There just would’ve been too much movie, if they told the Decepticon side of it. They did set the sequel up really nicely, with Starscream going into outer space and the rest of the Decepts at that bottom of the… (Wait is this a spoiler?) The movie has been out for 2 weeks, GO SEE IT!!!

    Anyways, they should’ve focused a bit more on the bad guys, we didn’t get a chance to see why they are so bad. Plus you make an excellent point about them looking generic in robot form. ALL GREY.

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  4. UnitDaGamer on July 11th, 2007 7:26 am

    known fact #562: fans will NEVER EVER be pleased with anything made from a property they dearly loved. Also i don’t think they looked generic, what i liked about the decepticons was the fact that they looked more menacing and evil as compared to the autobots, after all they are the bad guys. How intimidating would they haved looked if they were all colorful like the autobots?

    The movie on a whole was an enjoyable flix and a good adaption for transformes to the big screen. Although alot of us may remeber how the cartoons were, i think ya’ll need to revist them and just see how silly(autobots wearing lab coats?! lol) and inconsistent some of the episodes really were.

    Having the robots shown all the time works for the cartoon but not for a live action movie that’s expected to appeal to EVERYONE(that’s how you make the big $$$$) and not just the fans. That’s why the human elements were shown more than the robots. The animated movie from back in the day was great but bombed hard as hell when it was released and that was at the peek of the animated series.

    [Reply]

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