More than meets the eye, less than meets a story.
Starring Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, Jon Voight, and John Tuturo. Directed by Michael Bay.
The Michael Bay checklist:
Hot male and female leads? Check
Massive destruction/ stuff blowing up? Check
Fate of the world on the shoulders of main characters? Check
Loads of footage featuring military personnel and equipment? Check
Lack of story or plot? Check
And so it goes.
While in Qatar, American troops are assaulted by a helicopter that transforms into a giant, walking robot that destroys everything.
CUT TO: A meeting on National Security where the Secretary of Defense (Jon Voight) gives the classified info on what happened in Qatar, and enlists the aid of codebreakers to figure out the robot signal.
CUT TO: Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) is a teenager in high school whose main goal is to get a car, even auctioning off his great grandfather’s expedition equipment on eBay to do so. With $4,000 raised his cheap-skate, sports-car driving dad takes him to a dealership whereby he purchases a 70’s Camaro (from Bernie Mac). Little does he know that the car is actually Bumblebee, one of the illustrious Autobots from the planet Cybertron. After Bumblebee reveals his true “transformed” form, Sam and girlfriend-to-be (Megan Fox) are introduced to the rest of the Autobots whose mission is to recover the “All Spark,” a gigantic cube that gives life to the inanimate. The Autobots (headed by semi-truck leader Optimus Prime) have been scouring the universe looking for the “All Spark” and one of their kind, a Decepticon by the name of Megatron, landed on Earth (in Antarctica to be exact) while chasing after it.
CUT TO: John Tuturo as the head of “an organization that doesn’t exist” called Sector 7, after the seven founding fathers that discovered Megatron and used him for reverse engineering. To keep the 60-foot tall robot in check, he’s under constant freezing in a cave that Herbert Hoover had the Dam built around. Of note, all of our current technology came from reverse-engineering Megatron.
And, let’s let that all play out.
I sat down and watched the movie out of sheer curiosity. Thankfully, I didn’t shell out the money to see it in theatres; instead, I bought the Target “special casing” that transformed into Optimus Prime. Yeah, they got my money.
I don’t know what else to say about this movie, aside from the fact that it sucked. BAD dialogue, the Michael Bay checklist… I’m not sure what was really redeeming about it. When everyone tells you that it had great special effects (and it does), that should be a warning. I wasn’t expecting Shakespeare, but I was hoping for something that wouldn’t make me feel dumber for seeing it.
Redeeming factors… I guess I would have to say Jon Voight and John Tuturo. Voight got off on being the Secretary of Defense, snapping fingers and commanding people around. Tuturo KNEW he was in a dumb movie for the 13-17 year-olds, so you could see he enjoyed hanging around and spouting off corny lines. Hey, it was paycheck (even for producer Spielberg).
This is a movie about re-igniting a franchise. Yes, I was 7 years old when “Transformers” the cartoon was on TV, and I ate every bit of it up. Maybe if I were 7 now, this would be a cool flick. But I’m not and I have to settle for a “live-action” interpretation of something from my childhood.
With all the things going for it, it was a letdown.
My grade: C-.