With Transformers #4 (“We’re all gonna die!”) currently occupying virtually every movie complex on the planet, we thought we’t turn the clock back to 2007 and let you all know what we thought of the first installment in this (apparently) never-ending film fest.
Directed by: Michael Bay
Transformers, When we originally saw this film back in ’07, it was pointed out to us, is a perfect movie. The reason for this is simple. It wss based on a toy. Seriously, that’s it. It was based on a toy. If you came of age in the ‘80s then you (especially if you are a boy), probably played with these toys, watched their cartoon, read their Marvel comic, and probably ate their cereal (we don’t know if there was a cereal, but if the was then you would have eaten it, we’re sure).
If you are a kid now, what part of giant robots that come to life, shape-shift into cars, trucks, plains, and tanks; then shoot the living crap out of each other do you not get as wicked-cool fun? As an adult, well, we’ll simply refer you back to that last sentence. (For what it is worth, we we an adult back in the ‘80s and we didn’t get it then, so as an even an older adult we totally still didn’t get it when the film came out, and, well, even we were impressed with this film!)
Seriously? This film was such a completely wicked-hot action/adventure SPFX film with classically-themed Sci-Fi underpinnings that it isn’t funny. Yeah, yeah we know what you are all saying, that your friendly reviewer, “Mr. Happy-Talk” has finally gone ‘round the twist. Perhaps, but not because of this, no this film totally rocks!
Think about it, because it is based on a 20+-year old toy line there was (for us, at least) no expectation, hence the film proved to be only be better than we expected (and we expected nothing). 20somethings were thrilled to see it because their favorite toy finally become a big budget, live-action movie, little kids loved it because their favorite toy has become a live-action movie, and (ahem) older adults and (well) parents can’t help but to enjoy it because some line of toys has become a live-action movie
On one level it was simply just another John McClane movie on mega-steroids (and a team of extraterrestrial robots standing in for our favorite NYC Detective, and on another, it is just a modern-day updating of virtually every juvenal Sci-Fi novel we ever read as a kid (some teenager gets caught up in some great adventure and winds up traveling to the stars.)
Here, the story is about Sam (LaBeouf), your everyman teen wallflower who’s not so much a geek as he is a nerd. Sam’s great grandfather was apparently an explorer who discovered something amazing in the Arctic Circle. He didn’t know it at the time, nor did he have the vocabulary to describe it, but what he discovered was the single most influential building block of the 20th Century. He found a frozen Megatron.
Well, there’s more, including a team of US Rangers deployed in some made-up Mid-East nation who get caught up in a firefight with some of the bad transformers (Decepticons); a Men in Black-style secret US governmental origination hippily named “Sector Seven” (and headed up with humor, mirth, and gusto by an always watchible John Turturro); as well as the requisite superhot, teenage bad girl, Mikaela (Megan Fox) who dates jocks but is really looking for a nice kid who won’t treat her like the empty-headed bimbo that she is so not (but totally looks like); but still, the story really is about the love a boy has for his first car.
Yeah, this film has all of that, and of course e-friggin-ormous sentient, extraterrestrial robots packing more firepower than the US military under Regan who are so ready to rumble that this could be the natural evolution of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots spun out way past that old Comedy Central killer robot TV show (BattleBots) on methamphetamines, gone psychokinetic. Yeah, who wouldn’t like to sit in the dark, face forward, and watch that for two-and-a-half hours?
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.