Review of “Transformers: The Motion Picture”
Based on the Hasbro line of toys released in the 80’s, along with the popular cartoon, Transformers is an action-packed, all-out robotic war directed by Michael Bay (also responsible for such movies as Bad Boys 1 & 2, The Rock, and Pearl Harbor).
While I have had a few of the toys, and I watched the cartoon occasionally, I will admit that I was never a huge Transformers fan. Perhaps this worked to my advantage here, because having been a hardcore fan of other franchises (such as video games) turned into movies only to find that the movie adaptation completely butchers the canon storyline of the original source is very disappointing (can anyone say Resident Evil?).
Transformers, on the other hand, was made in a way that could be enjoyed by both seasoned and non-fans alike. The only ones who may be left out are the fanatics who nitpick to a fault.
The movie starts out with an ominous introduction by Optimus Prime, voiced by none other than Peter Cullen of the original Transformers series. His booming voice, which reverberates with the tone of a wise and honorable fighter, tells of the desperate struggle between the autobots and the decepticons that led to the destruction of their home planet, as well as the loss of the Allspark, a mysterious cube responsible for the creation of life, and the existence of the autobots. The cube, of course, crash-lands on Earth, and these metallic behemoths find themselves battling it out to the death on our home turf.
This movie is pure action. From the moments following Prime’s introduction, you are greeted to an onslaught of explosions and destruction in typical Bay fashion. Each autobot has it’s own distinct personality, and they all share a camaraderie akin to that of brothers on a war-torn battlefield. It’s as if you are watching mechanical Armageddon unleash its wrath with buildings crumbling to the ground as the steel giants fire away at each other with heavy artillery and fly about while the tiny humans haplessly try to scramble for their lives.
The movie does have its lighter moments engineered primarily by the kookiness of the Witwicky family. Shia LaBeouf, who plays Sam Witwicky and appears to be the new John Cusack, is a teenage dork who tries to auction off useless relics while giving a class presentation and then hopelessly, but relentlessly, attempts to impress a jock’s beautiful ex-girlfriend. The Witwicky/autobot interactions are a much-needed break from the intensity of the fights, which are so furious and fast-paced that sometimes the eyes have trouble keeping up.
While I didn’t watch the cartoon often as a kid, this movie gave me a great sense of nostalgia. There really is nothing more satisfying to a kid than seeing a bunch of awesome cars that can turn into giant robots battle it out in an epic struggle of good versus evil. I only wish my Corolla could transform…
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