Review: Transformers

My review isn't going to be a whole lot longer than Scott's.

Any time the computer guys or military leadership guys are talking, on screen, or talking while on screen, do yourself a favor and stick your fingers in your ears while humming Stars and Stripes Forever.

If you do this, not only will the film make just as much sense, but it will be the most awesomest thing you have ever seen in your entire life. ROBOTS! FROM SPACE! FIGHTING! The humor is pretty thick and occasionally corny in the beginning, which helps mask a) how silly the plot really is when you think about it, and b) the fact that the first 20 minutes do not in fact have ROBOTS! FROM SPACE! FIGHTING! at all. Once it gets going, however--look out.

Purists will no doubt complain because Bumblebee is now a largely mute Camaro instead of a chatty VW Bug--one of many character changes--and the core story was altered radically from the comic books in order to simplify things. Purists: keep in mind that the original comic books were designed solely to sell toys, whereas the modern film is designed solely to entertain Sig. Since it utterly succeeds, you should totally shut up.

One of the many features that impressed me was the thought they put into what 20-ton ROBOTS! FROM SPACE! FIGHTING! would actually do to a modern urban landscape--it's impressive. Any time you blow up a city, you have Sig in the audience cheering. [Independence Day started to fail horribly when it stopped blowing up cities.] In this movie, they break stuff. A lot of stuff. It's totally awesome. Plus there's a robotic decapitation and a robotic dismemberment. Sweet.

It's unfortunate that you do have to ignore a good 15 minutes of "computer hacker" and "military leadership" dialogue in order to enjoy this movie to the utmost--it's kind of like any time Anakin was on screen during Episode I, only not for as long. [Episodes II and III, too, now that I think of it.] It is worth it for the robots, though. I mean, c'mon--ROBOTS! FROM SPACE! FIGHTING!

Theatrical release: 8 out of 10 ROBOTS! FROM SPACE! FIGHTING!
No-hackers-or-military-officers Special "Sig" Edition: 14 out of 10 ROBOTS! FROM SPACE! FIGHTING!


[Update: ArsTechnica explains it well: "The tech-geeks in the audience will be driven crazy by some of the 'hacking' scenes, and that's a testament to how good the movie really is. When you can forgive the giant alien robots and accept them as real and focus on the terrible use of computers in the movie, they've done something right."]


hear, hear!

You're absolutely right. My biggest pet peeve (and if you haven't seen the movie yet, this is a SPOILER) is that after everything is said and done, hundreds of humans must be dead - and no one seems to care. Thousands of people must have witnessed these giant robots beating the crap out of each other in the street, knocking down or even flying through office buildings - but somehow the government plays it off as a conspiracy theory? And the best part - the kid gets to keep the robots, rather than the government abducting them for research?

Sorry, but I suspect the government would come forward and say "Hey, we appreciate you saving the world and all, but in the process you managed to kill a lot of people, so if you don't mind, could you kindly fuck off?"

Heh. Oh well. Suspension of disbelief and all - and it was still a blast to watch. Next up - Die Hard!