Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Movie Review: "Transformers"

As per usual, Hollywood combs all forms of media for movie ideas. This time, they choose an idea that started out as marketing for a toyline that turned into comics and a Saturday morning cartoon. How does "Transformers" measure up? Well, to borrow a phrase associated with them they aren't "more than meets the eye."

That doesn't mean the movie was bad. Rather, it was an enjoyable, mindless piece of cinema. Directed by Michael Bay, best known for his action-oriented features like Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, the action is heavy and the plot relatively thin. The film is about robots, and the human characters who are features, while Bay tries to give them substance, are really filler till the Transformers, the good guys Autbots and the bad guys Decepiticon show up. Shia Lebouf, the newest It Boy in Hollywood, does a good job acting with what he has got, but the love story he is tacked with, along with Josh Duhamel's hero's journey, feel nonessential. Of course, it could be worse: these plot lines don't drag down the movie and feel ludicrous, they jusy feel like window dressing on an piece of work that doesn't really need it.

So, Transformers, not surprisingly, isn't that deep. But it is fun. Every time one of the robots switched into another form, the theater's excitement was apparent. The new, slicker look of the alien robots was actually a good reinterpretation of the classic feel. The comic relief was over-the-top in a way only Michael Bay could pull off, but again, it worked. The movie, while it had the the prerequisite open-ended final scene, never seemed to say "This is only a device to get money from you. Now see the sequel that will surely come out and buy the tie-ins!" Unlike other films of its elk, Transformers knew its role and stuck to it.

The movie is already well on its way to becoming one of the highest grossest films of the summer and the year. It is all faslh with no substance, but no one really wants substance in a movie about transforming toys. Transformers accomplishes what it sets out to do with dazzling visuals and a plot that doesn't stand in the way of its momentum.

3 1/2 Transformation Sound Effects out of 5.

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