Saturday, July 7, 2007

Exactly What Meets The Eye

Movie Review - Transformers

It would be far, far too easy for me to spend the entire review criticizing Michael Bay, or the producer's opinions of the intelligence of the average viewer, or the kill count in this movie based on a child's toy line (and really, I can't say too much there, since there's more graphic killing in the original movie than in this one!) Therefore, I will do it briefly and get it out of the way.

Michael Bay - Learn how to compose a scene. Please.
Producers - The people who like these movies don't necessarily like Can't Hardly Wait.
Kill Count - The end of the movie took place in a crowded city.... why?

Ok, that's better. This movie was, I have to admit, much better than I thought it would be, but like every movie based on my childhood and created almost entirely by people who were already adults at the time, it completely missed the spirit of the original, not to mention all the of the subtle, salient points that made the original series so much better. The fundamental plot for the movie was pulled out of someone's ass, deviating from the original cartoon, the original movie, and the comics themselves, and instead forging new, inexplicable paths into uncharted randomness. While I am actually relieved the film had LESS pointless exposition than expected, it had less plot to even attempt to expound upon.

Now, the special effects were, with the exception of one scene, top-freaking-notch, but that is also the source of one of my greatest annoyances with the movie. The robots were convolutedly detailed that, really, the fight scenes were little more than fast-forwarded rendering test-scenes. You weren't sure which robots were fighting, what they were doing, and who won (until the next scene, where you counted which color was missing). It may have been 'hyper-realistic', but as we've learned from Star Wars, that does not translate to good.

Now, most of the good, memorable scenes were the ones where Michael Bay wasn't present (nothing was blowing up), but a collection of good scenes strung together with motion-sickness-inducing high-speed fly-throughs of robots trashing the Empire of Man does not a good film make.

For making something a 12 year old will LOVE, and thus making a successful movie, I have to give this movie a solid 6 out of 10. It could have been MUCH better..... but it could have been catastrophically worse.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to disagree with you on your review. I found, with the exception of one character flaw, the movie to be a very very good representation of what transformers is about. Yes it had a differnt story than the origonal cartoon. yes it had a different story than the origonal comic. yes it was different than the UK comic. yes it was different than the dreamwave comic. yes it was different than the latest rendition of the comic... point is there are a half dozen "good" representations of transformers (all differnt), and another 3-4 shitty ones that try and turn it into pokemon.

By introducing a new story of creation, based heavily off of the comic's "matrix of creation", the movie was able to quickly and efficently tell us who they are, why they were here, and why they were fighting.

The biggest fear about the movie wasn't bay's ability to direct, but his inability to know what matters in his direction. He was the ideal choice for explosions, destruction on a massive scale, and the ability to keep it at a pg rating to maximize profits, which will give us sequals. The main concern of nearly all was simple. Will it be a movie about humans dealing with giant robots fighting on thier world, or a movie about giant robots fighting on a world that happens to be inhabited by humans. In the begining,it looked like bay had failed, and given us the human movie. But as the scenes moved on, it changed. It became a blend of the two that i thought to be well balanced, letting it be about the robots or humans when it needed to.

Many people were critical of the new look of the transformers. I say those people lack common sence. Have they ever thought about how un-like the animated robot-form of optimus the robot form of his toy looked? thats because its not possible to make a truck turn into a robot without completley changing every single peice.

Finaly, a note on the characters. They were who they were supposed to be. Allmost all of them were perfect. sure, spikes dad didnt seem to be a mechanic, but thats minor enough to let it slide. bumblebee was a wise-ass, optimus was the self-sacrificing hero, megatron was full of pride and contempt for his inferiors (namely everybody), starscream was a bad-ass... so on so forth. The only major flaw i found was bonecrusher / devestator. not possible damnit!

The little details that i was worried would be missed were all there, right down to the "you've failed me again starscream" line.

Was it perfect? No, it had flaws. some corny lines got thrown in, alot of (but by no means all) of the robots fighting was a touch to fast, but never fast enough to lose track of whats happening, and they failed to wrap up the story of a few minor characters. Will it win best picture? Of course not. Was it what transformers is all about? Yes. yes it was.

lostdwarf said...

Eh, I'm just happy the movie spawned that commercial with the guy arguing with his toaster.

What can I say? I'm simple.